Man holding injured knee


Law Office of Steven R. Smith Aug. 14, 2022

Slips and falls send more than one million people to the emergency room every year in the United States. They happen at home, at work, and in nursing homes, but they also occur because someone failed to warn of hazards or maintain their residential or business property.

Some falls are truly accidental; however, many are the direct result of someone else’s negligence. That is because the property owner’s duty of care requires them to keep the property free from hazards. If a failure of that duty of care is what led to your fall and injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, wages lost while you were unable to work, disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering.

Filing a claim or personal injury lawsuit resulting from slip, trip and falls on public or private property are typically more difficult to prove fault than, for example, a car accident. Those accused of negligence will use myriad defenses in attempts to lay responsibility on you rather than take responsibility for unsafe or hazardous conditions on their property. That is why it is a smart decision to have an experienced slip, trip and fall attorney represent you.

At the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, I specialize in personal injury claims, including slip and falls and trip and falls. For decades, clients from New York, Long Island, Hempstead, Westbury, Mineola, and New Hyde Park, New York have turned to me for their premises liability claims.

Whether you have suffered injuries from a slip and fall or a trip and fall, you deserve compensation. Here are the differences and similarities between the two.

What Is a Slip and Fall?

A slip and fall is when you lose your footing because your foot slides on a slippery surface. The momentum of a slip and fall usually propels your feet forward, causing you to fall backward.

Your foot could slide on the edge of a broken stair, on a patch of ice, on a wet substance spilled on the floor, or on a piece of litter left in a walkway. In each of these examples, you would likely fall backward and suffer injury.

Common slip and fall injuries include traumatic brain injury caused by your head striking the ground or another object, sprains and fractures of the wrists, arms, shoulders, tailbone, and spine, nerve damage, and whiplash injuries caused by the snapping of your head forward and back upon impact.

What Is a Trip and Fall?

In a trip and fall, you catch your toe or foot on something and trip. The momentum of a trip and fall usually sends your body forward.

A trip and fall may occur if you trip over a hose or cord strewn across a walkway, on an uneven surface such as a broken or unlevel sidewalk or pavement, an uneven carpet or floor transition, or on an object in the walkway.

Common injuries from trip and fall accidents include bone fractures and dislocations, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, sprains and strains, and other foot, ankle, and wrist injuries.

What Should I Do After
a Slip & Fall or Trip & Fall?

I recommend several steps to take in the wake of a slip or trip and fall:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. You may think you are not injured or that you can just “shake it off.” You need to know that injuries from slips, trips, and falls are jarring. They are not always readily apparent in the aftermath of adrenaline. In the case of a head injury, the symptoms could take hours or days to manifest themselves. See a doctor right away who can examine you, order the proper diagnostic testing, and provide a medical diagnosis. Not only do you need this for your own health and well-being, but you will need medical documentation to assert a premises liability claim.

  • Report the incident to the proper individuals. If you slip and fall at a convenience store, for example, it is easy to report the incident to the manager. If you slip and fall at someone’s home, you notify the homeowner. If the fall occurs in a public space, such as a park, you may need to find out where to report the incident, but you must report it right away. Doing so is not only necessary for pursuing a personal injury claim but should also force the property owner to either mark the hazard or remove it, which could save others from injuring themselves.

  • Collect pertinent information. This would include the name of the manager, the company name (if at a business), and information about the premises liability insurer. It would also include the names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident. You will also want to request copies of any incident reports completed by the property owner or law enforcement, and copies of your medical records and expenses.

  • Avoid making any statements about the circumstances of the incident to anyone without first consulting an attorney. Often after a slip or trip and fall, victims may feel embarrassed, and shift the blame to themselves. If you declare something about being clumsy or wearing inappropriate shoes, those declarations will be used against you later.

  • Retain the services of an experienced slip and fall attorney. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the claims process, advise you on what to do and what not to do, and gather evidence to substantiate negligence on the part of the property owner and any other party with liability.

Comprehensive Personal
Injury Guidance

The Law Office of Steven R. Smith is purely a personal injury firm. Personal injury cases, including premises liability, is what I have been handling for my clients in New York and Long Island for more than 30 years.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident due to someone else’s negligence, don’t delay calling my office. Consultations are free, so call the Law Office of Steven R. Smith now.