As a guest at a hotel you expect a pleasant stay, good service, and the assurance of your personal safety. This is why it can be upsetting if you injure yourself during your stay because of a slip and fall injury. This guide can help you determine if the hotel should be considered at fault for your accident.
Was there a breach of duty to the guest?
Hotels have the duty to provide reasonable protection against injuries for their guests. As a guest, you are legally entitled to a reasonably safe environment. The following are scenarios that can cause injury due to a breach of duty:
Lack of railings on stairs.
Wet or slippery conditions in public areas, such as hallways and lobbies.
Loose carpeting, damaged flooring, or crumbling concrete.
Power cords or other debris blocking walkways.
Insufficient lighting in hallways, stairwells, or parking lots.
Can you prove negligence?
Just because you are injured on a hotel's property doesn't mean they are responsible. You must be able to prove that the injury occurred because of the hotel's negligence. For example, if you fall on a stairwell because the light is burned out, you must be able to prove that hotel staff was aware that bulb had gone out. Otherwise, the court may decide that the bulb had just recently blown, and the hotel had no way of being aware of the issue. On the other hand, if you slip on wet steps right after the cleaning crew was mopping, and there was no wet floor signage displayed, you can likely prove that the injury occurred due to the hotel's negligence.
Is there an injury involved?
Even if the hotel is responsible for your fall, you will not have a case unless there is an actual injury or loss involved. A slip that results in nothing more than stubbed toe, no matter how painful, is not grounds for a law suit. A broken toe that resulted in medical bills, or even a pulled groin that caused you to miss work and lose income, would be cause for a lawsuit.
Are there any outside circumstances to consider?
It's a good idea to look at all the circumstances surrounding the injury, because the court will definitely consider everything. Even if the hotel was negligent, your case may not win if you were also in the wrong. For example, if you were intoxicated and fell, or were horsing around when you slipped, the court may decide that you are fully or partially to blame for the injuries. Navigating these potential pitfalls is one of the reasons why you should contact a personal injury attorney, such as Putnam Lieb, right away.