When is a Hotel Liable in a Personal Injury Claim?
Traveling to another state and/or staying in some of the most famous resorts and hotels in the world. Millions of people head to Las Vegas or Phoenix for enjoyment, relaxation and/or business. With so many people heading in and out of those hotels, there are bound to be injuries. If you’ve been injured at one of these establishments, then it’s important to understand your rights and what the responsibilities of the hotel or resort are. Here is a guide to help you understand when a hotel is liable in a personal injury claim.
There are hazards all over resorts and hotels. As a guest who is most likely unfamiliar with the premises, you should be vigilant about any dangers. However, the hotel also has a responsibility to make sure that guests are always notified of any potential hazards, and provide reasonable protection against them.
Under premises liability law, guests and visitors to a resort or hotel are classified as “invitees.” People under this classification are afforded a standard duty of care from the hotel. To meet these standards, hotel owners and operators must demonstrate that they have taken certain actions. These include following all applicable building and safety codes, regularly inspecting the premises to find potential hazards, fixing those issues immediately, providing adequate security, and warning guests of hazards through signage and other means.
When Can a Hotel Be Liable?
There are certain things that a plaintiff must prove to show that the hotel, or defendant, is liable for the injury that was suffered. In order for a hotel to be responsible for a visitor’s injuries they have to be aware or should have been aware of the potential hazard on their property. More of an analysis is required than just being injured on their property. This is when a great injury attorney can help you understand and analyze your case and the elements required to prove the liability of the hotel.
The Defendant is the Owner of the Property on Which the Accident Occurred
In some cases, there might be a question as to whether the injury actually occurred on hotel property. The plaintiff must prove ownership through property records, deeds, lease records, or other documentation.
The Plaintiff Was Allowed to be There
A plaintiff can’t simply walk onto a property, get injured, and file for damages. They have to show that they were permitted to be on the premises by the owner. In the case of guests, they are considered to be allowed just by being paying customers. However, there are other people who may be on a hotel premises who are not paying guests. This can include health care workers, repair workers, mail carriers, and any number of people. These people will require other evidence, such as proof of employment, service contracts, and other documentation.
The Owner Allowed Dangerous Conditions
Dangerous conditions can mean many things. It could be slippery floors, structures that are not up to code, leaking gas, exposed wires, and even an insufficiently protected pool. To prove there were dangerous conditions, the plaintiff may need eyewitnesses, video evidence, or anything that shows there was a dangerous situation that was not adequately dealt with by the hotel.
The Defendant’s Injury Was Caused By The Dangerous Conditions
It’s not enough that there was a slippery floor and that the defendant suffered injuries consistent with slipping and falling. There must be proof that the defendant slipped on that wet floor. Again, this evidence could include video, photos, or eyewitness accounts.
If these conditions are met, then the defendant has a good chance of being successful with their claim.
What happens when the person who is injured is not an “invitee” and is not welcome on the property? In that case, it’s not so simple. In general, the hotel owner is not responsible for people who come onto their property uninvited except in certain situations. For one, they cannot deliberately injure the trespasser. They also cannot allow the trespasser to get hurt by an unsafe condition that they knew was present. Lastly, if the trespasser is a child, they must treat them with the same duty of care as an invitee.
There are several categories of damages for which a defendant can sue. Suing for damages means attempting to get compensation for the injuries the plaintiff has suffered. These can include compensation for medical bills, such as doctors and medication. A defendant can also ask for compensation for lost wages, and future lost wages. This means they can ask for the wages they’ve lost while off work recovering, and also for any future wages that they will lose because of injury. They can also recover for any type of disfigurement or scaring. Changes in their enjoyment of life which are things they cannot do due to their injuries such as hobbies, sports playing with the kids etc. Lastly, they can also claim for pain and any emotional suffering they may have endured.
If you have been injured in a hotel whether you are a guest, a visitor, or on the premises for work, you may be eligible for compensation. To make sure that your rights are protected and to get your best result possible, call Lloyd Baker Injury Attorneys at 702-444-2222 if in Las Vegas, NV, or 602-265-5555 if in Phoenix, AZ. We offer a free consultation, and we do not take a fee until you get paid.