If you get injured due to unsafe conditions on hotel property or the negligence of a hotel employee, you might have a personal injury case against the hotel itself.
This article explains liability for injuries on hotel property, some of the most common hotel injuries, what a hotel guest’s legal rights are while staying at a hotel, how to prove a hotel’s negligence, and what monetary damages someone injured at a hotel might recover.
If you’ve been injured while staying at a hotel, you need an experienced personal injury attorney by your side to fight the hotel’s team of attorneys. Call The Villari Firm at 215-600-1363 to speak with a personal injury lawyer and premises liability lawyer in Philadelphia. Heidi G. Villari has over 20 years of experience helping victims of negligence in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey hold negligent actors accountable and get the compensation they deserve.
Liability for Hotel Injuries
A Hotel Guest’s Legal Rights
A hotel guest is considered an “invitee” under the law. This entitles them to a high degree of protection while staying there. The hotel has a duty to an invitee to exercise reasonable care in managing the business, caring for the site, and protecting them from harm.
What a Hotel’s Duty to Guests Includes
A hotel has a duty to maintain the property in reasonable condition, regularly inspect the property for hazardous conditions, and rectify hazardous conditions promptly or block off and warn guests of a potential hazard with signage.
Examples of the duty of care a hotel owes an guest include:
- Quickly mopping up spills
- Posting signs about potential slippery conditions, such as ice or a leaky pipe
- Keeping steps and stairways dry and clear of obstructions
- Maintaining elevators and escalators
- Posting signs indicating where stairways are located
- Maintaining and repairing hotel equipment, furniture, and facilities
- Maintaining adequate interior and exterior lighting
- Maintaining effective security measures, such as guards and cameras
- Maintaining locks on individual rooms and suites
- Controlling insect infestation such as bed bugs
- Taking reasonable care in hiring hotel staff
- Hiring trained pool staff
Common Hotel Injuries
Common injuries in hotels include:
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Food poisoning
- Slipping and falling on hotel property
- Falling down stairs
- Drowning in hotel pool
- Injuries from broken or defective furniture and equipment
- Bed bugs or lice
- Burns from fire or irons
- Scalding from hot water
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
If a hotel is negligent in providing or maintaining security measures such as locks, security guards, cameras, and adequate lighting, and a guest is assaulted or a victim of theft, the hotel may be liable.
If a hotel is negligent in failing to remediate or warn of wet or otherwise slippery conditions and a guest slips and falls, the hotel may be liable.
If the hotel does not maintain elevators or escalators on site and a guest is injured by a malfunction, the hotel may be liable.
Furthermore, if a member of hotel staff assaults a guest, the hotel may be liable.
Proving Negligence in Hotel Injuries
A hotel guest who is injured during their stay must show that the hotel breached its duty of care to them. Again, a hotel has a duty to regularly inspect the premises, keep the premises reasonably safe, and take reasonable steps to warn of dangerous conditions. Then the hotel guest must show that the breach of duty injured them, causing damages.
The hotel’s negligence must be the cause of harm to the guest. For example, if the hotel failed to provide adequate lighting in its parking lot and a guest was assaulted or someone broke into a guest’s car, the hotel may be liable. If the guest walked off the hotel property and was assaulted, the hotel would not be liable.
Similarly, if a hotel failed to clear icy steps and a guest slipped, fell, and got injured, the hotel would be liable. If another guest spilled liquid in a room and another guest slipped, fell, and got injured, the hotel may not be liable. In that same scenario, if a guest spilled liquid in a common area and the hotel did not take reasonable steps to mop it up and a guest slipped and fell, the hotel could be liable for their injuries.
Potential Damages for a Hotel Injury Case
A guest who is a victim of theft may recover the value of the items stolen. A guest who is injured due to a hotel’s negligence can recover economic damages in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. In extreme cases they may also recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Helps
An experienced personal injury lawyer will assess your damages, identify all parties responsible for your damages, and investigate the cause of your injuries or loss. Under the law, you must prove each element of negligence to recover compensation.
Heidi G. Villari has recovered more than $130 million for her clients in settlement negotiations and at trial. Call her today at 215-600-1363 to discuss your case, free of charge.