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The Difference Between Trip, Slip and Fall

The Difference Between Trip, Slip and Fall

Lawyers often use phrases like slip and fall or trip and fall. It can be useful to take a moment to understand the specific meanings of these phrases. People are often seriously hurt on the property of someone else, whether it be a store, a public area, an apartment, or an office building. Slip and falls are mainly a way to categorize the kinds of serious injuries that are most common. The following distinguishes the differences between slips, trips, falls, and how to best avoid potential accidents from happening.


A slip occurs when we do not encounter the kind of traction or friction we need to stay in control. A person can slip almost anywhere and on anything, such as:

  • A freshly waxed floor
  • An icy sidewalk
  • A floor on which there has been a spill, like in the olive oil section of a supermarket
  • A sudden change of floor traction or elevation, such as when one gets off an escalator


A trip occurs when an obstacle causes us to lose balance. Typically, you trip forward because your upper body has momentum, but something suddenly stops you. You can trip over:

  • A box in your path that should not be there
  • Any object that you cannot see, such as in an inadequately lit place

Sometimes people trip because they are clumsy or made an error in judgment, but the trip occurs because something in the environment is wrong. Very often, the object you stumble over is the result of negligence. Either a store leaves merchandise in the way or a sidewalk is poorly designed and causes you to tumble. Slips and trips are frightening moments. The actual injuries, however, occur during the subsequent fall.


People can break their bones, suffer lacerations, head and brain wounds, soft tissue damage, and other serious injuries when they fall. Whether falling a short or long distance, the injuries can range from minor to severe.

Taken together, these concepts of slip, trip, and falls are at the heart of personal injury’s number two practice area, after car accidents. Premises liability law seeks compensation for people who have been injured through no fault of their own, but because another party, on whose property the injury occurred, failed to safeguard your safety.

Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Represent Victims Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can help. We will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries, so you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Philadelphia and New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.