Injured In A Hotel Accident? Here’s What You Need to Know
Hundreds of guests and workers are injured in hotels every year due to poor maintenance and safety standards.
Negligence can turn a 5-star hotel into a one-star hotel overnight, ruining your vacation or business trip.
If you’re a guest, visitor, or worker who faced damages or injuries in a hotel, then you’re a victim of their negligence. You have the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries, property loss, lost wages, or any other damages you’ve suffered.
Hotel and Motel Owner/Manager Responsibility for Safety
You know how much effort it takes to clean and organize a small apartment. Multiply that effort by 100. That’s how hard it is manage a hotel with several rooms and common areas.
A little negligence can turn a safe space into an injury magnet.
Here are some common safety hazards in hotels and motels that leads to the most injuries:
- Swimming pools – A slippery pool deck can lead to a devastating slip and fall injury. Unclean or contaminated pools can make guests fall ill. Lack of lifeguards can further increase the risk of guests drowning.
- Flooring and stairs – Slippery or uneven floors, damaged carpets, debris, and unsafe stairs without guardrails can easily cause a slip and fall injury.
- Unsafe interiors – Old or poor-quality furniture, fittings, and appliances are another common cause of hotel injuries.
- Pests – Cockroaches, bed bugs, rats, ticks, spiders, and centipedes may often invade poorly maintained hotels. They can contaminate your food, bite you, and leave you anxious throughout the night.
- Assaults and Theft – A hotel without good security and a reliable staff can turn into a criminal hotspot. You may get assaulted or your cash, credit cards, and jewelry may get stolen by someone breaking into your room.
- Burns – It’s common to hear about burn injuries through faulty geysers, thermostats, heaters, and irons in the room.
Here’s a look at some of the essential duties hotel management must take care of to avoid such disasters:
- Providing quick emergency response, room delivery, and cleaning services
- Conduct regular safety inspections of hotel property and schedule repair and renovations whenever necessary
- Hiring reliable security services and hotel staff to support them
- Replacing any defective appliances
- Training staff to provide first aid and prevent injuries
- Providing proper lighting
- Scheduling regular pest control
- Providing a safe parking area
It’s not just a standard of service we’re talking about here. It’s a duty of care legally owed to you from the very moment you set foot into the hotel premises.
It’s the hotel owner and management’s duty to provide a safe environment for guests and workers. And you can hold them liable if you can prove they neglected this duty of care led to your injuries and damages.
Legal Rights of Guests and Visitors
You can file a premises liability claim against the hotel to seek damages for the injuries and losses you suffered on their property. But you should only do it if you can convincingly prove:
- You were legally on the hotel premises and the management owed you a duty of care
- The hotel owner or management showed negligence in fulfilling this duty of care
- The breach of this duty was the prime cause of your injuries and damages
Don’t worry! Fighting for your rights doesn’t mean you’ll have to jump into a long and expensive court battle. Nearly 95% of personal injury cases get settled without ever going to trial.
You’ll basically be making your case to the hotel’s insurance company to justify your compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies put profits before payouts. They’ll do whatever it takes to minimize your payout through confusing paperwork and biased negotiations.
Their agents are trained to manipulate you to escape liability and trick you into getting less than what you deserve. Sometimes, they may intimidate you by denying your claim altogether.
This is why it pays to hire an experienced Atlanta hotel injury lawyer who knows how to protect your rights and secure your compensation.
They will ensure you get exactly what you deserve for damages like:
- Medical bills
- Property damage or loss
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Steps to Take to Strengthen Your Personal Injury Claim
The hotel management’s negligence is not an excuse for you to ignore personal responsibility for your well-being. You obviously won’t have a lawyer by your side at the time of injury. You’ll be hurt, confused, and stressed. And it’s easy to make mistakes like ignoring the scene of accident and accidentally admitting liability in this state of mind.
Your evidence determines your compensation package. Some of the strongest evidence is only present at the moment of accident. It may be taken away or fixed by the hotel management once you’re gone.
So if you let it slide, you’re unknowingly compromising your compensation.
Here are some important steps you must take immediately after a hotel injury to strengthen your claim:
- Report the basic details incident to the hotel management without going into any discussions about liability.
- Take pictures and videos of the scene of accident. You’ll be able to capture any defects or damages that led to the incident.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Collect eyewitness statements and contact details.
- Request for hotel surveillance footage capturing the incident.
- Keep a verifiable record of all medical reports, expenses, and damages.
- Hire an experienced Atlanta hotel injury lawyer to handle all legal and insurance burden while you peacefully recover.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common causes of injuries in hotels and motels?
Here are the most common causes of injuries in hotels and motels:
- Flooring issues – slippery pool decks, wet floors, uneven tiling, damaged stairs, worn out carpets
- Broken furniture
- Old or defective appliances
- Faulty wiring
- Elevator malfunctions
- Unsecure handrails
- Food contamination
- Improper lighting
- Lack of warning signs
- Poor security measures
What types of damages can be recovered in a lawsuit against a hotel or motel?
Here are the type of damages you can file a claim for if you’ve been injured in a hotel or motel:
- Past and projected medical expenses
- Physical rehab
- Lost earnings/future loss of earnings
- Property damages
- Mental anguish
- Scarring or disabilities
- Loss of consortium
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim against a hotel or motel?
Under Georgia law, you must file a personal injury claim against a hotel or motel within two years of the incident. If you fail to take legal action against them within this deadline, you give up your right to seek compensation from them.
However, there are exceptions for victims who were either minors or mentally impaired at the time of the accident.
How can a hotel injury lawyer help me pursue a personal injury claim?
Did you know people who hire a personal injury lawyer end up getting three times more compensation than they would get without any legal representation?
That’s because an experienced hotel injury lawyer has in-depth knowledge about premises liability laws and insurance tricks.
They know how to identify which parties are liable, what kind of evidence, and how to gather it to kick off your claim on the right note.
The hotel’s insurance agents and lawyers won’t be able to play games with them during negotiations.
Eventually, both parties will be more motivated to come to a fast and fair settlement. And if the liable party still wants to play hardball, your lawyer will take your case to trial to win your settlement.
At Murphy & Associates, you can hire us on a contingency fee basis. Basically, you don’t have to pay us a dime unless we win.
From filing your claim to winning your settlement, we’ll take care of every step along the way. You just focus on recovering with your loved ones.
Call us today for a FREE case review to know what your hotel injury case is worth.