Slip and Fall VS Trip and Fall: What’s the Difference?

Each year, thousands of people across the US suffer injuries due to two closely-related types of accidents: (1) slip and fall accidents and (2) trip and fall accidents. Although there are key similarities between these two types of accidents, they are not exactly the same. While one involves slipping on a wet or slippery surface, the other occurs when someone trips over something that is obstructing their walking path. Injuries that result from both types of accidents can be serious, and when they occur as a result of a property owner’s negligence, people can file a lawsuit to recover damages. In this article, we explain some of the main ways that slip and fall accidents are different from trip and fall accidents.

How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Differ From Trip and Fall Accidents?

In order to better understand how these two types of personal injury accidents are different from each other, it is useful to first discuss how they are similar. The primary way these accidents relate is that they both involve people falling, and in most cases, sustaining injuries as a result. If either type of accident happens due to a property owner’s inability to maintain a reasonably safe environment, victims often choose to hire a slip and fall lawyer or a trip and fall attorney to help them recover damages. In this broad sense, the accidents are indeed similar, which is why people often use the terms interchangeably. However, upon taking a look at each type of accident, it becomes easy to understand what separates one from the other.

Slip and Fall Accidents: Uncovering the Details

Slip and fall accidents occur when someone slips on a wet surface that they are walking on and falls down. Typically, as the person is walking, they bring their lead foot down on a wet surface. Because of this wet surface, that lead foot does not grip the floor as it should, instead flailing up into the air and causing the person to fall backward. Common places where slip and fall accidents occur include grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes. This is because these places are more likely to have spills that cause slippery floors and because the floors at these places get cleaned often and can be wet.

Trip and Fall Accidents: A Closer Look

Trip and fall accidents, on the other hand, happen because of an obstruction on the floor or surface. For example, the cause of a trip and fall might be wires that are exposed across the floor, or perhaps cracked or uneven flooring or pavement. In trip and fall accidents, a person’s foot gets stuck, preventing them from moving in their natural forward motion, and ultimately resulting in that person falling forward. Common locations where trip and fall accidents happen include offices, retail stores, vacation rentals, malls, and parking lots.

On the surface, these two types of accidents may seem quite similar to each other. This is especially true considering how closely related the names are. However, as the details of each are unpacked, it is clear that these accidents are actually quite distinct from one another.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, some of the key ways that these two types of accidents are different are the cause of each, the way the fall happens, and the places or locations where they often occur. As we highlighted in the introduction, both accidents can potentially result in serious injuries that require medical treatment, as well as time away from work and emotional pain and suffering. By having this information, you are better prepared and more knowledgeable in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is ever involved in one of these types of accidents.

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