As a hotel guest, you expect the premises to be safe and clean. After all, you’re paying good money for your stay. You expect to avoid slip-and-fall hotel accidents or acts of violence while you’re there. And, as it turns out, this is more than just a reasonable expectation for customers. It’s also a legal obligation for hotel owners.
That said, though, hotel accidents do happen. And, when they do, victims often wonder about the facts of premises liability, and who is going to pay for their injuries. This is especially true in situations where the hotel demonstrated negligence or a willful disregard for guest safety.
Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this alone. Today, our team will walk you through the facts of premises liability, and what you need to know about hotel negligence.
Let’s get started.
Hotels Have an Obligation to Keep Guests Safe
While it’s impossible for hotels or any business to guarantee guest safety at all times (after all, accidents happen), hotel owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to protect guests from hotel accidents, falls, trips, and other injuries. As a general rule, the law requires hotel owners to do the following:
- Remedy dangerous conditions that were created by hotel staff. These include things like excessively wet floors from mopping or cleaning.
- To clean up or fix dangerous conditions in a reasonable amount of time.
- To make reasonable efforts to keep guests away from dangerous or hazardous settings.
If you’re injured while staying at a hotel, the legal question surrounding your injury will be whether the hotel placed you at unreasonable risk by knowing about a danger and not remedying it.
For example, let’s say you slipped in the pool area while staff was draining the pool. In this case, a personal injury attorney will likely argue that the hotel staff should have foreseen the risk of wet floors. The attorney may also argue that the staff should have dried the floors. Or kept guests out of the area while cleaning took place.
The Most Common Hotel Accidents That Take Place
Hotels are large places and they create a canvas for a wide variety of different injuries. The most common include the following:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are the most common non-fatal injuries that take place at hotels. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip-and-fall accidents account for about 8 million visits to the emergency room every year. This is approximately 12% of all fall accidents.
Simple things like a wet hallway, knocked-over broom, or unclean dining room can cause a hotel guest to trip or fall and suffer an injury.
Being Struck by an Object
Being struck by an object is another common cause of injuries in hotels. While this is most common in construction areas, it can happen anywhere. Items may fall from a high shelf, for example, or maintenance may drop tools while maintaining the hotel’s HVAC system or other structures.
Acts of Violence
Another common cause of injuries in hotels is acts of violence. Unlike other accidents caused by unsafe situations, acts of violence are more random and unpredictable.
While it’s impossible to prevent all acts of violence, hotels should take reasonable steps to prevent acts of violence against guests.
These actions include the following:
- Installing and maintaining security systems around the hotel.
- Implementing secure access protocols, such as installing doors that require guests to use key cards to enter after a certain hour of the evening.
- Installing security cameras around the hotel campus.
- Holding regular staff meetings which can help staff members learn about and respond to acts of violence.
- Maintaining detailed records of previous violent incidents to identify patterns and areas of concern in the hotel’s security protocols.
What Happens if You’re Injured at a Hotel?
If you suffer an injury at a hotel, you’ll need to prove negligence to win compensation. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to do this on your own. Instead, hire an injury attorney to help you present your case and secure compensation. Once you hire an injury attorney, there will be an evaluation of whether the hotel displayed negligence at any point.
Specifically, the evaluation and potential lawsuit will look into the following:
- What the condition of the hotel premises was like before your accident.
- Things that may indicate that the hotel was aware of the danger, or took active steps to conceal (rather than remedy) it.
- Maintenance lags or delays that caused the hotel to present a risky situation for customers.
Depending on the circumstances of your injury, your attorney may also evaluate other aspects of the situation, and determine whether they contain evidence that could be used in your case.
Ward & Barnes: Your Trusted Local Injury Attorney
If you suffered an injury in a Pensacola hotel, do not try to represent yourself or try your case alone. Instead, trust your case to the skilled personal injury attorneys at Ward & Barnes. Our team of injury attorneys will evaluate your case and help you prove premises liability or negligence against the hotel and help you maximize your personal injury settlement.
In the wake of a hotel accident, the last thing you need to worry about is trying to pursue your legal case and go after a negligent hotel in search of the settlement you deserve.
When you hire our team of skilled personal injury attorneys, you can turn your case over to us and get back to living your life and recovering from your injuries. Our attorneys will handle every aspect of your case and fight on your behalf to secure the fairest settlement for you.
Ready to learn more about our team or services? Contact us now.