Millions of tourists flock to Florida each year, seeking sunshine, beaches, and adventures in some of the world’s most beloved theme parks. After a day spent swimming with dolphins and riding roller coasters, vacationers head to their hotel for rest and relaxation.
Once vacationers are back amid the fluffy pillows, sleek décor, and luxurious facilities of their hotels, few imagine that they are in danger of injury and harm. However, while most hotels are designed to provide guests with a secure, restful, and comfortable experience, accidents and injuries do happen frequently on the premises of Florida hotels.
Hotels have a responsibility to protect their guests and visitors. Under Florida law, hotel owners and operators must keep the hotel premises—including rooms, lobbies, spas, pools, and restaurants—in safe condition. When hotel management fails to live up to this standard, accidents and injuries can occur.
Below, we’ve listed some of the most common accidents that occur because of dangerous conditions or staff negligence in a hotel.
Slip-and-falls. Hotel owners have a responsibility to maintain the safety of all walkways and eliminate dangerous conditions. Wet floors, worn carpeting, and cracked and uneven flooring can cause slip-and-fall accidents. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous in pool areas, where falling guests may hit their head on concrete and suffer traumatic brain injury.
Food poisoning. Unrefrigerated, under-cooked, and contaminated ingredients can poison room service and hotel restaurant dishes. Hotel operators have a duty to comply with approved food handling and sanitation measures to avoid transferring harmful bacteria to their guests.
Bedbug bites. When hotels do not maintain the cleanliness of mattresses, pillows, and furniture, the likelihood of a bedbug infestation increases. In the event of infestation, hotels have a responsibility to employ proper pest control measures. If they fail to eradicate bedbugs, hotel guests may suffer painful bites, and could unknowingly carry bedbugs home with them in their clothes and luggage. Once bedbugs infest a private home, it can be incredibly expensive to eradicate them.
Drowning. Drownings and other swimming pool accidents may occur in hotel pools if management fails to train staff to prevent such disasters, and if pool, hot tub, and waterslide conditions are unsafe.
Burns. There are a variety of unsafe conditions that can cause burns for hotel guests, including water thermostats that are set to high and broken irons.
Assaults. Guests often drop their guard and relax in hotels, making them more vulnerable targets for violent crimes such as assault and robberies. Hotel owners endanger their guests if there are inadequate security issues in their hotels, such as insufficient lighting, faulty locks, and a lack of security cameras and staff.
Holding a Hotel Accountable
Under Florida law, hotels may be held liable if you were injured or harmed in any way due to unsafe conditions. However, you bear the legal burden of proof to demonstrate that the hotel knew or should have known of the condition and fixed it. For instance, if you can show that the hotel neglected to recognize a dangerous condition because management failed to appropriately maintain and inspect the premises, the hotel may be held liable for any injuries you suffer as a result
To successfully hold a hotel accountable for your injury in a personal injury claim, you must meet the burden of proof by showing sufficient evidence. That’s why it’s important to take the appropriate steps after falling victim to an injury at a hotel.
Alert the hotel. Contact the hotel manager as soon as possible to alert them of your injury and the dangerous condition. This way, they can secure medical assistance for you and address the danger to prevent harm to other guests.
Seek medical attention. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Prompt medical treatment is important for your physical well-being and the strength of your case, and medical records will provide valuable evidence of the harm you suffered. Whenever possible, secure copies of medical bills, prescription receipts, and other treatment-related costs.
Contact an attorney. It can be difficult to hold a hotel liable for your injury, even if it was caused by blatant negligence. Hotels are often owned by large, multinational corporations and backed by a team of top lawyers. That’s why it’s important to enlist the aid of your own attorney, ideally one who is experienced in Florida hotel injury cases. An experienced attorney will understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws, and gather evidence, find witnesses, and file an insurance claim. And if it becomes necessary to court, your lawyer can fight to for your right to be compensated for medical costs, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 15-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Although parking lot crashes are rarely high-speed, they do happen – a lot of them. Moreover, parking lot accidents often result in expensive repair bills and insurance increases. A parking lot crash can also cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially if pedestrians are involved. Below we’re going to break down how parking lot auto [..]
Consumer products regulations ensure that most products on the market are safe for their intended use. However, some consumer products companies push the boundaries of regulations or cut corners in the design or manufacturing process, which can lead to dangerous defective products reaching US consumers. When consumers are injured by a defective product, it may [..]
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence, and it can take many different forms. For example, it may be based on a negligent action that the doctor took, or conversely, on something the doctor failed to do. However, in order to successfully hold a doctor liable for medical malpractice, you must be able [..]
Florida policyholders purchase insurance and pay premiums with the understanding that – should disaster strike – their insurer will pay out damages to compensate for losses covered in the policy. That’s the whole point of insurance! Paying out covered damages is considered to be acting in good faith on the part of the insurance company. [..]
As your teen approaches their 15th birthday, they have an exciting opportunity – the ability to get their learner’s permit. The Florida learner’s permit allows residents to start the journey toward driving – and freedom! However, in the immortal words of Uncle Ben from Spiderman (say it with us), “With great power comes great responsibility.” [..]
As a parent, you care about your child and you look out for their well-being. However, you may not be aware of which types of injuries occur the most often for Florida kids, and that’s something that can be the difference between avoiding an accident and spending time in the hospital. Children are treated every [..]
The holidays are just around the corner, and many Floridians are looking forward to getting into the holiday spirit with colorful decorations and fun family activities. However, the holidays also carry an increased risk of many kinds of injuries. On their own, holiday decorations are responsible for about 15,000 injuries annually. You probably know to [..]
Not sure which car seat is right for your child? You have an important job as a parent—providing a safe experience for your child while he or she is riding in a vehicle. Thousands of children are injured or killed in Florida car crashes each year, and the right car seat can protect your child [..]
Haunted houses are supposed to be scary. You want to jump. You want to scream. You want to be nervous about turning the next corner. What do you not want? To get hurt. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to a Michigan woman in 2014. She visited the haunted house as a patron, and a moving [..]
Every day, Florida pedestrians are injured by car drivers. Some injuries are minor, yet some can be life-threatening. In this post, we’ll tell you the types of injuries you can expect if you get hit by a car, and what you can do to fight back and get the compensation you need and deserve. Stats [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
The recent death of a Tampa couple is an example of what might have been a potential product liability lawsuit had they lived. On Thanksgiving Day, Kevin and Michelle Livingston were traveling home from a visit to south Florida. Reports indicate that their sport utility vehicle drove into the waters of a canal along [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.