Difference Between Slip & Fall and Trip & Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the most common types of premises injury cases in Texas. However, you can also experience a trip and fall accident. Trip and fall accidents are similar to slip and fall accidents, but some differences exist.
The main differences between slip & fall and trip & fall accidents are how the fall occurs and some common injuries associated with each type of incident. In either case, a property owner can be held liable for damages if the owner breached their duty of care to maintain the premises in a safe condition for guests and visitors.
The Mechanics of a Slip and Fall Accident in Dallas, TX
When you slip and fall, your foot slides out in front of you because it loses traction with the floor. Your foot suddenly sliding out in front of your body makes you lose your balance. Because your weight shifts backward, you fall backward.
Common injuries caused by slip and fall accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic head injuries and skull fractures
- Ankle, knee, and elbow injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries and shoulder dislocations
- Hip injuries and fractures.
- Neck injuries, including whiplash and cervical fractures
- Back injuries
Causes of slip and fall accidents include slippery floors, leaks, spills, waxing, and other substances that can make floors slick. Property owners could be liable if they fail to promptly clean up spills or fix leaks. They can also be liable for failing to use rugs and place warning signs when floors are slippery or wet.
The Mechanics of a Trip and Fall Accident in Dallas, TX
Trip and fall accidents are caused when your foot encounters an object or “tripping hazard.” Your foot stops, but your body keeps moving forward. The result is falling forward instead of backward.
The injuries in a trip and fall accident are similar to the injuries caused when you slip and fall. Common injuries from a trip and fall accident include:
- Sprained, fractures, and broken wrists from trying to break a fall
- Ankle, foot, and knee injuries
- Abrasions and lacerations on elbows, hands, and knees
- Facial injuries
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
Tripping hazards that can cause trip and fall accidents include uneven surfaces, damaged flooring, objects/debris on the floor, and exposed writing or cables. Property owners should remove tripping hazards or use warning signs when the hazards cannot be corrected promptly.
Suing for Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Accidents in Dallas, TX
Injuries caused by falls are common reasons for filing premises liability claims. Property owners, landlords, residential homeowners, business owners, tenants, management companies, government entities, and other parties can be liable for injuries and damages caused by slips, trips, and falls.
The at-fault party’s liability insurance company could be responsible for the damages. You can also sue the property owner or other responsible party for damages. Examples of economic and non-economic damages in slip, trip, and fall cases include:
- The cost of past and future medical treatment and care
- Loss of income, including diminished future earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Rehabilitative therapies, including physical and occupational therapy
- Personal care and household services
- Loss of enjoyment of life and quality of life
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Physical pain and suffering
- Impairments and disabilities
The extent of your injuries is a significant factor in how much your slip and fall case is worth. However, other factors could impact how much money you receive, including whether you are partially to blame for causing your injury. The court can reduce your compensation for damages by your percentage of fault for causing your injury.
Seeking prompt legal advice after a fall on someone’s property can help you receive fair compensation for your claim. The property owner or its insurance provider might make a quick settlement offer. Because the offer might be lower than your case is worth, it is in your best interest to talk with a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer.
How Do I Prove Liability for a Slip & Fall or Trip & Fall Accident in Texas?
Property owners and parties controlling a property have a duty of care. Their duty of care may differ depending on the case’s circumstances. However, they can be liable for damages when they fail to meet the required duty of care and someone is injured.
Proving liability for a slip and fall accident or trip and fall accident requires you to prove:
- The party owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care
- The breach of duty caused your fall
- You sustained injuries and damages because of the fall
An experienced lawyer understands premises liability laws and the level of care a party must meet. Your attorney gathers evidence proving each of the above legal elements to establish liability for your damages.
What Is the Deadline for Filing Claims for Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Accidents in Texas?
The statute of limitations is two years from the injury date for most premises liability claims in Texas, including falls. However, factors specific to your case and exceptions to the statute could shorten or lengthen the time to file a claim. The best way to know when the deadline is to file your case is to talk with a Dallas slip and fall accident lawyer.
What Should I Do After a Slip, Trip, or Fall in Dallas, TX?
The steps you take after a slip and fall or trip and fall case are important. Your actions can improve your chance of recovering a fair settlement or cause problems in your case.
Steps to take after a slip, trip, and fall accident include:
- Notify the property owner, manager, or other responsible party that you fell.
- Ask if there is video surveillance that would have captured the accident. If so, ask for a copy and/or the owner to preserve the video.
- Document the accident scene by making a video and taking pictures. The property owner is likely to repair or correct the reason for your fall before you can speak with a lawyer.
- Ask witnesses for their names and contact information.
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Prompt medical care improves your chance of recovering and documents your injuries for a premises liability claim.
Most Dallas slip and fall attorneys offer free consultations. Therefore, speaking with a lawyer to get advice about your legal options does not cost you anything.