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

May 30, 2023 | Slip, Trip & Fall Accidents

Trip and falls and slip and falls are some of the most common types of personal injury claims. Although many people use these terms interchangeably, it’s essential to be aware that these types of accidents occur in very different ways — it’s important to understand the difference between a trip and fall versus a slip and fall to ensure you are discussing your accident accurately. Whether you tripped or slipped and fell, you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury action if the cause of your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.

Trip and Falls Versus Slip and Falls 

The distinction between a trip and fall or a slip and fall can have a significant impact on your claim. Both trip and fall and slip and fall accidents can involve either same-level falls or elevated falls. However, the conditions surrounding the accident and the way in which it occurs are different. While trips usually result in a forward fall, slips generally make a victim fall backward — in either case, severe injuries can result. 

A trip and fall typically involves a victim’s foot catching onto an object or falling into a depression, causing loss of balance. Trip and falls can happen nearly anywhere flooring, steps, or pavement is not properly maintained. There are a wide variety of hazards and dangerous conditions that can lead to trip and fall accidents. Often, they are caused by:

  • Broken sidewalks
  • Defects in flooring
  • Chipped steps
  • Potholes in the pavement
  • Items or debris left on the floor
  • Inadequate lighting where objects can’t be seen

In contrast, a slip and fall occurs when someone loses their footing due to a liquid or substance on the floor or walkway. This can be food or beverage spills — or even snow, ice, and precipitation. Other causes of slip and falls can include floor wax or polish, loose mats or carpets, and grease or oil. Notably, an owner or other party responsible for maintaining the property should place a warning sign if they know of a slip and fall hazard — such as if a floor was freshly mopped or it is raining, and precipitation is known to accumulate in a certain area.      

Liability for Trips, Slips, and Falls

Trip and falls and slip and falls can both be prevented by taking proper safety precautions. Whether you tripped or slipped and fell, a property owner has a duty to ensure their premises are kept in safe condition for those who are lawfully present. If they knew or should have known about a hazard that could cause injury to another, they have an obligation to repair it or place a warning sign. Failure to do so can result in their being held liable for the injuries you sustained.     

Liability for trips, slips, and falls can arise in various ways. If a property owner, maintenance company, landlord, architect, engineer, municipality, or another responsible party was found to have been negligent, a victim may be entitled to compensation for the economic and non-economic damages incurred due to the accident. Monetary recovery in a personal injury case based on premises liability can include unreimbursed medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages, future lost earnings, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Contact an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney 

A trip and fall or slip and fall accident can result in serious, debilitating, and life-changing injuries. If you were hurt on someone else’s property due to their negligence, it’s important to have a skillful personal injury attorney by your side who can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit — and help you obtain the monetary recovery you deserve.  

The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they secure the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.  




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