Slip-and-Fall Injuries at a Hotel
As a home-away-from-home, most people tend to expect a lot from a hotel. However, no matter what other amenities are offered, basic necessities like cleanliness, proper maintenance and safety should be the biggest concern for hotel owners, employees and guests.
Sadly, not all hotels are kept up to safety standards. Carpets become damaged by natural wear and tear, floor tiles deteriorate, and showers and bathtubs are not equipped to prevent slips and falls.
Slip-and-fall accidents can have a sudden, devastating effect on the lives of the victims and those closest to them. Often, these victims must cope with pain, frequent doctor’s visits, hospital stays, rehab and the decreased earning capacity that comes with lost work time.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, they may be responsible, and you could be entitled to compensation.
Accidents often happen, but sometimes they could have been prevented and are the result of someone’s negligence. If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall because of the hotel’s negligence, you can pursue a personal injury claim against them to recover compensation for your damages.
Maintaining evidence and documentation is essential to the success of your claim and can help you prove negligence was the cause of your injuries.
There are four elements of negligence. To succeed with your personal injury claim, you must show that all four elements of negligence existed in the premises liability situation that caused your slip and fall.
The first element of negligence is showing the hotel owed you a duty or a responsibility, the second element is showing that they breached that duty, the third element is to show that the breach of duty caused your fall, and then lastly, prove that the fall caused by the breach of duty led to your damages.
If you slip and fall at a hotel, you should notify an employee right away. A manager or human resources representative must complete an accident report that details what happened, how it happened, and when it happened.
If you are physically able to do so, get photos of the accident scene. These photos could be very beneficial and help show where you fell, how you fell, and when you fell. If there are surveillance cameras in the vicinity that captured your fall that could be very helpful with your claim as well.
It is imperative to establish medical care right away. If you delay medical treatment, it will become difficult to prove that the injuries were directly from the slip and fall.
Keep copies of medical records and medical bills as well as copies of any medical excuses and proof of missed work and lost wages. Documentation is essential to proving your case and showing that negligence was the cause of your slip and fall and that fall caused your injuries.
When you pursue a claim, you will need the accident report, witness statements, medical records, medical bills, pertinent photos and/or videos, and proof of missed work and documentation.
The more supporting evidence you have, the more likely you are to have a successful personal injury claim after a slip and fall. Remember to start preserving evidence starting the day of the accident so you can get on the right path to recovering a fair settlement for your damages.
- Ripped and torn carpet or damaged floors in the guest rooms, hallways, lobby, vending areas, laundry areas, pool, restaurant and other public areas in the hotel
- Bathtubs that have not been equipped with mats to prevent slipping
- Damaged furniture that could lead to injury with use, such as a broken chair leg
- Housekeeping items left carelessly in the hallway, such as soap
- Failure to remove snow, ice and excessive water from parking lot and other outdoor areas in regions of the country that experience inclement weather
- Failure to ensure lobby and other tile floors are dry and free of debris
- Food or drink spills left from either staff or other hotel visitors
you can get on the right path to recovering a fair settlement for your damages.
How Long To File A Slip And Fall Case Against a Hotel
When you are injured in a slip and fall, it is important to gather up as much evidence and supporting documentation as possible right away. It will become more difficult to find supporting evidence later. Also, jot down notes while the incident is fresh in your memory and while you can recall the specific details of the slip and fall.
Depending on the state where the hotel or motel located, the statute of limitations could range from one year to three years. If you don’t get your claim underway during that time, you will lose your opportunity to recover compensation and cannot pursue a claim.
You should make sure you talk with a personal injury lawyer who handles premises liability cases. With the help of an accident injury attorney, you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages.
Your lawyer will make sure your claim is filed in a timely manner and that all your evidence and documentation is gathered up and put together to show the cause of your accident and prove liability, show the damages that you suffered, determine the value of your claim, and prove that your slip and fall, was because of the hotel’s negligence.
When you get your claim underway, a demand letter will be sent to the hotel and their insurer. The demand letter will explain the accident, when and where it happened, why you believe the hotel is liable, list your damages, and include any evidence or supporting documentation that you have that will prove your case.
Evidence is essential to any personal injury case so you can show which damages you suffered and how those damages are associated with your slip and fall at the hotel. Also, by talking to a lawyer right away you can make sure that you get your claim on track and preserve all evidence in a timely fashion.
Real Life Examples
The Cook County Record reported a 2014 lawsuit in which a woman sued Holiday Inn, alleging that she hurt her hip after falling in a parking lot at one of its locations.
Specifically, the woman claimed she slipped on snow and ice in the hotel parking lot, injuring her hip. The plaintiff said hotel staff should have removed the snow and ice from the parking lot. She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
In a separate incident, a woman was awarded $24,000 in damages by a jury for a slip-and-fall accident that occurred at a Holiday Inn in October 1993. This plaintiff claimed she fell in a hotel shower after reacting to a change in water temperature and alleged that there was nothing on the shower floor to prevent her from slipping.
The woman suffered a hip injury as a result of her fall and vision problems related to a shower curtain ring that hit her when she fell.
Previous Hotel Slip and Fall Settlements and Compensation
There have been other claims against hotels for slip and fall cases. As an example, a claim was filed against the Holiday Inn in Louisiana when a guest fell in the shower after the water temperature increased suddenly in the shower. When the guest fell, she injured her left hip and a ring from the shower curtain fell and struck her in the eye causing a torn retina.
When her claim advanced to court, the accident victim was awarded $24,000 in damages. The hotel was found negligent because there were no anti-slip devices in the bathtub and that the presence of one may have prevented the accident. If you were injured in a slip and fall at any hotel, you should enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, you will not have pay anything out of pocket, that means that your attorney will not get paid until you win your case and get a settlement or a judgment for the damages that you suffered because of the slip and fall.
Most large hotel and motel chains are equipped with high-priced lawyers who are experts in defending personal injury claims. However, slip and fall victims should not let that get in the way of seeking compensation for their injuries.
Immediately contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you feel you deserve compensation for your injuries. A meeting with a lawyer will help you through the claims process and, in many cases, may agree not to be paid unless you win your case.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Holiday Inn, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.