According to the National Safety Council, falls are among the leading causes of unintentional bodily injuries in the U.S. Although falls happen often, do you know the difference between slipping and tripping? When you fall, the cause and injuries from the accident are different depending on whether it was a slip or trip.
If you suffered a fall that resulted in injuries, you need an experienced lawyer who can tell the difference between slips and trips. The legal approaches are different, and an attorney can investigate the circumstances around your fall to put you in a better position to pursue a claim against a negligent individual or entity.
What Is a Trip and Fall Accident?
A trip and fall accident occurs when you fail to see or misjudge an object lying on the floor, which leads to a fall. Failure to see an object on the ground or the floor leads to a trip on your leg that makes you fall forward.
While walking, you rely on the ability to put one foot in front of the other. If an object prevents either of your feet from moving forward, it’s not possible to accommodate the forward motion of your upper body. Your feet get stuck, but your torso continues to progress forward, leading to a topple over.
Examples of trip and fall incidents include environments involving:
- Uneven paving stones
- Items usually left on the floor surfaces, such as construction materials, boxes, and brooms
- Elevated surfaces
- Door jambs connecting doors to the floor
Common Injuries After a Trip and Fall Accident
You can sustain the following injuries after a trip and fall accident:
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Limb fractures
- Broken finger bones
- Thumb sprains
- Foot injuries
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents happen when an individual falls over while walking on a slippery surface. These accidents can also happen in cases where you believe that you have extra grip on the underfoot, leading to a fall. In slip and fall accidents, victims fall backward instead of forward.
Examples of slippery floors or surfaces that lead to slip and falls include environments involving:
- Hard or cold surfaces with condensation
- Icy walkways
- Hard surfaces with liquids from water overflows or spills
- Worn or loose carpets
- Cleaned or waxed hard floors
- Muddy paths
Common Injuries After a Slip and Fall Accident
A slip and fall incident can lead to a distinct set of injuries, such as:
- Sprained wrists
- Shoulder dislocation
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spine and nerve damage
- Sprained ankles
What to Do After a Trip and Fall or Slip and Fall Accident
NSC shows approximately 39,443 people died in 2019 resulting from slips, trips, and falls at work and at home. Here are the steps you should take after a slip or trip and fall incident.
Report the Incident
Falls are common in commercial premises, public spaces such as parks or sidewalks, and workplaces. Wherever the accident happens, make sure you report the incident to the property owner, supervisor, or manager. You can also request them to write a report about the circumstances leading to the event.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Remember to take photos of the accident scene that show the exact condition on the floor at the time of the fall. This can serve as vital evidence when seeking compensation from an insurance company.
Identify Eyewitnesses and Collect Their Contact Details
Record the testimony of any bystander who saw your trip, slip, and fall incident. Also, collect their contact details such as names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Their honest opinion about the circumstances leading to your accident can be the deciding factor in your claim.
Witness testimony can also help create a picture of the area where the accident happened to help in documenting the situation.
Seek Medical Attention
After a fall accident, it’s always advisable to seek medical attention even if you have only minor injuries. This allows you to get the necessary tests on all the affected areas and emergency treatment in case of a catastrophic injury. You’ll also have a chance to create an official doctor’s record that you can use to support your claim.
Speak to a Fall Injury Lawyer
While pursuing any legal action after a slip or trip and fall accident, you’ll need an experienced attorney by your side. A lawyer understands all the ins and outs of these accidents and the legal laws to follow. As a result, you will have a higher chance of getting the maximum settlement.
Obtaining Compensation for a Trip or Slip and Fall Accident
In these accidents, the individual or business that owns the property can be held liable for your injuries if they:
- Didn’t take reasonable measures to correct a hazardous condition or warn customers, employees, or guests about it
- Know or should have been aware of a hazardous condition that can cause injuries
However, note that you must prove that negligence caused a slip or trip that led to your injuries to receive compensation. And in most cases, there is no significant difference between proving liability of either a trip and fall and a slip and fall incident.
Seek Legal Assistance From a Trip or Slip and Fall Attorney
You can define a trip and fall or slip and fall incident by the nature of the accident and the type of injury. Pursuing these cases may be challenging while proving negligence and the amount of compensation you expect. You need the help of an experienced fall lawyer from Pacific West Injury Law to persuade an insurer or the jury to get the best outcome in your case.
Our legal experts take every case seriously, and we are determined to fight for you or your loved one no matter what it takes. Contact Pacific West Injury Law today for the best legal representation.