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Hotel Accidents: When A Home Away From Home Hurts Guests

Hotels and motels are supposed to be a “home away from home”, a place where anyone who is traveling while on vacation or for work can keep their things, relax and sleep. Given that the average hotel room in the United States is $121, it’s hardly surprising that guests have certain expectations, usually that the room is clean, complimentary tea and coffee be available, and room service.  What is also expected, although typically subconsciously, is that guests are staying in a safe environment and that they won’t become injured during their stay.

Unfortunately for thousands, hotel accidents are frequent and in most cases result in injury.

Our vacation accident attorneys can answer any questions you may have if you or someone you love has suffered an injury on vacation. 

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The Most Common Causes Of Injuries

Under premises liability laws, hotel owners and managers are responsible for doing everything in their power to keep guests safe. Yet time and time again, preventable accidents occur seriously injuring guests. The most common types of accidents include:

Slip & Fall

Yes, people fall down all the time and are able to get back up, dust themselves off, and move on. But that’s not always the case. As shocking as it may be, a fall from a standing position can cause serious injuries like spinal trauma, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones. When the responsible party hasn’t properly maintained the premises, hazards cause slip and fall accidents.

slip and fall injuries in hotels


Violent Attacks

Anyone who is traveling, whether on vacation or for business, is a target for criminals. Broken locks on doors and windows grant easy access to a room where not only are guests frequently robbed, but they are also often physically assaulted, leaving them with physical and emotional trauma.

violent attacks in hotels

Pool Accidents

According to the CDC, the number one cause of unintentional death in children is drowning. It’s not just children that are at risk – even adults that know how to swim can be seriously injured in a pool or hot tub.

Pool Injuries


Furniture Collapse

It might sound silly, but worn out furniture can be dangerous and hotel staff rarely check or replace it. If a guest sits down and the chair, couch, cot, or bed collapses, the injuries sustained can be quite serious.

Fitness Center Accidents

Being healthy and getting exercise is becoming more and more important to all Americans, which is why many hotels now include a fitness center. Just like with every other area of the hotel, regular safety checks and the repair or replacement of broken machines is expected so that guests are kept safe.

These are just a few ways in which a guest may become injured while staying at a hotel, however, the outcome is often the same: the victim of one of these is left with injuries that alter their ability to do their job and change the way they live.

How Can A Victim Obtain Compensation?

The first thing that is important for victims to know is that they should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Hotel officials can be very quick to dispose of any evidence that may support a victim’s claim, like deciding to replace defective locks, gym equipment, or flooring, or even going so far as to “lose” security footage in an attempt to protect themselves.

In addition to this, immediately after the accident the victim should:

  • Take as many photographs as possible of the location and any hazards that contributed to their injury.
  • Seek medical attention and obtain a copy of the doctor’s report.
  • Collect the names, phone numbers, and addresses of anyone who witnessed the accident.
  • Inform the hotel of what happened and file an injury report with them. Keep a copy.

If you need assistance with collecting any of this information, a New York hotel accident attorney can help you.

After reviewing the case, your legal team will inform you of all your legal options. In most cases, the victim is able to file a hotel accident lawsuit.

Lawsuits Provide Relief

It’s hard to image filing a lawsuit if you’ve never been in a situation where you need to before. But as many plaintiffs learn, it’s frequently the only way that the injured party is able to get the monetary compensation they need to simply pay for medical bills. However, this isn’t the form of coverage available – a settlement or verdict can compensate a plaintiff for their lost wages, physical trauma, and even emotional turmoil in some cases.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Approached With A Settlement?

It is not uncommon for a representative from the hotel or their legal team to contact an injured guest with an offer to pay them a lump sum. While it might be tempting to accept, the best way to handle this situation is to have the offer reviewed by an attorney. In many cases, the offer is much smaller than it should be and won’t even begin to cover the cost of medical care for the guest, however, once an agreement is signed, the guest may not be able to file for further compensation.

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