Whether you travel for business or for pleasure, staying in a hotel should be thought of as a hospitable and welcoming “home away from home”.
If you slip and fall on the premises of a hotel, any injuries you sustain may qualify you for compensation from the owner of the hotel to make up for damages, including:
- Any medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Filing a personal injury claim can help you make up for any financial pains and help you receive the money you deserve.
Most cases of slip and fall accidents are premise liability cases. This means that the legal action is taken against the owner of the property where the accident took place.
To receive any type of damages from the owner of a hotel for your accident, you will need to prove that the hotel was negligent. In other words, the hotel owner failed to keep the property in a safe condition for guests.
Hotels have a responsibility to promptly clean up spills, post warning signs around any hazardous conditions, and maintain proper lighting, among other duties. Failing to maintain any of this upkeep could prove that the hotel is liable for your injuries.
For instance, during your stay, you visit the hotel restaurant. Another guest spills their beverage on the floor. You walk by a few minutes after the spill took place and slip and fall, breaking your foot.
For other kinds of properties, the owner of the property wouldn’t know about the spill and therefore wouldn’t likely be found negligent. Hotels are slightly different. Hotels have a responsibility to promptly clean up any spills for the protection of their guests, so they would most likely be held liable in this case.
Another example of negligence would be if the hotel owners had knowledge of a repeated issue of slippery floors at the hotel, such as in the hotel pool or by a coffee and breakfast area.
If the owner of the hotel knew that those areas were routinely wet and slippery but didn’t set any ordinances for cleaning or post warning signs, they would most likely be found negligent and have to pay you compensation for your injuries.
But, if the hotel was in the process of cleaning up a spill and had already put up a sign warning guests of the wet floor and you still slipped, your personal injury case would not be as strong, as the hotel was not negligent in maintaining a safe and clean premises.
You could also have demonstrated extreme carelessness, such as being very distracted or intoxicated while you slipped and fell, and in this case you could be found at fault for your accident and would not likely receive any damages.
Filing a personal injury claim against the owner of a hotel, whether a large, highly regarded hotel chain or a smaller hotel, is a complicated process. You may want find a personal injury lawyer who can help you prepare your claim correctly and determine what amount you should seek in damages.
A personal injury lawyer will also help you negotiate with the hotel owner’s insurance company, or even file a lawsuit against them if necessary.