The Difference Between Slip & Fall and Trip & Fall Accidents

Slip & fall accidents and trip & fall accidents are different from each other. They happen differently, and they result in specific sets of typical injuries. 

Together, these types of injuries kill over 42,000 people annually in the United States. Over 200,000 workers each year suffer slip, trip, and fall accidents serious enough to require time off from work.

What is a Slip & Fall Accident?

A slip & fall accident occurs when someone overestimates the strength of the grip of their foot on a slippery surface, causing them to fall backward. Imagine slipping on a bar of soap in the shower, or falling on an icy sidewalk, for example. The kind of shoes you were wearing (if any) can affect whether you suffer a slip and fall accident. 

What Are the Typical Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents?

Slip & fall accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Failure to erect a “Wet Floor” warning sign after someone mopped a floor
  • Recently waxed floors
  • Failure to clear ice and snow from a sidewalk or parking lot

Many other causes of slip and fall accidents send people to the hospital every day.

What Types of Injuries Are Associated with Slip & Fall Accidents?

In a slip and fall accident, people typically fall backward. 

This leads to the following types of injuries:

  • Wrist sprains because you will instinctively extend your hands behind you to break your fall.
  • Dislocated shoulder, if you twist your shoulder into an unnatural position to break your fall.
  • An ankle sprain as you try to keep your balance while sliding along the floor.
  • A brain injury, if you don’t break your fall with your arms and therefore your head absorbs the full impact of the impact. This type of injury frequently generates wrongful death claims.
  • Back injuries from falling backward and landing on your back.

Unfortunately, there are many more ways to injure yourself in a slip & fall accident.

What is a Trip & Fall Accident?

A trip & fall accident claim arises from a slightly different set of circumstances than a slip & fall claim. In a trip & fall accident, the movement of one of your feet is accelerated or halted by an uneven surface or object on the ground. Since the impact is unexpected, your back leg cannot move forward fast enough to prevent you from falling forward.

What Are the Typical Causes of Trip & Fall Accidents?

Common causes of trip and fall accidents include:

  • Objects, such as children’s toys, left in a stairwell or on the floor
  • The difference in elevation between the street and the sidewalk
  • Uneven walking surfaces, such as a cobblestone sidewalk or a pothole-filled parking lot
  • A sudden stoppage of an escalator

Trip and fall accidents are very common on construction sites.

What Types of Injuries Are Associated with Trip & Fall Accidents?

The most common types of injuries associated with a trip & fall accident include:

  • Fractures and sprains of the arm, elbow, wrist, hands, and fingers: When you fall, you instinctively put your hands in front of your body to protect your head from the impact and break your fall.
  • Neck injuries: When your arm suddenly breaks your fall, your neck can snap forward, causing a painful injury.
  • Foot injuries: If you step in a pothole, for example, your foot might get caught in the hole while the rest of your body falls forward.
  • Broken teeth and facial injuries from falling forward and hitting your face on the ground.

Injuries to the arms, hands, and fingers can result in a large amount of lost earnings for workers in certain types of occupations.

Workers’ Compensation Claims After a Fall in the Workplace

A large percentage of slip, trip, and fall injuries occur in the workplace. In most cases, this generates a workers’ compensation claim. The main advantage of workers’ compensation claims is that you don’t have to prove that your employer was at fault to recover benefits. The main disadvantage is that available compensation is severely limited compared to the compensation available in a personal injury lawsuit.  

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You After Your Slip & Fall or Trip & Fall Accident 

You should contact a lawyer if you’ve been injured by slipping and falling or tripping and falling. Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial case consultations, where you can discuss your accident and determine your options for compensation. 

Contact the San Diego Slip and Fall Accident Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in San Diego, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 777-5555