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When can a hotel be sued for personal injury?

When you stay at a hotel or resort, you expect it to be a safe and comfortable experience. That is not always the case. Sometimes the conditions are merely unpleasant. But in many cases unexpected hazards create the condition for serious injury.

The owners and managers of these properties have a high duty -- a legal duty -- to your safety. If you are harmed because of their negligence, you may have grounds to sue.

Not-So-Hospitable Hospitality

Despite their vested interest in providing safety and security, some property owners do not keep their premises up to code and perform regular inspection and maintenance.

Common hotel and resort hazards include:

  • Slick entryways 
  • Slippery bathroom floors, tubs and showers
  • Electric shock hazards
  • Torn carpeting
  • Unsafe stairs
  • Poor lighting or broken lights
  • Bedbug infestations
  • Unsafe swimming pools
  • Insufficient security measures

All these conditions and circumstances can result in serious injuries during your stay. If you get hurt while staying at a hotel or resort, you may wonder if you can pursue a premises liability lawsuit. These entities can be liable for guest injuries. Here is what you should know if you ever think about suing the hotel. 

Proving a breach of duty

Hotels have certain duties to protect guests. These responsibilities include protecting privacy, providing reasonable security, maintaining safe premises, and warning guests of known safety and health hazards

In order to sue a hotel or resort for injury, you need to show that they were derelict in these duties, such as neglecting upkeep, violating building codes, or failing to respond to complaints of an unsafe condition

Cause of injury

If you can establish a breach of duty, you must next demonstrate that you suffered lasting harm and that the unsafe condition was the direct cause of your accident.  


Finally, as a victim of a hotel accident, you must have compensable damages to pursue a lawsuit. These recoverable damages may include lasting injury or disfigurement, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. 

What to do

If you believe you may have a case against the hotel, you can improve your chances of recovering compensation by:

  • Documenting the hazard or scene of the accident
  • Documenting your injuries
  • Obtaining contact information of witnesses
  • Seeking medical help and following up with treatment

The earlier you contact an attorney the better. Timely investigation can make or break a premises liability case. 

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