Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

What’s the Difference Between a Slip & Fall vs. Trip & Fall?

As premises liability attorneys in Kansas City, Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott handles a lot of slip and fall and trip and fall cases. Prospective clients often ask what the difference is between those two things and whether it matters. Here are our thoughts on these types of claims:

Common Ground: Premises Liability

First, the difference doesn’t really matter. Both stem from the same cause of action: a premises liability. Both operate under the “invitee injured” jury instruction in Missouri. This essentially says that if someone you invited onto your property to spend money or benefit you in any way, and they are hurt because of a dangerous condition, you may be liable for their injuries. Whether that dangerous condition is some kind of wet or slippery substance like water or ice, or because of a large and uneven crack, both are the same cause of action.

The Distinction: Notice and Proof

One of the few ways the difference matters is in how you prove notice. For either slip and fall or trip and fall cases, you must show that the property owner knew, or could have known, about the dangerous condition. Typically, the hazard in a trop case is easier to prove the property knew about it. For example, a large and uneven crack is usually around a long time, so that showing the defendant knew or should have known about it is easier. However, hazards causing slips are usually more spontaneous, like spills or ice. For those, you may need to dig a little deeper to show the property knew or should have known about it.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries

Although the difference between both cases is small, the injuries one can suffer from them are not. If you have suffered injury in a slip and fall or trip and fall and would like a free consultation, please contact our firm at any time. We specialize in premises liability cases in Missouri and Kansas.

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