New York Hotel Injury Attorneys
When you check into a hotel, you typically expect a pleasant stay, so it can be surprising and frustrating if you are injured due to the negligence of the hotel. However, you are entitled to a reasonable standard of care and hotels may be held liable for guest and employee injuries if they acted negligently. There are a number of components that are necessary to bring a successful personal injury claim against a hotel; if you were injured while staying at a hotel and believe it was the result of another party’s negligence, contact the premises liability lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy to discuss your case.
Determining if You Have a Hotel Accident Case
To hold a hotel responsible for your injuries, you will need to prove that the hotel was somehow negligent, and that their negligence contributed to causing your accident.
Premises Liability in Hotel Accidents
Hotels are subject to premises liability, a legal concept which states that owners of land and buildings can be found legally responsible for injuries that occur on their premises. Furthermore, property owners have an even greater responsibility to keep those that they invited to their property safe while they are on the premises. Hotel guests are considered “invitees,” meaning that they are included in this definition and hotel owners have a responsibility to keep them safe while they are on the premises.
According to these specific premises liability laws as they relate to personal injury, hotels are liable when someone is either injured on the hotel’s premises, or someone is injured by hotel property.
Hotels can only be found liable when the incident could have been prevented had the hotel acted differently with reasonable foreseeability, particularly in a way that is in line with industry standards.
To prove that the hotel was in fact negligent, it must be proven that the hotel did not properly fulfill its duty of care to an invited guest and that that guest was subsequently injured. The hotel failed to complete a reasonable action that the injured party claims was the cause of their injury. For example, if a guest slips on a wet floor and injures themselves because there was no “Wet Floor” sign, the hotel (or a hotel employee) failed to take the reasonable action of putting up the wet floor sign so that guests knew of the potential risk.
Types of Hotel Accidents
There are various ways that hotel accidents can occur. Examples of some types of accidents that can occur on hotel premises include, but are not limited to:
- Slip and Fall: The hotel did not clean or post a sign about a puddle of water and a guest slipped and fell, injuring themselves.
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents: The hotel did not properly inspect and/or maintain its elevators or escalators, and a guest was injured as a result; perhaps trapped between floors or injured because of a sudden stop while riding.
- Negligent Security: The hotel did not have proper security equipment or practices in place—including secure doors, locks, fences, gates, and alarms—and a guest was the victim of a robbery or some other criminal intrusion as a result.
- Fire Code Violations: Perhaps smoke alarms were not properly installed or maintained, fire exits were not properly labeled or were blocked, or some other fire code was not followed and a guest became injured or ill as a result of a preventable building fire.
- Unsanitary Conditions: An example of this is being bitten by bed bugs after the hotel did not properly wash and sanitize a guest’s bed spread.
- Defective Conditions: There were structural defects in the pool, the pool deck, or the attached pool structures like stairs or ladders that caused a guest’s injury.
If you or a loved one was injured at a hotel as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be legally entitled to compensation for your damages. Call 212-736-5300 or fill out this online contact form to speak to a premises liability attorney today.
Damages and Injuries Resulting from Hotel Accidents
As there are many different kinds of hotel accidents, the injuries that result can range from minor to severe. Some of these injuries can include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Concussions or other head injuries
- Back or spinal injuries, such as herniated discs
- Brain damage
- Emotional trauma in the aftermath of the accident
As with most personal injury cases, you can be awarded compensation—or “damages’”—for injuries that result from the hotel’s negligence. Common damages you could make a claim for after being injured in a hotel accident could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
New York Hotel Accident Laws
There are some specific laws to be aware of if you are considering bringing a personal injury case against a hotel in the State of New York.
- Vicarious Liability: A business or company can be held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees, if the employee was performing duties in the scope of their employment. This law is applicable to hotels as well, so a hotel could be considered partially liable if an employee caused an accident that harmed someone.
- Statute of Limitations: In New York, the injured party has three years from the date that negligence resulted in personal injury to file a lawsuit. For other cases in which you are seeking compensation for damages from a hotel, including wrongful death, theft, or assault, other statutes of limitations may apply. For example, wrongful death cases have a statute of limitations of two years.
- Out-of-State Vacationers: If you were injured at a hotel in New York but live in a different state, you can still potentially bring a personal injury case in New York. To file suit in a particular state or county, the court you’re filing in must have jurisdiction over your claim, so if you were injured in a New York hotel, you could most likely file a claim in New York State.
Steps To Take After a Hotel Accident
- Seek any necessary medical care and keep evidence of damages. In order to pursue compensation for your injuries, it is helpful to keep track of your medical costs, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and lost wages. Keep all copies of your medical bills, records, and receipts for other related expenses.
- Ask hotel management for security footage or images and file a report with the police. One of the strongest pieces of evidence that you can provide is a video or photograph of the incident, in addition to a police report that acts as proof of the accident happening when you said it occurred.
- Take photographs and videos of the accident scene. If your injuries do not require emergency care and you feel able in the aftermath of the accident, it is helpful to have photos of the accident scene and anything that contributed to causing your injuries, such as a wet floor with no wet floor sign present. You can also record your immediate recollection of the incident to ensure that you do not forget any details later.
- Collect eyewitness statements, if possible. If anyone witnessed your accident, ask if they would be willing to provide their contact information to give a possible witness statement later. These statements can be from family and friends that were present, but they might be especially strong if they are from independent third parties. Hotel employee statements immediately following the incident can also be helpful.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a hotel, you might be confused and uncertain what your rights are. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the situation and determine whether you will be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Block O’Toole & Murphy’s premises liability attorneys have years of experience fighting for their clients’ right to fair compensation. Call us at 212-736-5300 for a free legal case review.
Some notable examples of our premises liability case results include:
- $9,000,000 settlement for a 14-year-old who suffered multiple arm injuries after a large piece of a utility enclosure wall collapsed on him
- $7,200,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a man who was in an elevator accident due to missing elevator safety features during a power outage
- $5,850,000 settlement for 44-year-old woman who was injured due to an apartment ceiling collapse that was caused by a water leak
- $3,125,000 recovery for a hotel guest that was injured after slipping on the hotel floor
- $2,250,000 settlement for a woman who slipped down her apartment stairs because of a water leak coming from the roof
- $2,250,000 settlement for a woman who was injured after water damage caused a partial ceiling collapse in her apartment
- $2,000,000 recovery for a man who was injured during an elevator malfunction that caused the elevator to suddenly stop between floors
- $1,900,000 settlement in a case for a woman who had multiple cervical herniations after slipping down recently mopped steps
- $1,500,000 settlement for a victim who was stabbed in a Brooklyn hospital
Serving the five boroughs, Long Island, all of upstate New York, and New Jersey.