Who is Liable for Injuries on a Hotel Premises?
Hotels have a legal duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for guests, including addressing any hazards or dangerous conditions on the premises. If the hotel fails to do so, and a guest is injured as a result, the hotel owner or operator may be held liable for damages.
How to Hold a Hotel Liable for an Injury
Holding a hotel or its operator liable for an injury will require extensive evidence of the injury, its cause, and the hotel’s negligence. Furthermore, you must be able to demonstrate the following four elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: The hotel owed you a duty as a guest to ensure that the premises was safe.
- Breach of Duty: The hotel breached its duty of care by failing to fix or prevent foreseeable hazards.
- Causation: The hotel’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered damages due to the hotel’s breach of duty (e.g., medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering, etc.).
Proving causation can be challenging, as there may be other factors that contributed to the injury. It is essential to prove that the hotel knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to correct or warn guests about it. As a result, collecting evidence is critical, such as photographs or video of the area the accident occurred, what caused the accident, your injury, medical records, witness statements, and any other relevant documents.
How Georgia’s Rule on Comparative Fault Can Impact Your Hotel Injury Claim
Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which can affect the amount of compensation you can recover after a hotel injury. Under this law, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing your injury. As long as your degree of fault is less than or equal to the defendant’s percentage of fault, you can recover compensation.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found to be 30% at fault, and the hotel is 70% responsible, you will receive 70% of your award or $70,000. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover any compensation.
Examples of when a guest may be found partially or entirely responsible for their injuries include engaging in reckless behavior or ignoring warning signs, misusing hotel equipment, violating hotel policies, or ignoring safety guidelines.
Common Causes of Hotel Injuries
Here are a few common examples of hotel negligence that can lead to injuries:
- Failure to fix or warn guests about a hazardous condition on the property, such as a broken stair, wet floor, or malfunctioning elevator.
- Inadequate security measures such as poor lighting, no lifeguards, lack of or faulty locks, and failure to screen guests or visitors before allowing them to enter the property.
- Hiring untrained staff or failing to provide adequate training to employees who operate potentially dangerous equipment.
If you or a loved one has suffered a hotel injury, consider consulting with an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case.