Back to the Basics: Slips, Trips, and Falls 

Whether you are strolling over to a neighbor’s house for a morning coffee or simply walking into the conference room for a staff meeting, even the smallest hazard can cause a major accident – and a potentially life-changing injury. A slip, trip, and fall can occur anywhere, at any time. In fact, falls account for over eight million visits to the emergency room each year, proving how incredibly common these types of accidents are.

Handling all that comes after a slip-and-fall accident can be challenging, but you don’t have to tackle the tasks alone. Our slip-and-fall attorneys in Charleston can help. At Hoffman Law Firm, we believe an unexpected injury from a slip and fall accident should not interfere with your daily life – or leave a lasting impact on your future. Keep reading to learn more about slips, trips, and falls, and to discover how our personal injury attorneys can help in the aftermath of an accident. 

slips trips falls

Know the Difference Between a Slip, a Trip, and a Fall 

Understanding the difference between slips, trips, and falls is key. While they are often mistakenly used interchangeably, the terms are quite different in their legal definitions. For instance, defining an incident as a “trip-and-fall” can have a very different impact on your claim than a “slip-and-fall.” 

Our experienced slip-and-fall lawyers near you can help accident victims understand the legal jargon – and when to use which terms – to maximize compensation. Here’s what you need to know:


A slip is defined as a loss of balance caused by too little traction between your feet and the surface beneath them. Slips and falls are the leading cause of Workers’ Compensation claims, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Although they aren’t a primary cause of fatal workplace injuries, they do represent the primary cause of lost days from work. 


A trip occurs when your body is moving with enough momentum that, when making direct contact with an object, you are thrown off balance. You are more likely to trip if you are in a hurry and are not paying attention to your surroundings. 


A fall is the direct result of a slip or a trip, occurring when your body moves too far off its center of balance and cannot regain a sense of equilibrium.

The Potential Hazards Behind a Slip and Fall Accident 

From the job site to the living room, there’s no shortage of dangerous conditions that can cause a slip and fall accident. The risk of falling increases with age, as older individuals experience more limited mobility.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, one in every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall every year in the United States. While some of those falls may arise out of sheer happenstance, others may leave the door open for compensation. 

Slip and fall accidents typically occur on: 

  • Wet or freshly mopped floors.
  • Cracked sidewalks or pavement.
  • Broken stairs or stairs with broken handrails.
  • Torn carpeting
  • Uneven flooring
  • Newly waxed or cleaned hard floors.
  • Water overflows on hard surfaces. 

A trip and fall accident, on the other hand, typically occurs with items that have been left behind or on uneven surfaces. For example, a child leaving their toys on the floor or an uneven sidewalk is a recipe for disaster if you aren’t paying attention.

Common Injuries in Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents 

Hitting the ground unexpectedly can cause a variety of injuries, from simple to severe. With the potential to cause long-term complications or permanent disabilities, injuries from a fall should not be ignored. 

While both result in a fall, slips and trips can have entirely unique injuries. For example, slipping on a wet floor may produce different injuries than those resulting from a trip on a torn carpet. 

Common injuries seen in slips, trips, and fall accidents include: 

Sprained ankles: Misalignment of your foot with your leg can put serious pressure on the ankle joint in the midst of a slip. It can lead to damaged ligaments, tendons, and bones in the ankle, causing an injury that can leave you unable to walk unassisted for months at a time. 

Shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries: The natural reaction during a fall is to brace yourself for impact by putting your arms out in front of you. The pressure of your arms can cause broken/ sprained wrists, shoulder dislocation, and other injuries to the nerves and tissue. 

Traumatic brain injury: The victim’s head colliding with the ground can potentially cause life-altering injuries. The most mild form of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, confusion, dizziness, and more. The most severe form of TBI, however, is a hemorrhage or skull fracture. 

Spinal cord and neck injuries: A fall can be debilitating, especially to the neck and spinal cord. Symptoms of spinal cord and neck injuries can vary greatly, from painful, limited mobility to partial paralysis. 

If you have suffered a slip-and-fall, it is important to see a doctor immediately to not only document that your injuries are a direct result of the fall, but to ensure that you get the proper care.

Suffered an Injury from a Slip and Fall Accident? Contact Hoffman Law Firm Today. 

Slips, trips, and falls can go from inconvenience to debilitating if not handled properly. Because we believe that a wet floor or torn carpet should never be the deciding factor in your future, our knowledgeable team is ready to help. Here at Hoffman Law Firm, we’ll guide you through the legal process following a slip-and-fall. 

Plus, you only pay us if we win your case.

If you’ve been injured, reach out to a slip and fall attorney near you. Our Charleston law firm of skilled South Carolina attorneys is standing by, so schedule your free consultation today!

Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation right here in the Lowcountry, including these practice areas: 

Slip and Fall

Wrongful Death

Brain Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

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