Premises Liability: Is It a Slip or a Trip? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Slipping and falling or tripping and falling can both result in serious injury, however, there are differences between these two types of events. Tripping and falling accidents are often easier to prove a premises liability cause because there is usually an object or condition that caused the victim to fall. Slipping and falling may be a bit more difficult because it must be shown why a victim lost their balance.




At Shapiro & Appleton, our Virginia premises liability attorneys aggressively advocate for accident victims in ensuring that they get the best possible financial outcome based on the circumstances of their case. If you have suffered injuries because of a fall that you think was a result of negligence of a property or business owner, contact our office to speak with a member of our legal team and find out how we can help. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of these types of incidents.

Tripping and Falling

Tripping is actually the opposite of slipping. An object causes the victim’s foot to cease moving but the rest of their body keeps going forward. Many tripping and falling incidents are caused by defects in the surface the victim is walking on or objects carelessly left where people are walking. These issues are often caused by negligence or carelessness of the owner or employees of a business.

Unlike slipping, where the body tends to fall backwards, tripping causes a victim’s body to fall forward, which means the victim may have a better chance of protecting themselves because they can use their hands to break the fall or grab onto an object to stop the fall. Unfortunately, victims who suffer trip and fall accidents can still suffer serious injuries, including:

  • Fractured bones in hands and arms
  • Blow to the front of the head or face if the victim is unable to protect themselves from the fall
  • Torn ligaments and muscles in legs
  • Sprained or twisted ankle

Slipping and Falling

When a victim slips, it is usually caused by a liquid or some other substance which causes them to lose traction. The victim’s foot moves forward at a much faster speed than the rest of their body, which causes the body to fall backward. It is almost impossible for a victim to stop this type of fall because there is nothing to break their fall. In order to be successful in a premises liability case against a property owner for a slip and fall accident, the victim must show that the owner had enough time to be aware of the hazard that caused the slip, yet failed to act to remove the hazard.

Some of the more common areas of the body that can sustain serious injury in a slip and fall accident include:

  • Head
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Spine
  • Pelvis

Contact a Virginia Premises Liability Attorney

Despite how many safety tips a person follows, there are many slip and fall accidents which are caused by the negligence of another party. For example, if a property owner fails to address a safety hazard, this can result in a visitor to the property falling and suffering a serious injury. When this happens, the victim can pursue damages for financial compensation for the losses their injury caused them.

Call a Virginia premises liability attorney from Shapiro & Appleton to find out how we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.