Traveling for Business or Pleasure? Know the 4 Most Common Hotel-Related Injuries
Whether you travel for business or a family vacation, you’ll likely choose to stay in a hotel during your trip. Hotels are often considered places of luxury, comfort, and safety, so it makes sense that you’d choose these accommodations as temporary housing during your travels.
But if you sustain an injury while staying at a hotel, you have the legal right to seek restitution and financial compensation. Below, we’ve listed the four most common hotel-related injuries so you know if your situation qualifies for a personal injury claim.
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
These three injuries are the most commonly sustained injuries hotel guests’ experience. Hotel employees are instructed to keep steps, walkways, sidewalks, and other traffic areas dry and clear of debris to avoid injuring a guest. Hotel staff should also advise guests of any potentially dangerous areas (such as an ice-covered sidewalk that can’t be cleared immediately).
Despite these precautions, however, slips, trips, and falls occur frequently on hotel premises. As you stay in a hotel, look out for the following problem areas to avoid a slip, trip, or fall injury:
- Broken or inadequate handrails
- Dim or poorly lit hallways and stairwells
- Drink spills near the hotel bar
- Improperly marked steps near the pool or hot tub
- Loose tile, carpeting, rugs, or other flooring materials
- Recently mopped floors in the lobby
- Snow- or ice-covered sidewalks
- Slick surfaces near the pool or hot tub
- Uneven sidewalks or outdoor walkways
You should also pay attention to the furniture in the hotel lobby and your hotel room. Since the furniture is used by thousands of guests each year, it tends to wear down as a result of this excessive use.
To save money and time, hotels often repair their furniture in-house. But if the furniture isn’t repaired properly, or if it has been repaired too many times, it can break the next time someone uses it—and that person could sustain serious injury as a result.
As you stay in a hotel, you expect hotel security to keep you safe from employees, other guests, and strangers during your stay. Unfortunately, negligent or insufficient security could leave you the victim of an assault.
In this instance, the individual who assaulted you would be primarily liable for the physical harm he or she caused. However, if the hotel staffed insufficient security, the security staff was negligent, or the hotel could have foreseen a crime risk, the hotel is also liable for your injuries.
For example, if the hotel didn’t run a sufficient background check on an employee, and that employee then assaulted a hotel guest, the hotel’s security staff would be considered negligent and responsible for the injuries the guest sustained.
Hotels should also ensure that the locks on the windows and doors in each room function properly and that keycards can’t be duplicated. These extra measures further protect guests from harm. If a hotel doesn’t maintain or repair broken or inadequate locks, an individual could use those access points to enter a room and assault a guest. The hotel would also be liable for any personal injuries a guest might sustain in this case.
You might not expect to sustain burn injuries in a hotel, but they can still happen. Common causes for hotel-related burns include:
- Defective fireplaces, heaters, or radiators
- Malfunctioning hair dryers, outlets, lamps, irons, and other appliances
- Scalding water in the hot tub or shower
- Too-hot heating equipment in the food area
Additionally, if the hotel staff leave cleaning chemicals lying around without proper warnings, you could sustain a chemical burn as a result of this negligence.
If you sustain a burn during a hotel stay, seek medical treatment immediately—especially if you experience severe burns.
4. Malfunctioning Exercise Equipment
Most hotels and resorts come equipped with a partial or full-service gym that guests can use during their stay. Though you are always at risk for injuring yourself during exercise, the hotel should ensure that all exercise equipment is properly maintained and that it functions correctly.
For example, if you forced yourself to run too quickly and pulled a muscle while running on a treadmill in the hotel gym, the hotel would not be liable for your injury. However, if the treadmill broke down while you used it and you fell and injured yourself, the hotel would be liable for the injury you sustained.
The next time you stay in a hotel, remember the types of injuries you could sustain during your stay. Though hotel staff work to keep the premises safe for all hotel guests, accidents can still happen.
If you sustained any of the above-listed personal injuries during a recent hotel stay, contact a personal injury lawyer. These professionals can advocate for you so you receive the compensation you deserve and need to heal properly.