Everything You Need to Know About Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls have been used in media and entertainment as comedic relief. However, did you know that falls are considered the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls results in a serious injury. For older adults, these accidents can be life-threatening, which is no laughing matter.

There are two main reasons why people fall: they lose their footing and slip on something, or they catch their foot and trip on something.

From a layman’s point of view, both of these accidents may seem somewhat similar. However, from a legal standpoint, slip and fall cases are vastly different from trip and fall cases. The circumstances surrounding the fall can play a huge part in holding the negligent party liable. Legislators and jury members have been putting a higher degree of liability on what they consider carelessness of the victim in a fall accident than before. But in situations when the evidence clearly shows that the responsibility of the accident falls on the property owner, a full and fair settlement is not something that can be unattainable.

Slip and Fall

A slip occurs when a person loses their balance due to a foreign substance. Usually, people tend to slip because of wet floors and greasy surfaces. Slip and fall cases mostly fall under the premises of liability claims. The victim or the injured party can pursue their case in civil court against the property owners where the incident occurred or the employers whose actions or lack thereof made the area hazardous.

Of course, everyone must be careful and remain completely aware of their surroundings. But if the accident took place because of someone else’s carelessness, one can hold them accountable.

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

When people slip and fall, their bodies tend to fall backward, causing certain types of injuries. In most cases, slips and falls can result in injuries to the back, neck, hip, and injuries on the back of the head.

Examples of Slip and Fall Accidents

Suppose you are walking down the aisle of a grocery store and suddenly slip and fall due to wet floors. If there is no signage around the area alerting people about the recently mopped or polished floors, then you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against the store’s management.

Trip and Fall

Compared to slips, which happen when a person loses their footing due to a foreign substance, trips are usually caused by problems in the building and structure. If you fall and hurt yourself due to your foot getting caught in or on something, it will most likely constitute a trip and fall case. 

Some of the main culprits behind trip and fall accidents include cracks in the pavements, loose floorboards, and potholes.

Common Trip and Fall Injuries

Typically, when someone trips, they tend to fall forwards instead of backward. This happens because they either lose their footing after stepping on something or not stepping on something all the way.

Such accidents can result in facial injuries, broken noses, hand and arm fractures, knee injuries, and elbow injuries. 

Examples of Trip and Fall 

Imagine an employee catches their foot on an improperly installed floorboard at their workplace. Unless there is adequate signage present in the area warning people to be careful or if the office administration has previously warned the workers about the loose floorboard, they may be eligible to file a claim and receive compensation for their injuries.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls?

Did you know that unintentional falls are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the United States, second only to automobile accidents? 

According to the CDC, about 15% of accidental deaths are caused by a slip, trip, and fall incidents. 

In other words, falls can be costly.

Here are some of the leading causes of slip, trip, and fall accidents:

  • Wet floors
  • Recently waxed or polished floors
  • Greasy or oily surfaces
  • Unsalted ice on walkways
  • Chipped or cracked pavement
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Loose floorboards
  • Poor lighting 
  • Potholes
  • Exposed pipes
  • Wiring and extension cables
  • Absence of a mat after a rainy day
  • Improper footwear

Tips for Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention

Whether you are a property owner, building manager, or office administrator, please make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent any slip, trip, and fall injuries.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common slip, trip, and fall prevention tips.

  • Keep the floors clean.
  • Make sure to wipe the floors dry after any spills
  • Display adequate signs to warn people about the potential hazards 
  • If the floors are wet, use rubber mats and other items to ensure safety
  • Ensure the carpet, tiles, and other flooring materials are correctly installed
  • For under-construction areas, install adequate drainage systems and put up adequate signage
  • Maintain the aisles, parking lots, hallways, and passageways
  • Make sure the emergency exits are not obstructed by anything 
  • Develop a system that allows people to report for hazardous environments and materials
  • If someone reports a hazard, try fixing the problem as soon as possible

What To Do After Slip, Trip and Fall

Everyone has slipped or tripped at one time or the other, so there is no need to feel embarrassed about it. However, if you believe your fall could have been prevented by the owner of the property or the management, there are some key things you can do as soon as possible to help you build your case: take pictures of the surface or item that caused the fall, ask for a copy of any video footage or surveillance that could have recorded the accident,  and ask the witnesses for their contact information.

If you have any injuries or pain following the incident whether serious or not, you should always seek medical attention, please immediately call 911.

How to Claim Damages for a Slip, Trip, and Fall Injury?

If you want to pursue a slip and fall or trip and fall case, you must first prove that your accident occurred because of someone else’s negligence. You must also identify the responsible party to determine liability. 

You can contact Savin and Bursk Law to speak with a qualified lawyer about your personal injury. Our personal injury department has a team of experienced attorneys who see-through and fight the strategies of insurance companies and at-fault property owners who are trying to protect themselves from financial liability. Our personal injury team represents plaintiffs with catastrophic injuries throughout Southern California. We are available around the clock, so feel welcome to connect with us at any time for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will not pay attorney’s fees if you don’t get any monetary recovery from your claim.  Feel free to call our personal injury department to set up that consultation at (818) 960-0011. You can also use our convenient email contact form to request a return phone call about your case.