Slip & Fall vs. Trip & Fall Accidents

The phrases “Slip & Fall” and “Trip & Fall” are often used interchangeably. Both refer to personal injury accidents for which you may file a Premises Liability claim to recover compensation for any resulting damages you suffered. However, there is a significant difference between the two that can significantly change the dynamics of your case. 


The Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof in a New Jersey Premises Liability Claim

To succeed in a Premises Liability claim, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that:


  1. A hazardous condition on someone else’s property caused them to slip or trip and be injured; 
  2. The owner/occupier of the property where the accident occurred knew or should have known about the hazardous condition; and
  3. The owner/occupier did nothing to fix the hazardous condition. 


The difference between a Slip & Fall accident case and a Trip & Fall accident case relates to the second of these requirements—whether the owner/occupier knew or should have known about the hazardous condition. 


Slips vs. Trips

A Slip & Fall accident usually occurs when someone slips and falls on a wet floor, slippery substance, or icy parking lot that had become that way perhaps only minutes or hours before you slipped in it. For example, when you are walking through a grocery store and slip and fall on a grape or some liquid that has leaked onto the floor. 


A Trip & Fall accident usually occurs when someone trips and falls due to a hazardous condition that had been that way for a while. For example, when you were walking from the parking lot into the store, and you trip on an uneven walkway or a big gap in the concrete. 


Meeting the plaintiff’s burden of proof in Slip & Fall cases is usually more difficult than in Trip & Fall cases. This is because, in Slip & Fall accident cases, the hazardous condition that caused the accident is more transient in nature, making it harder to prove that the owner or occupier knew or should have known of its existence.


The good news is that our Freehold, New Jersey Slip & Fall attorneys have an excellent track record of recovering compensation for clients injured in both Slip & Fall and Trip & Fall accidents in New Jersey. If you have been injured in a Slip & Fall or Trip & Fall accident in Freehold, New Jersey, contact a law firm you can trust. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve.