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Can a Hotel or Casino be Liable in a Personal Injury Claim?

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, a hotel offers a convenient place to sleep while you are away from home. Many hotels offer additional amenities as well, such as pools, fitness areas, restaurants, and game rooms. Each of these offerings serves the purpose of enticing guests to stay at the hotel. Unfortunately, these amenities and the hotel itself can present guests with dangerous situations. Hotels have an obligation to those who stay on their properties. They have a duty of care to provide a safe environment for their guests. This duty requires hotel operators to not only know of any potential dangers on their property and correct them but also to address any foreseeable hazards and make the necessary changes. Here are some considerations regarding hotel liability for personal injury.

Common Injuries at Hotel or Casino Properties

Many people may think the only injuries that could occur at a hotel are slip and fall accidents. While these do occur, they are not the only types of injuries a hotel guest can sustain on the property. Some of the injuries that may arise on these properties include:

Swimming Pool Accidents

These accidents may be a result of defective pool equipment, dangerous pool surroundings, or improperly trained personnel working the pool area. Additional pool injuries include infections or sickness caused by a pool that is not properly chlorinated or overly chlorinated.

Bed Bug Contaminations

Bed bugs are blood-sucking parasites often found in hotels. These insects live around the edges of mattresses, around the seams of pillows, and can also be found in non-bed related areas such as the corners of the dresser drawers or around light switches. These parasites can cause redness and swelling where they bite, allergic reactions, or may pass on diseases. The parasites also often attach themselves to luggage and later infest the home of the traveler. It can cost thousands of dollars to have a home treated for bed bugs.

Broken Furniture/Equipment

If the furniture or equipment is not properly maintained, or if quick repairs are made to these items by a non-professional, injuries could result. Over time, these things wear out and break. It is the duty of the hotel to replace these items or have them professionally repaired so that no harm comes to the guest.

Food Poisoning

Food requires special handling at all times. If the hotel owns a restaurant, serves a continental breakfast, or has fountain drinks available to the guests, they must follow all sanitation rules to ensure that the food is handled safely to avoid food poisoning.

Dangerous Stairs and Stairwells

Stairs must be properly maintained in a hotel to ensure the safety of the guests. Proper maintenance includes making sure the stairs are not slippery, are cleaned of debris at all times, are properly lit, and have secure hand rails. Although these are some of the more common injuries that can happen at a hotel, this is not a comprehensive list. A hotel can also be held responsible for any accident that takes place on extended hotel property, such as shuttles and parking lots.

Invited Visitors of The Hotel Guest

It is essential to understand that liability for any accident that occurs on the hotel property only extends to the paying guests. If another person is invited to the hotel by one of the paying guests, the hotel does not have a duty of care to this visitor.

Burden of Proof in a Hotel or Casino Injury Claim

One of the most difficult parts of being injured on a hotel property is proving liability. The injured party is required to prove that the actions of the hotel are what caused the injury to occur and had the hotel taken care of this issue prior to the injury occurring the accident would have never happened. For example, if the hotel knowingly hires a person that cannot swim and posts them in a position to work the pool area and someone is hurt because they cannot be retrieved from the pool, the hotel knowingly made a decision that placed guests in a position to be harmed. Every situation is very different, and liability can become difficult to prove. Because of this, anyone who has sustained injuries on a hotel property is encouraged to:
  • Notify management immediately to file a report.
  • Take pictures of the area and your injuries.
  • Ask any witnesses for their contact information.
  • Write a detailed statement about the event as soon as you can for your personal records.
  • Seek immediate medical care to stabilize the injuries which will also help document the event that caused the injury.

Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Hotel Injury

Once your injury is stabilized, you will have to contact the insurance company of the hotel to seek reimbursement for your losses and medical care. It may be a challenging task to accomplish anything with the insurer unless you have a lot of experience in this area. Insurance adjusters will use tactics to get you to admit responsibility for an accident, even if it is just partial responsibility. Once they have this statement from you, they can use that to deny your claim or reduce the amount they are willing to pay for your losses. It will be in your best interest to avoid dealing with the insurance company alone on this matter and seek legal representation. A qualified Las Vegas personal injury attorney will be able to take care of all the correspondence with the insurer on your behalf while you take care of recovering from your injury.

Working With an Attorney After a Hotel Injury

An experienced hotel and casino injury attorney offers your best chance for fair compensation for your losses and injuries. Most hotels and casinos are massive companies with nearly unlimited resources who are willing to use every tactic to get out of paying what they owe. Your attorney can use their experience and knowledge of hotel liability issues to fight the hotel insurance company to get you what you deserve. If you or someone you know has sustained an injury at a Las Vegas, NV hotel or casino, call Bernstein & Poisson. With over 50 years of combined experience, this powerful legal team is ready to do anything it takes to protect your rights as a victim. This accomplished legal team has a thorough understanding of different injury types, and the expertise to know what a fair and complete settlement should include. Call (702) 602-8869 to schedule a free consultation today. You can also submit your case details and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.