Were You Injured At a Hotel?
Are you planning a trip this year? If so, it is very important to understand the legal principles of liability of the hotel facilities before you go. With the right knowledge, you will have a better idea of when it is appropriate and even necessary to contact a personal accident lawyer for help.
Traveling and staying at a hotel is just part of our culture here in America (and worldwide), but accidents do happen.
If you are renting a car and have an accident be sure to learn your rights.
Contacting Hotel Insurance Company, Do I Need a Lawyer For That?
Shortly after your accident, the hotel insurance company will most likely contact you. If you are offered compensation, think carefully before accepting. You want to be sure that this agreement will actually cover all damages related to your injury, including not only your medical bills, but also your pain and suffering.
The best way to act is simply to hire a law firm of experienced Hotel accident lawyers like Avrek Law.
We will communicate with the hotel insurance company for you.
Contact Avrek Law Firm
Avrek Law has over 50 years experience and has recovered over $1 Billion for our clients.
We will fight to get you maximum compensation. You can contact us online 24 hours a day, or you can call us at 866-598-5548 to get answers to your questions.
Dealing with insurance companies once you are injured is extremely complicated. Don’t try to fight the insurance companies alone, let us help.
Common Causes of Hotel Injuries
Hotels have a very high duty of care and a legal obligation to ensure that their facilities (including the hotel, its gardens and even its buses) are safe for its guests.
This duty extends even to having adequate security in such a way that clients are not harmed by criminal assault or theft.
As a visitor of the hotel, you are considered a “guest” for legal purposes. This means that you are entitled to protection against any reasonably foreseeable damage.
In other words, the management of the hotel must do everything sensible in their power to protect you against the risks one might anticipate.
Preventable risks in hotels include:
Kids and adults both love swimming pools while on vacation, but they are very dangerous.
If the pool deck is slippery a guest can easily fall and break bones, suffer a head injury or concussion, etc.
Pools not properly supervised by a lifeguard can also be a major problem.
Slip and falls
Slipping and falling is common at hotels and public venues. Slippery tile floors, worn out carpeting, or cracked flooring can cause a guest to trip.
Rubber mats are also known for causing guests to fall into hotel doors.
Many hotels (to save money) will repair furniture in-house that is old or broken.
Problem is the repair work isn’t always done right, and down the road a guest can easily get hurt on a chair that isn’t safe.
Unfortunately bed bugs are now found in some hotel mattresses, pillows, furniture, etc.
Hotel guests, especially naive tourists are vulnerable because they carry cash and credit cards.
Criminals know that these guests are easy targets and they prey on them.
If a hotel fails to offer adequate security, criminals can end up physically injuring these travelers.
People staying at hotels deal with burn injuries more than you might think. Burns can occur if hot water thermostats are too high where then taking a shower can be trouble.
Another device that causes burns might be an iron that don’t work properly.
Other things to be aware of are:
- Inadequate lighting
- Defective plugs that could cause electrocution
- Defects in construction (protruding nails, unsafe rails, etc.)
Some possible examples of risks that would not be reasonable for the hotel to anticipate and prevent include:
- Falls or injuries suffered by people in a state of drunkenness
- A guest stumbling across a clearly visible step while texting
What if I’m Injured While Out of State?
And if I have an accident while staying in a hotel out of the state in which I live?
If you are injured in an Uber while on vacation make sure to read about that situation.
If you get out of the state in which you normally reside or out of the range of your own insurance company, do not be scared.
- You still have the right to receive compensation.
- Immediately notify both your lawyer and the hotel’s insurance company that you are injured.
- Seek medical attention.
- Communicate with your lawyer and ask what your options are depending on your case.
Hotel Liability Negligence and Burden of Proof
During 2012, a man whose pregnant wife was killed in an accident at a South Florida hotel got compensation for involuntarily manslaughter of $24,000,000.
The ruling highlights several important points about involuntary manslaughter agreements and personal injury cases in general.
- The complaint must include all responsible parties
Often, more than one defendant can -and should- be included in the personal injury lawsuit.
Including multiple defendants not only ensures that it will hold all parties guilty of the accident accountable, but also helps to increase the potential for maximum compensation.
In this case, two parties were to blame for the involuntary manslaughter: the hotel and the drunk driver who crashed in the hotel, killing Alanna DeMella.
The fault of the drunk driver was clear, an alcohol rate three times above the legal limit caused her to lose control of the vehicle down the street and into the pool area of the hotel, crashing into the cabin that was next to the pool, and where DeMella was resting.
The driver was convicted on two charges of DUI homicide and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The guilt of the hotel was controversial.
Lawyers for the widower, Michael DeMella, argued that the hotel was aware of the danger posed by the road and yet they did not build any barriers or take any other steps to protect the pool area against this danger.
In particular, the cabin where Alanna DeMella was killed was right next to a sharp bend in the road.
Motorists who take this path as a shortcut often accelerate around this dangerous curve.
The lawyers alleged that hotel management had referred to this road as a “race track”, indicating the knowledge of this danger.
In the end, the jury found that the hotel had 15 percent of the fault of the accident, so the company was responsible for paying $3.6 million of the $24 million in damages set by the court.
The drunk driver took care of the rest.
- Resolving a case in court takes time
Another important point raised by this case is the fact that resolving a personal injury claim can be a time-consuming process, especially if the case should go to court.
These delays make an out-of-court settlement a very attractive option for many plaintiffs.
- Verdicts may be subject to appeals
Burden of Proof
What happens if the hotel breaches their duty of care and you’re injured?
To succeed in a personal injury claim against the hotel, the law requires that you meet a burden of proof.
To meet the burden of proof you must have sufficient evidence that proves:
- The hotel breached its duty by letting you get injured
- The hotel had a duty of care to protect you from harm
- Your injury resulted in specific damages
Evidence to Prove Your Claim
If you are injured in a hotel this summer, the first thing you should do is decide if you need immediate medical attention.
If you need it, make a call to 911 immediately.
If you don’t need medical help call the hotel manager first
This is important because you want the hotel manager to witness the conditions that caused your injury as soon as possible after the damage has occurred.
Make sure they write a report. The more time that passes between your injury and you reporting it, the greater the odds the hotel will deny it.
If paramedics take you to a hospital they will document a patient transfer report.
For a small fee you’ll be able to get a copy which will greatly help your injury case.
Also be sure to ask the hospital for copies of your admitting chart and the ER doctor’s written diagnosis.
Take Photos or Video
You will also need to take your own photos from the scene of your injury.
Nowadays cell phones make great cameras and can help your injury settlement.
If you sat in a chair and it broke, take photos of the chair and surrounding areas, and any injuries.
Talk To Witnesses
Getting witness statements are the key to building a good case.
The more witnesses you have the better your claim will be, as insurance companies have to take the witness serious.
Most importantly, don’t just rely on a single witness. If possible get contact info from as many witnesses as possible.
Have them write their version of the accident immediately and have their statements dated.
Be sure you have documented the scene of the accident enough to preserve your right to file an accident claim against the hotel.
What is My Hotel Accident Settlement Worth?
This is one of the most frequent questions we get asked.
There is no easy way to predict (with any accuracy) what your potential settlement could be worth until you’ve discussed your case with our lawyers. Unfortunately, in some cases winning your personal injury claim against a hotel accident is a long drawn out process to get fair compensation for your injuries and suffering.
Contact Avrek Law today to get a free consultation and get started on your path to recovery (both financial and physical)
How much is your case worth?Get a free case evaluation