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When is a hotel liable for a slip-and-fall injury?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Firm News |

Spring is here and summer is on its way – and that means a lot of folks will be heading toward distant spots on road trips and getaways. 

Hotels are supposed to provide a “home away from home” for the weary traveler, but staying in the wrong place can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare – especially if you slip and fall. Slip-and-fall accidents are the number one cause of emergency room visits, and they can leave you unable to work or enjoy your life for months while you recover.

It’s all about negligence

Hotels are supposed to prioritize their guests’ safety, and that means doing things like conducting routine inspections of the premises for any safety issues. When owners fail to keep the premises reasonably hazard-free, that’s considered negligence.

In practical terms, that negligence might look like:

  • Wet or uneven surfaces: Spills, leaks from an ice machine and recently mopped floors can create slippery surfaces, especially in high-traffic areas like entrances, corridors and dining rooms. Uneven flooring or loose carpets can also cause guests to trip and fall.
  • Poor lighting: Inadequate lighting in stairwells, hallways and parking lots can obscure potential hazards, making it difficult for guests to walk safely, particularly at night.
  • Missing handrails or guardrails: The absence of handrails on stairs or guardrails on balconies and elevated walkways naturally increases the chance someone will fall, especially elderly or mobility-impaired guests.
  • Poor maintenance: The hotel’s failure to promptly repair broken tiles, loose carpeting or cracked pavements can create hazardous conditions that lead to slips and falls.

If you’re injured in a slip and fall while you’re at a hotel, make sure that you don’t allow the hotel’s management to convince you that it’s all your fault or that you just tripped over your own feet. Learning more about your legal options is the best way to protect your rights.