The Differences between Slip and fall and Trip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents are common types of personal injury incidents that can occur in a range of settings. Although they may seem similar, there are significant differences between the two types of accidents. Understanding these differences is important, as it can help determine who is at fault and the extent of liability.

A slip and fall accident is not a trip and fall accident. The conditions surrounding each accident are different, and so are the results. Physically, each type of accident has its own repercussions and the effects of each type of accident could change a person's life. But what about the legal ramifications? Is there a legal difference between a slip and fall accident and a trip and fall accident?

Slip And Fall

In general, a slip and fall accident occurs when a foreign substance has been added to a walking surface creating a slippery area. The substance could be added accidentally or intentionally by a human being, or it could be weather related. If it is weather related, then the property owner must remove the slip and fall hazard in a reasonable about of time. The most common types of injuries associated with slip and fall accidents are:

  • Concussions and other injuries to the back of the head
  • Hip injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Elbow or wrist trauma
  • Neck injuries

Trip And Fall

A trip and fall accident occurs when a person's normal walking or running motion is suddenly stopped by an unexpected obstacle. In some cases, the victim simply did not pay attention to their surroundings or warning signs and tripped. In other cases, the obstacle was recently placed in that spot, accidentally or intentionally, by someone. The most common injuries associated with a trip and fall accident are:

  • Wrist injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Elbow damage
  • Hand injuries
  • Shin injuries

Does Civil Law Differentiate Between The Two?


When you bring a slip and fall case to a civil court, it could also be a trip and fall case. In the civil courts around the country, there is no differentiation made between tripping or slipping and falling. According to the law, a property owner is responsible for removing any impediment to the safe walking or running of its customers within a reasonable amount of time. Property owners are also responsible for putting up signs in dangerous areas and making property repairs to avoid potential incidents.

At the same time, customers or anyone who uses a property is also required to use common sense when walking through an area. If the area is restricted to public traffic and is posted as such, then people who are not invited to the property should not walk on it. If there are clear markings regarding dangerous parts of a property, then those markings should be heeded. Also, even if a surface looks dangerous to walk on, it could be that the property owner has not had a reasonable amount of time to address it yet. People should walk carefully on areas that they know are potentially dangerous.

A slip and fall accident is just as painful as a trip and fall accident. The damage sustained from either type of accident could create long-term damage that will require ongoing treatment. In most cases, your trip and fall accident will be claimed as a slip and fall to the courts. Either way, you should contact an attorney if you are the victim of a slip and fall or trip and fall accident on another owner's property.

Call Sgarlato & Sgarlato PLLC. today to schedule your free consultation.

Sgarlato & Sgarlato PLLC Personal Injury Lawyers helps injured residents of the Staten Island area recover full compensation for the damages and losses they suffer due to the negligence of others.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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