Broken bones, head injuries, cuts and sprains are often the result of slip/trip and fall incidents in hotels. Defective stairs, worn carpeting, uneven flooring, icy walkways, spilled beverages and many other hazards can cause a guest to stumble and fall.
A hotel has a general duty to exercise reasonable care in operating its business and protecting guests. A hotel guest, considered an “invitee” under premises liability law, is legally entitled to a high level of protection. A hotel must inspect the hotel grounds and maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. This duty includes repairing dangerous conditions and taking affirmative steps to protect guests from known or reasonably discoverable hazards. Common hotel duties include a duty to maintain adequate lighting, a duty to maintain steps and stairs, and a duty to repair problems with hotel property, furniture, and equipment.
The rights to safety and security at a hotel are not limited to the guest’s room. The hotel’s obligation to protect guests extends to common areas including:
- Parking lot, walkways and staircases
- Meeting rooms and banquet halls
- Swimming pools
- Public restrooms
- Fitness areas
What to Do if You Fall
If you have fallen at a hotel or resort, be sure to follow these steps to preserve your claim:
- Let someone know. Soon after the fall, ask for a manager and inform them that you fell. You should request that an incident report be created and provided to you. Be careful to only provide necessary details and avoid saying you were distracted or not looking where you were stepping.
- Document the scene. Take pictures of the area where you fell and the hazard that caused you to fall. Take multiple pictures from multiple angles to show that you were not properly warned of the hazard.
- Get witness information. If someone saw you fall or helped you after the fall, ask for their contact information. Get the witness’ full name and best phone number. Thank them for their help and let them know that you will likely be calling them about the fall.
- Seek medical attention. If you are seriously injured, call for help and request that an ambulance come to assist. Do not attempt to get up on your own or with the assistance of a non-medical professional as your injuries could be made worse. If you do not believe an ambulance is necessary, be sure to go to an Emergency Room or Urgent Care, as symptoms of injury often appear in the days after the fall.
- Seek legal representation. Slip and fall cases are complex, you should contact an attorney with significant experience with this type of case as soon as possible. Be sure to provide your attorney with the incident report, photographs, and witness information from the scene.
If you are injured in a slip/trip and fall at a hotel, you should seek medical attention immediately, notify the owner or manager of the hotel and request a written incident report. If possible, take photographs of the injury scene and get the names of any witnesses to the fall. Then, contact one of the experienced injury lawyers at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.