What’s the Difference Between Slip & Fall and Trip & Fall Accidents?

Falls are nothing to laugh about. Whether they’re caused by a wet floor, tripping on a power cord, or simply taking a bad step, people can get seriously hurt when they fall. People may be lucky and be able to get back up again with nothing more serious than some minor scrapes, bruises, or aches, but others aren’t so fortunate. But when people end up being injured by a fall, does it really matter if you call it a slip and fall or a trip and fall? 

At first, classifying an accident as a slip and fall or a trip and fall might seem like a technicality or a matter of semantics. But the distinction between the two types of accidents can make a big difference in how they impact a person and it plays an important role in accurately describing the events that caused your accident. 

The Difference Between Slip & Fall and Trip & Fall

Slip and fall accidents are caused by a person’s foot losing traction with the surface of the floor, most commonly because of liquid on the floor, recently waxed floors, or a slick type of flooring material. When people know a surface is slippery, they know to walk very carefully. But far too often, there aren’t signs warning people that the floor is wet or slippery and it’s not always easy to see that a floor is wet, which leads to people falling when they step onto it like they would a non-slippery surface. 

Trip and fall accidents occur when a person’s foot gets caught on something on or near the ground, such as the edge of a rug, a broken floor tile, a power cord, or a piece of broken pavement. When this happens, a person might not be able to regain their balance in time to prevent a fall. 

Different Falls, Different Injuries

Because of the differences in how slip and fall and trip and fall accidents occur, they can result in different types of injuries. In a slip and fall accident, people are more likely to fall backwards because of their foot moving forward during the slip. The backwards motion of the fall makes them vulnerable to injuries like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and hip injuries.  

But when a person trips and falls, it’s more likely that they will fall forward and use their hands to break the fall, which can cause hand and arm injuries. Injuries to the face are also more common in trip and fall accidents because of the forward motion of the fall. The motions related to a trip and fall can also lead to foot and ankle injuries and knee injuries.

Even though there are some differences between these two types of falls, they can both potentially cause some of the same injuries, such as broken and fractured bones and soft tissue injuries.

Contact a California Slip, Trip & Fall Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, having the help of a slip, trip and fall lawyer can make a big difference in your case. Don’t let insurance companies try to get you to settle for less. Contact The Wallace Firm to find out how we can help with your case.