It is not uncommon for a person to use the terms slip and fall and trip and fall interchangeably. But the truth is, these are two very unique types of accidents.
Each type of event involves falling, but the cause of the fall and the resulting injuries are quite different.
It is crucial for anyone who has been injured by falling to work with an attorney who understands these differences to provide you with the best representation.
The Difference Between Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are generally in reference to accidents where the person falls as a result of slippery walkways such as:
- Newly washed floors that may still be wet
- Newly waxed floors
- Floors where liquids have been spoiled
- Flooring that may have condensation on them from temperature changes
- Carpeting that does not have the correct backing on it to keep it from moving when walked upon
When a person slips and falls, they generally fall backward because their feet are slipping out from under them to the front. Because of this, the most common injuries associated with a ground level fall include:
- Tailbone injuries
- Injuries to the wrist, including fractures
- Injuries to the shoulder area from trying to brace yourself from the fall
- Spinal injuries and nerve injuries
- Head trauma from hitting your head on the ground – including concussions
Tripping and falling events are defined as the fall being caused by something in the walkway. This may include;
- Objects or debris in a walkway
- Uneven pavement
- Holes, cracks, or other blemishes in the pavement or flooring that can catch a show and cause you to fall
Tripping and falling generally result in a person falling frontwards. Because of the forward motion, these events are associated with the following injuries:
- Damage to wrists, including fractures due to bracing when falling
- Shoulder injuries from the impact of landing on your hands – Rotator cuff tears are a very common trip and fall injury
- Neck injuries from the jerking motion of falling forwards
- Hand injuries such as broken or sprained thumbs
- Knee injuries
- Injuries to the foot that was caught on the item and caused the fall
Of course, additional injuries or multiple injuries can result from a trip fall event.
Slips, Trips, and Falls – The Numbers
- Over 2 million people are treated for slip and trip events in emergency rooms each year
- Slip or trip events are one of the leading causes of injuries in a nursing home setting
- Around 15 percent of all work-related injuries are related to this type of accident
- Approximately 17,000 people die as a result of the injuries received in a falling accident each year
Steps To Take After You Have Slipped or Tripped and Fallen
1. Report Accident Immediately
You will want to notify the management or owners of the establishment that you have had an accident to make an official report. This will help establish that the fall took place and what time the event occurred. You will also be able to gather eyewitnesses to the event and include it in the report. If you can, use your phone to take pictures of the scene.
2. Get Medical Care
Do not delay. Get medical care right away. Slip or trip events can cause serious injuries. Fractures, neck or spine injuries, and head injuries may not show signs of injury at the scene. It is better to have a medical evaluation than to need more serious medical care at a later time when the problem has escalated.
3. Refrain From Making Official Statements
Provide the property where the accident occurred with your name and contact information. When their insurance company contacts you, decline to make an official statement, oral or written, until you have spoken with an accident attorney. This is the best way to protect your rights as an injury victim.
4. Speak With An Attorney
Contact a personal injury attorney that manages slip or trip and fall events. Your attorney can protect your rights and manage your case for a successful outcome.
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, working with an accident attorney gives you the best chance at recovering fair compensation. Contact the injury lawyers at Landau Law today for a free and confidential case consultation.