Experiencing a trip or a fall can be jarring, often leaving a person feeling vulnerable and shaken. A trip and fall occurs when someone trips over an object or uneven surface and falls forward, often resulting in serious injuries. Beyond the physical impact, psychological aftereffects can linger, causing a sense of apprehension in daily activities.

It is important to approach the subject of trips and falls with empathy, recognizing the multitude of factors that contribute to such incidents and addressing the individual needs for reassurance and support in prevention and recovery. 

At the Paul Benson Law Firm based in Janesville, Wisconsin, I've seen firsthand how a trip and fall accident can impact a person's life. It's not just about the physical pain; it's also the emotional stress and financial burden that come along with it.

The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer

As a personal injury lawyer, my role is to help you navigate the legal process following a trip and fall accident. This includes gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating for you in court if necessary. I'm here to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.



Common Causes

There are several common causes of trip and fall accidents. These include cluttered walkways, poor lighting, uneven surfaces, and hidden hazards like cords or wires. It's important to be aware of your surroundings to minimize the risk of accidents, but sometimes these hazards are unavoidable or unexpected. 

Understanding the Injuries 

The injuries from a trip and fall can range from minor bruises and scrapes to more serious conditions like fractures, head injuries, or even spinal cord damage. The severity of the injury often depends on the circumstances of the fall, such as the height of the fall, the landing surface, and the health of the individual involved. 

How It Differs From "Slip and Fall" 

While both trip and fall and slip and fall accidents involve a person falling due to hazardous conditions, there's a key difference between the two. A trip and fall is generally a forward fall caused by tripping over an obstacle or uneven surface. On the other hand, a slip and fall typically involves a backward fall caused by slipping on a wet or slick surface. Although there are some similar injuries—such as bruises or head injuries—they are legally different. 

Premises Liability Laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's premises liability laws are designed to ensure that property owners and occupiers maintain a safe environment for visitors. These laws apply whether the property is commercial, residential, or public and dictate the level of care required to prevent harm. Here are some key points outlining the state's premises liability laws: 

  • Duty to Maintain Safe Premises: Property owners owe a duty of care to all lawful visitors to maintain a safe environment. This includes repairing known dangers and conducting regular inspections to discover any potential hazards. 

  • Invitee, Licensee, and Trespasser Distinctions: Wisconsin law differentiates between invitees (individuals openly invited to the premises), licensees (individuals with implied permission to be on the property), and trespassers. The level of care owed by the property owner varies depending on the classification of the visitor.

  • Comparative Fault System: If a person is injured in a trip and fall accident, the degree of compensation may be adjusted based on their responsibility for the accident. Wisconsin follows a comparative fault system where damages can be diminished in proportion to the injured party's degree of fault. 

  • Notice of Hazard Requirement: Often, a victim must prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to address it, which can be a significant factor in trip and fall cases. 

  • Statute of Limitations: There is a time limit within which a victim must file a premises liability claim in Wisconsin, typically within three years from the date of the accident for personal injuries. 

Understanding these premises liability laws is crucial for both property owners and visitors to know their rights and responsibilities under Wisconsin law. 

What to Do If You've Had a Trip and Fall

If you've experienced a trip and fall, it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Once you have done that, follow these steps:  

  1. Document the scene where the trip and fall occurred by taking photographs and writing down your recollection of events while they are fresh in your mind. 

  1. Report the incident to the property owner or manager so there is an official record. 

  1. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the fall. Their testimony can be valuable if you need to prove your case in court. 

  1. Consult with a knowledgeable trip and fall attorney to understand your legal rights and options. 

  1. Don’t sign any documents or provide statements to insurance companies before speaking with your attorney. 

Remember, time is of the essence. There are statutory deadlines to file a claim called statutes of limitations. Ensuring all these steps are taken promptly can significantly impact your ability to successfully achieve compensation for your injuries. 

The Importance of Immediate Action

If you or someone you know has experienced a trip and fall accident, it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Even if an injury seems minor at first, it's important to get it checked out by a medical professional. This can help prevent further complications and ensure that the incident is properly documented for legal purposes. 


In the aftermath of a trip and fall accident, you can trust the Paul Benson Law Firm to stand by your side. Located in Janesville, Wisconsin, and extending services throughout Beloit and Rock County, I'm here to provide the legal support you need. Don't let the burden of an injury overwhelm you. Reach out for a free case evaluation and let me help you navigate the path to justice.