What is the difference between slips, trips and falls?

Published 29 May 2017

Slips, trips and falls are a fairly common occurrence, and most of the time you will probably escape without hurting yourself. However, if you do suffer a serious injury, you could be entitled to compensation via a public liability claim.

There are various circumstances under which you can pursue damages, including tripping over in a car park, slipping on a supermarket floor or falling down stairs in a theatre. If you can prove negligence was a factor and that an individual or organisation breached their duty of care to you, it's possible you may receive compensation.

But what are the main differences between slips, trips and falls? And could these differences have an impact on your claim? Let's take a closer look.

Slips, trips and falls explained

According to Safe Work Australia, slips, trips and falls account for thousands of injuries in the workplace each year, including musculoskeletal problems such as cuts, bruises, dislocations and more serious ailments.

The UK's Health and Safety Executive claimed 40 per cent of major injuries reported in the workplace are from slips and trips, and they are the most common reason for members of the public hurting themselves.

Slips: A slip typically occurs when there isn't enough friction between your feet or footwear and the surface upon which you are standing or travelling. This may be due to liquid on the floor surface, a poor choice of footwear or a naturally slippery floor material.

Trips: There are several ways you can trip over, including excessive friction between your footwear and the floor surface, the presence of an object or hazard in your walking path or an unexpected variation in the ground level.

Falls: The most serious slip and trip injuries usually occur when you fall over as a result, which is considered a same-level fall. These incidents can be even more dangerous if you fall from height or onto a hazardous object, such as railings.

You are entitled to make public liability claims for all slips, trips and falls, and which one you report shouldn't have an impact on your likelihood of success. However, falls often result in the largest payouts due to people suffering more serious injuries, particularly if they lead to total and permanent disabilities.

Are you unsure whether your injury is covered under public liability legislation? You can contact one of our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to discuss your case.