What You Need to Know if You Slip and Fall at a Hotel
If you are injured during a slip and fall accident at a hotel, you could encounter lost wages due to your inability to work, mounting medical bills, and ongoing pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it may be necessary for you to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims will help cover the cost of your medical expenses and provide compensation for your pain and suffering.
While slip and fall accidents are exactly as the name implies, accidents, someone is liable for these. The majority could be avoided if the proper precautions are taken to address the issue and make the area safe for visitors. It is the responsibility of the hotel management to ensure staff are up to speed and any hazards are immediately cleaned up or addressed for safety reasons.
Potential Slip and Fall Hazards in Hotels
In a hotel, you may slip and fall on an area rug, water that has been tracked in on the shoes of employees and guests, a leak spilling out into the hallway from the ice machine in the vending area, or a drink that has been spilled onto the floor in the hallway or lobby. All of these causes could have been prevented if the hotel staff had been attentive and cleaned up the area quickly and efficiently.
Hotels must also adhere to building codes and make sure all of the proper safety features have been properly placed, such as hand railings, the grade of ramps, the design and railing on balconies, and the area around swimming pools. Operating a hotel comes with significant responsibilities. If the hotel staff fails to give these things adequate attention, they could be considered negligent and liable for any injuries.
How Much is Your Slip and Fall Claim Worth at a Hotel?
Slipping and falling are common occurrences in a hotel and can lead to serious debilitating injuries, depending how you fall and whether you hit an object that causes serious injury. As long as the slip and fall injury was not your fault and you have the evidence to prove it you can file a personal injury claim to cover the following:
- the cost of your medical treatment now and into the future;
- loss of income from the date of the accident until you can return to work
- difference in earning capacity before the accident and after it if you cannot return to your last job;
- an amount for pain and suffering calculated on how the slip and fall injury has affected your life.
Guest at California Hotel Wins $38.6 Million Judgment
Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, and such was the case in an accident at a Newport Beach hotel in California. In Von Normann vs. Newport Channel Inn, a guest allegedly fell over the railing for a second story walkway and landed on the parking lot below suffering brain damage and other catastrophic personal injuries. The evidence presented during the case alleged that the railing was in violation of building codes because it was less than three feet tall.
While the hotel’s attorneys alleged that the guest’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at the time of his accident, the plaintiff’s attorneys argued that his intoxication was nothing in comparison to the negligence in the design of the railing. The jury ruled that the guest was 15% at fault for being intoxicated, but the hotel was 85% at fault for the faulty and negligent railing design. At the trial’s conclusion, the jury ruled to award the multi-million-dollar judgement to the injured individual.
Real Life Example of a Slip and Fall in a Hotel
A 60 year old woman suffered a slip and fall while dining in a hotel restaurant in Los Angeles. The dinner was a buffet style and when the woman was walking back to her table she slipped and fell on a slippery product on the floor that had not been cleaned up. The slip and fall caused an injury to her neck, right leg and back. This resulted in ongoing discomfort and pain which affected her ability to undertake basic everyday tasks.
The constant stiffness and pain also prevented her from sleeping for several weeks. She was unable to drive so had to depend on others to help her and the pain prevented her from going to work for 10 weeks. Medical treatment required involved physical therapy over the 10 week period and the need to take painkillers to relieve the ongoing pain.
Because the woman had suffered so much she decided to file a personal injury claim against the hotel. Her PI lawyer determined that it would be possible to win a successful PI claim. This was based on her doctor’s report and that there was sufficient evidence to prove the slip and fall accident was caused by negligence of the hotel as it is required to provide a safe environment for patrons to use without the fear of being injured.
Calculation of Personal Injury Claim
Ambulance = $1,000
Emergency room consultation = $300
2 x-rays = $300
Ibuprofen = $200
10 Physical therapy sessions at $300 each = $3,000
Doctor’s report = $200
Loss of Earnings
10 weeks at $1,000 per week = $8,000
Pain and Suffering
As the woman was able to return to work after 10 weeks, her pain and suffering was not calculated by the maximum multiplier of her economic damages which is x 5 but the x3 multiplier was used.
Economic damages are $13,000 x 3 = $39,000
Total Worker’s Compensation = $130,000 + $39,000= $52,000
In order to receive the maximum amount in a slip and fall claim it is important to get a personal injury to help you through the process.
Did You Slip and Fall at a Hotel?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at a hotel, an attorney can help you determine if a personal injury claim should be filed on your behalf. A personal injury attorney can ensure your rights are protected while working to make sure any medical expenses are covered and ensuring you are fairly compensated for your pain and suffering that has resulted from the slip and fall.