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Can Hotels be Held Responsible in a Personal Injury Claim?

Can Hotels be Held Responsible in a Personal Injury Claim?

It’s summertime, and many people will be going on vacations that will take them out of town. Picking a hotel usually is a matter of finding a place with a reputation for great service and, most importantly, cleanliness. We all reasonably expect that hotels should be tidy, safe, and well-maintained, but what if they aren’t? If you have suffered an injury at a hotel through the negligence of hotel management or staff, you could have grounds for a lawsuit in which they can be held liable for your injury.

In recent news, a woman who stayed at a Best Western hotel in Galveston, TX filed suit against Sky Light Equity Holdings, Inc. on the fifth of this month for personal injuries sustained by a rat bite (read the original news story here). The suit claims the hotel had a rat problem and that her injuries required extensive medical treatment. Her claim will hinge on proving that the hotel was negligent in maintaining a premises free of hazards.

In 2013 at another Best Western hotel in Rock Hill, NC, an elderly couple and an 11-year-old boy both died on two separate occasions in the same hotel room after asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning. It turned out that their room was one floor above the indoor swimming pool, which had a faulty pump that did not meet industry standards. The lack of adequate ventilation forced the poisonous gases to travel up into the room, which was not equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm. Read more about this story here.

Duty of Care for Hotel Guests

Hotels are responsible for protecting their guests, defined as “invitees” under premises liability law, by providing them with a safe, clean, and well-maintained premises. Invitees who do not receive this level of care can hold the hotel liable for any injuries they sustain due to unsafe conditions.

Examples of breaches of duty that can be committed by hotels include:

  • Failure to control an insect or rodent infestation
  • Failure to maintain proper security to avoid assault or theft on guests
  • Failure to exercise good judgment in hiring hotel staff members
  • Failure to properly train staff
  • Failure to maintain equipment such as elevators, stairs, swimming pools, and room locks

Additionally, hotels may be held liable under a legal theory called “vicarious liability,” which states that the hotel can be held responsible for the actions and conduct of its employees. Work together with a lawyer to determine if you have a case and explore your options for legal recourse.

Have you or a loved one been injured at a hotel? The Daspit Law Firm may be able to help. Contact a Victoria personal injury lawyer from our firm today to set up your free case evaluation.

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