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Slips vs. Trips Can Change Personal Injury Cases

Posted on in Personal Injury

Slips vs. Trips Can Change Personal Injury CasesBoth slipping and tripping can end in a fall-related injury, but there are important differences between the two types of accidents. A slip-and-fall accident is more likely to cause severe injuries because of how you lose your balance. It can be easier to establish premises liability with a trip-and-fall accident because of what caused you to trip. In either case, you must document the circumstances that led to your injury and determine whether the property owner neglected its duty of care towards you.


The act of slipping occurs when a liquid causes a lack of traction on the ground. Usually, your foot slides forward at a greater speed than the rest of your body, which may cause you to fall backward. It is difficult to stop yourself when falling backward because you cannot use your arms or legs to catch yourself. You can suffer traumatic injuries to your:

  • Back;
  • Neck;
  • Spine;
  • Pelvis; and
  • Head.

In order to hold a property owner liable for your slip and fall, you must prove that the owner was aware of the dangerous condition that caused your accident and did not take sufficient action to prevent it. Surfaces can suddenly become slippery, such as when there has been a spill. The property owner could argue that it was unaware of the spill or did not have enough time to respond.


The act of tripping is in some ways the opposite of slipping. An obstacle causes your foot to stop moving, while the rest of your body continues to move forward. You have a greater chance of protecting yourself from critical injuries when falling forward because you can use your arms and hands to break your fall. You may be able to catch yourself before falling if your hands are free and you have good reflexes. However, you can still suffer injuries, such as:

  • Broken bones in your arms and hands;
  • A twisted or sprained ankle;
  • Torn muscles and ligaments in your legs; and
  • An impact to the front of your head if you could not protect it during the fall.

Tripping hazards are often defects in the walking surface or carelessly placed items. An uneven sidewalk does not develop overnight, and store employees are often responsible for placing a box in a walking area. The property owner cannot claim ignorance about these tripping hazards.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can prove how the property owner’s negligence caused your accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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