Hotel owners and hotel managers must take the reasonable and necessary steps to make sure that injuries and deaths do not occur to patrons, visitors, and workers while on their property. Hotels have a general duty to reasonably protect guests from harm caused by other guests or non-guests and an affirmative duty to make the premises reasonably safe for their guests. An accident that takes place because there is a condition in a hotel that is unsafe can be grounds for a hotel liability claim or lawsuit.
If you or your family member is hurt due to the negligence of a hotel’s staff or management, contact our Philadelphia hotel injury lawyers as soon as possible. It is critical to start building your case immediately. This means seeking medical attention and gathering evidence. Any hesitation could jeopardize your case.
Since 1979, our experienced Philadelphia lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm have aggressively represented clients that have been injured on other people’s premises, including hotels, motels, and inns. We have successfully handled Pennsylvania injury cases involving hotel liability, casino accidents, slip and fall accidents, and inadequate security cases. To schedule your free case evaluation with the Reiff Law Firm Philadelphia, call (215) 709-6940.
Common Injuries That Can Occur in Philadelphia Hotels
Hotels owe their guests a duty of care, including keeping the premises reasonably safe. However, accidents still occur. Many of these accidents and injuries are the result of negligence on the part of hotel employees or management. In some situations, the dangerous condition could result from the conduct of an outside contractor or vendor. No matter the underlying cause, you should speak with our experienced Philadelphia hotel injury attorney if you were injured in one of the listed occurrences or another event.
Slip and Fall Accident
Hotels have entrances, hallways, staircases, and other public spaces. If these public areas are not maintained, they could present various hazards to the hotel’s guests. For example, a loose carpet in a hallway could cause a guest to trip and fall on their way to their room. Other areas present additional dangers, such as wet surfaces by the hotel pool. Slip and fall lawsuits are some of the most common personal injury claims filed.
Swimming Pool Accidents
One of the most fun things about being at a hotel is having access to the hotel pool. If you have children, the hotel pool could be the highlight of your vacation. Unfortunately, swimming pool injuries are very common. While many are the result of reckless behavior on the part of a guest, others are the direct result of poor maintenance or negligent conduct on the part of the hotel staff or management. People are injured due to everything from tripping hazards to inadequate safety equipment.
Another benefit of staying at a hotel is the easy access to food twenty-four hours a day. Whether you are enjoying an afternoon brunch buffet or late-night room service, you expect the food to be delicious and safe. When food is unsanitary, perhaps because it was contaminated or mishandled, a guest could experience food poisoning. Depending on the severity of the food poisoning, a guest might suffer mild stomach pains to hospitalization.
Shuttle Van or Other Automobile Accidents
A common courtesy many hotels provide is a shuttle service to and from an airport or other transportation hub. While these services offer a convenience for guests, they are also a potential danger. An inexperienced driver or a poorly maintained fleet of shuttles could result in a tragic accident.
Premises Liability and Philadelphia Hotel Injuries
Hotels have a duty to make the premises safe. This includes preventing injury from open hazards, but also “hidden” dangers. Installing the proper lighting in hallways, stairwells, parking lots, and other dark areas, making sure that the locks on all doors are working properly, clearing any debris out of hallways, and eliminating any fire hazards are some examples of steps that hotel owners and managers must take to protect patrons and workers from getting hurt or killed. A hotel guest or visitor that is injured on the premise may be legally entitled to file a Pennsylvania premises liability claim against the hotel owner, the property manager, or any other negligent parties.
Steps to Take if You Were Injured at a Philadelphia Hotel
If you are injured at a hotel because of the negligence of the management or staff, you should contact our Philadelphia hotel injury lawyers. However, there are other things you could do that will help your case.
Seek Medical Attention
To prevail in any personal injury case, you need to document your injury. While you want to seek medical attention for your health, it is also crucial for your legal case. If you cannot trace your injury back to the accident or incident, it will be almost impossible to win a personals injury lawsuit. The best way to ensure you have medical evidence is to go to an urgent care center, emergency room, or see a doctor as soon as possible. It is also important to follow through with any prescribed treatment, including follow-up appointments or diagnostic tests.
Report the Incident to the Hotel Management
Hotels are not under any legal obligations to make a report of your injury or accident. However, if you inform the management of your injury, the hotel will make an incident report. While there might not be a legal obligation, the hotel’s liability insurance carrier will most likely require a written report of any injury that occurred on the property.
Be Honest and Factual When Reporting the Incident
The purpose of an accident report is to make an accurate account of what occurred. You should stick to the facts of what happened. Under no circumstances should you embellish or exaggerate what occurred – this will only hurt your case further down the line. It is also important not to offer any opinions or admit any wrongdoing. Anything on the report could be used to help or hurt your case, either during insurance negotiations or at trial.
Take Photographs of the Accident Scene
Nearly everyone has a smartphone with a camera. If you have one and are physically capable, take pictures of the accident scene. If you tripped on a torn carpet, take pictures of it from several angles. If you are unable to take any photos, ask a friend or family member. Pictures of the accident site could provide crucial evidence when trying to establish liability.
Talk to Eyewitnesses
If there were people around when your injury occurred, you should speak with them. Gather their names, contact information, and statements. Any witnesses that could corroborate your version of events would be helpful if you file a lawsuit. If their version is different from yours, it is also important for your attorney to be aware of any discrepancies so they could be addressed.
Collect Proof of Damages
The point of filing a personal injury lawsuit is to recover financial compensation for your losses. Therefore, it is important to start documenting them as soon as possible. The burden of proving your damages rests on you if you file a claim.
Keep copies of your medical bills, prescriptions, receipts, and any other expenses related to your injury or its treatment. For example, parking fees and the cost of a babysitter are justifiable damages – you just need to be able to prove them. Additionally, you should also keep track of any time you might miss from work, including vacation and sick time.
Contact Our Hotel Injury Lawyer Immediately
Every personal injury claim could be complicated, especially if you delay having an experienced attorney investigate your case. Hotels are large companies with deep pockets. Their lawyers and insurance companies are going to work to limit liability. It is important to start protecting your rights as soon as possible.
Contact Our Experienced Philadelphia Hotel Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
The Pennsylvania and premises liability lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm work on a contingent fee basis, charging a small percentage of the recovery. There are no fees unless there is a successful recovery. They have had handled thousands of personal injury cases and have successfully recovered in excess of $150 million dollars from their opponents for physical injuries and emotional damages. Call our Philadelphia hotel injury lawyers at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free appointment.