Thousands of people are hospitalized yearly because of slipping or tripping hazards. Often, these premises liability accidents are preventable. In most situations, it is possible to file a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall lawsuit to collect compensation for damages. It is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer with experience successfully handling slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accident claims so you can better understand what to do if you slip and fall in a store. These attorneys can explain the differences between trip and fall vs slip and fall accidents, how to build a strong case, and the damages that can be recovered.
Fall Injury Statistics
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, more than eight million hospital emergency room visits a year are due to accidents involving falls; and, one million of those result from slip-and-fall injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims. Moreover, they are the leading cause of occupational injury for those who are 55 years old and older.
Data from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that floors and materials used to make floors directly contribute to more than two million fall injuries annually. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 15,000 people who are age 65 or older die from falls yearly. These fall injury statistics illustrate the real harm the negligence of another individual or organization can have on the victims of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents.
The Differences Between Slip-and-Fall and Trip-and-Fall Accidents
When you have an accident you need to understand the difference between trip and fall vs slip and fall incidents. Both types premises liability accidents can cause serious personal injury. The main difference between the two is the cause of the fall. Most people think tripping and slipping are similar since you wind up fall down and landing on the floor regardless, possibly with injuries. For legal purposes, however, trips and slips are thought of differently.
A slip-and-fall accident occurs when someone slips on a wet or slippery surface, such as a spilled liquid in a grocery store aisle. A trip-and-fall accident occurs when someone trips over an object, such as a worn rug. Slip-and-falls are usually caused by wet surfaces or spilled items, while trip-and-falls are caused by obstacles in the environment.
Trips and falls happen when someone’s foot or feet get caught on something, causing a fall. Slip and fall dangers often involve transient issues like spills or leaks. When the surface you’re walking on is slippery, you can’t get the needed traction you can when walking on a dry surface. This lack of traction can cause a foot or both feet to slide out from underneath you, making you fall.
Why the Differences Between Slip-and-Fall and Trip-and-Fall Accidents Matter
It is natural to wonder why it matters that there are differences between slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. It matters because accidentally using slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall interchangeably in a courtroom setting shows a lack of consistency, which could make the judge or jury think you are not telling the truth. If they think you are not telling the truth, then your odds of winning and getting the compensation you deserve plummet.
The average person who has never had a fall injury before can easily get mixed up about the differences between slipping and tripping. For this reason, having a firm understanding of the exact kind of injury you suffered is the foundation of a solid case.
Examples of Trip-and-Fall Accidents
Trip-and-fall accidents can occur when a person trips over an object on the floor and cannot bring their other leg forward fast enough to prevent the fall. Examples of trip-and-fall scenarios include the following:
- Tripping over the elevation between the street and the sidewalk
- Uneven paving stones on the sidewalk
- Loose floorboards
- Poor lighting
- Protruding displays
- Wires or extension cords crossing over walking areas
- Loose mats
- Worn out carpeting
- Bunched up rugs
- Parking lot potholes
- Defective sidewalks
- Poorly constructed staircases
All of these scenarios can lead to various trip-and-fall injuries, ranging from mild to severe.
Examples of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur due to common hazards such as:
- Wet floors and walkways
- Ice and snow
- Failing to repair and/or maintain leaky appliances like freezers, refrigerators, and washing machines
- Freshly waxed or mopped surfaces
- Spills that are not cleaned up
- Splashed grease or oil
- Moisture collection
- Inclement weather
- Failure to install warning signs of slippery surfaces
The injuries that can arise from slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents are similar because they both involve falling.
Common Slip-and-Fall & Trip-and-Fall Injuries
Many injuries can occur because of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. Below are some of the most common injuries:
- Broken bones
- Knee injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe cuts and bruises
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you suffer a fall injury, it is crucial to work with an experienced premises liability lawyer who knows how to win your case.
How to Win a Slip-and-Fall or Trip-and-Fall Case
What happens when you are injured in a store? To win a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall legal case, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner or occupier failed to fulfill their duty of care. This generally requires demonstrating that the at fault party caused the hazard, knew or should have known about it and fixed it, and that the hazard caused injury to the victim because of this negligence.
The liability usually rests on the owner of the property where the accident occurred, and pursuing a slip-and-fall lawsuit involves gathering evidence, filing a claim with an insurance company, negotiating a settlement, and going to trial if necessary.
Contact Wolf Law PLLC for A Free Case Evaluation
Being the victim of a premises liability injury can make you feel a mix of emotions and cause a severe amount of pain. At Wolf Law PLLC, our clients come to us because they know we hold negligent parties accountable for fall injuries and get victims the compensation they need and are entitled to receive. Contact our slip and fall lawyer in Dallas today so we can help.