Whether you’re spending a weekend in Manhattan to catch a couple of Broadway shows or a few days at a nearby ski resort, you don’t want your vacation ruined by a nasty fall in the lobby, a closet shelf falling on you in your room or a break-in because your door didn’t close securely. These things and worse can happen in even the best hotels and resorts if they’re not properly maintained or the staff is negligent.
The hospitality industry has had a rough couple of years. However, even if a hotel has a shortage of employees, that’s no excuse for leaving potentially dangerous conditions unattended or compromising guests’ security.
If you suffer an injury on a hotel property, can you hold them liable? It depends.
As with any premises liability claim, you need to show that the property owners (or their employees) knew or at least should have been aware of a potential hazard yet did nothing about it. If that was the case, most likely, they were negligent.
The elements of negligence
A plaintiff who claims negligence by a property owner needs to show that:
- They had a duty of care to those visiting the property.
- They breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused harm or injury to the plaintiff.
For example, if the lobby floor had some missing tiles that hadn’t yet been replaced, the hotel would likely have an obligation to place some type of cordon and/or signage around them. If they didn’t, and someone trips and falls, they could probably show all the necessary elements of negligence.
Each case is unique, of course. If you believe that your injuries were caused by the negligence of those responsible for the property where you suffered those injuries, it’s wise to find out whether you have a case.