Hotel & Resort Accident & Injury Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale

When we go out of town, we expect hotels to provide us with a safe, comfortable place to stay. Unfortunately, many hotel guests are involved in accidents that would not have occurred if supervisors, property owners, and other employees did their jobs properly. A Fort Lauderdale hotel & resort accident & injury lawyer knows how traumatic hotel and resort accidents can be.

Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. will help evaluate your case and help you come up with an effective course of action. Call to learn more: 954-524-2820.

What causes a hotel injury?

Hotels serve as a temporary home away from home for families while they are on vacation and business professionals traveling for work. Hotel management and staff are responsible for making sure their guests have an enjoyable stay. Despite this, guests can suffer a variety of injuries while on hotel property. Some of these injuries result from:

  • Broken furniture: Many hotels continue to use old, broken down furniture, even when it is no longer safe to use.
  • Food poisoning: Many hotels provide room service and have restaurants inside the building. Unsanitary conditions, undercooked food, and failure to adhere to food safety regulations can lead to food poisoning.
  • Elevator accidents: If an elevator malfunctions, it can trap or injure guests.
  • Lack of hotel security: Hotels are responsible for providing guests with adequate security. Guests can be victims of assault by outsiders or other guests if the hotel did not provide adequate protection.
  • Hot water or defective products: When hot water thermostats are set too high, guests can suffer burns when taking a shower. Defective irons may also cause burns.
  • Unclean rooms: When mattresses, bedding, and furniture are not clean, bed bugs can take over. As a result, guests can suffer painful skin blisters or even contract diseases. Many guests end up taking the bed bugs with them in their luggage, causing additional problems once they get home.
  • Slip and falls: Uneven flooring, worn carpeting, and other dangerous property conditions can cause guests to slip and fall and suffer injury.
  • Swimming pool injuries: Many hotels have indoor and outdoor pools for their guests to enjoy. The areas surrounding the pool can get slippery and cause guests to fall and hit their heads on hard surfaces. If there is no lifeguard on duty, guests can drown or suffer a near-drowning.

Injuries Suffered in Hotel Accidents

Because there are so many types of hotel accidents, the possible injuries are endless. Here are some of the most common injuries that occur:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (ranging from mild concussions to severe brain damage)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Blisters
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Disfigurement
  • Paralysis
  • Broken bones

What should I do if I have been injured at a hotel?

When a person is injured on another’s person property, s/he may be able to file a premises liability suit against the property owner and other individuals responsible for maintaining the property. Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3)(a), accident victims have four years from the date of the accident to file suit to recover damages. Failure to file your suit in time will bar you from recovering damages.

 This might seem like a long time, but determining the severity of your injuries, gathering evidence, building your case, and negotiating with insurers can take years.

 Proving Your Case

The status of the guest will determine how much responsibility the property owner had to protect the guest from dangerous property conditions. Guests typically fall under one of the following categories:

  • Invitees: Property owners invite people on to the property for a business-related purpose.
  • Trespassers: Trespassers are people that enter a property without permission from the property owner.
  • Licensees: Licensees have the owner’s permission to be on the property but they are only there for their own purposes, e.g., going into the lobby to use the restroom.
  • Social guests: The property owner invites these guests onto the property, not for a business-related purpose.

Hotel guests are invitees, as the property owners invited them on to the property for a specific business purpose. The law holds property owners to a high standard of care when it comes to making the property safe for guests. Property owners must exercise reasonable care and take reasonable measures to ensure an invitee’s safety.

Note: In some cases, someone staying at the hotel will actually be trespassing. This occurs when an extra person that management does not know about stays in a hotel room (e.g., you claim four people are staying in your room, you bring five).

To establish that the property owners are liable for your injuries, you will need to prove:

  • Duty: You must show that the hotel had a legal duty to protect you from reasonably foreseeable harm, i.e., something the supervisor should have been aware of.
  • Breach of duty: You must show that the defendant breached his/her duty to you by acting negligently. We gather evidence, such as incident reports from the hotel, medical records, patient transfer reports, witness testimony, photos, and video to help prove a breach of duty.
  • Causation: You will need to establish that the hotel manager’s negligence resulted in your injury. Testimony from an accident reconstructionist can help prove causation.
  • Lastly, you will need to show that you suffered injury with medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

If you can prove that the hotel managers were negligent, you will be able to recover compensation for your accident-related losses.

Damages Available

In a premises liability case, you may recover both economic and noneconomic damages. Both types of damages help victims get back on their feet after a hotel accident.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover injuries with a documented dollar amount. Some common economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future economic losses

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages include damages that do not have a set dollar amount. These damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

We commonly work with experts in the medical, vocational, and financial fields to determine an adequate settlement amount for your injuries.

Premises liability cases can involve complex aspects of the law. It can be difficult to build your case and value your damages while you are recovering from your injury. The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can investigate your claim and give you the best chance possible to recover the damages you deserve.

Call us to file your premises liability claim today: 954-524-2820.