Hotel Accidents and Injuries: Who is responsible?

Posted on April 19, 2019

Boston attracts millions of people from all over the world every year. To accommodate these tourists and business travelers, Boston and its surrounding cities and towns have hundreds of hotel accommodations for guests to stay at while they visit. When people visit a hotel, they trust that management and staff of the hotels are doing their best to keep them safe during their stay. During a vacation or while staying in a hotel for business, you have a reasonable expectation that your safety and health will not be at risk. In fact, hotel owners have a legal duty to provide a reasonably safe environment to all their guests. This legal duty also applies to bed and breakfasts and to the property owners using home sharing services such as Airbnb.

While hotel owners are not insurers of their guests’ safety they do owe a legal duty to take steps to protect their guests against unreasonable risk of physical harm. This duty is based on the special relationship that exists between a hotel and its guests. That duty can even extend to obligate the hotel to provide protection against the negligent or criminal acts of third parties. We have all heard the sad news stories of hotel guests being raped, robbed or even killed while staying at a hotel. There are circumstances where such criminal attacks could have been prevented had reasonable security precautions been taken by hotel management. Such practices as the front desk staff not speaking your room number upon checking in but instead writing it down for only you to see, elevators accessing guest floors requiring a room key to operate and security guards walking the hotel floors at night are all attempts by hotel owners to protect their guests from foreseeable risks, i.e. criminal attacks or theft.

Hotel owners and staff are also required to conduct routine inspections of their property to ensure the safety of all guests. Walking surfaces and stairwells, pools and gym equipment, bathroom floors and showers, elevators and escalators all need daily inspections to ensure these high accident areas are safe. When they fail to do so, guests can and do get hurt, sometimes seriously.

Common Types of Hotel Accidents

Hotels can get very busy and sometimes maintenance and security can get lax. When owners and their staff cannot keep up with the proper maintenance and security of their properties, accidents can happen. Below are some of the more common causes of hotel related injuries we have seen here in Massachusetts over the years:

  • Slip and falls
  • Unsafe buildings and walkways
  • Wet or defective stairways
  • Elevator/escalator malfunction
  • Defective gym equipment
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Food poisoning
  • Inadequate hotel security

Holding the Hotel Liable and Getting Compensated for Your Injuries

When an injured person wishes to hold a hotel owner responsible for their injuries, they must prove that the owner was negligent and breached its duty of reasonable care to their injured guest. The injured guest must provide sufficient proof to prove that the hotel owner either caused the defective condition to exist or knew, or should have known, about the condition and failed to fix the problem. Evidence may consist of pictures of the hazardous conditions, witness testimony, medical documentation of the injury and security footage from inside the hotel.

The Boston hotel accident attorneys at Spada Law Group have over 20 years handling injury cases involving premises liability. We routinely work with industry engineers and experts to assist us in proving our client’s cases. Establishing that stairs, elevators, walkways etc. were not up to code or that security procedures were not adequate, often involves retaining the right experts early in the case and that is exactly what we do to give our clients the best chance of success. What may initially seem like a “simple” case is often anything but, so it makes sense to get legal representation as early on as possible. Doing so ensures that securing evidence such as surveillance videos, witnesses and scene photographs is still possible.

Have Your Case Evaluated Today

If you’ve been injured in a Massachusetts hotel or any other type of lodging contact us today for a free, no obligation evaluation of your case.

With offices in Chelsea and Salem, MA, Spada Law Group provides Boston quality legal representation without the commute into the city with free on-premises or validated parking. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Spada Law Group today at 617-889-5000 to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is absolutely no obligation to hire us. We are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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