What’s the Difference Between a Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall?

Two differences between slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents are the cause of the fall and the direction in which the victim falls. A slip and fall victim falls backward due to a slippery surface, while a trip and fall victim will typically fall forward due to a dangerous fixed object on the ground.

While victims of both types of accidents may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, the injuries suffered by each type typically differ. If you have been seriously hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for substantial compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the NYC slip and fall lawyers at Douglas & London for a free consultation.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

When a victim slips and falls, he or she will fall backwards due to a slippery surface or due to shifting ground material or an unbalancing factor. Common circumstances that may result in a slip and fall accident include the following:

  • A large spill in an aisle at a grocery store that is not cleaned up, blocked off, or – at the very least – warned about to the store’s patrons
  • An icy parking lot
  • Decrepit concrete on a sidewalk that has broken loose and created shifting ground material

What Causes Trip and Fall Accidents?

On the other hand, a trip and fall victim will fall forward due to stepping on – or not completely over – a hard and fixed object on the ground. Some common causes of trip and fall accidents include the following:

  • A snag in the carpet
  • An uneven walkway
  • Wiring that was previously secured against a wall but becomes unsecured and sticks out into the path of passersby

Typical Slip and Fall Injuries

The injuries that are commonly associated with a slip and fall often vary from the injuries caused by trip and falls. When the victim falls backwards, slip and fall accidents will typically cause injuries such as:

  • Broken bones in the hand, arm, wrist, elbow, or shoulder
  • Fractured hip
  • Torn or strained muscles in the back
  • Fractures in the neck or tailbone
  • Ruptured or compressed discs
  • Head injuries, including a fractured skull or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Trip and Fall Accident Injuries are Often Different

On the other hand, the forward fall of a trip and fall victim will typically result in injuries such as the following:

  • Neck injuries such as whiplash
  • Bruises or fractures on the face
  • Damage to the tongue or teeth
  • Cuts on the knees and hands
  • Hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder fractures
  • Fractured skull or Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Ligament damage in the ankle, knee, or hip

What You Will Need to Prove

In order to recover financial compensation for a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, you will need to prove that the property owner was negligent, which entails that the following elements are all met:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the defendant. As long as you were not trespassing on the property at the time of your injury, this element is very likely to be met.
  • There was a breach in the duty of care by the defendant. In slip and fall or trip and fall cases, this typically entails that the defendant did not take reasonable measures to protect you from dangerous conditions. For example, a grocery store should clean up a spilled carton of milk, block that area off, or at least advise patrons of the danger within a reasonable period of time. If the store fails to do so, this could constitute a breach.
  • The defendant’s breach is what caused your fall. If the pavement on a college campus walkway was uneven, but you actually tripped over your own shoelaces, then the defendant’s breach would not have caused your fall, so you would not have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
  • You were injured in the slip and fall or trip and fall accident. You must have either suffered a new injury or have aggravated a pre-existing injury in order to qualify here. Pre-existing injuries that are not exacerbated are not actionable, and neither are falls where you emerge unscathed.

Whether you trip or slip, if you are injured in a fall caused by someone else’s wrongdoing, an NYC slip and fall lawyer at Douglas and London can help you protect your legal rights and ensure that your claim meets all legal deadlines.

The attorneys at Douglas and London have earned more than $18 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients. We leave no stone unturned in our quest to achieve justice for injured victims.

If you have been injured in a trip and fall or slip and fall accident, call Douglas and London today to arrange a zero-cost, zero-obligation consultation with a personal injury lawyer in NYC. You will never receive a bill from us for attorney fees unless we win your case.