Accidents happen, even when you’re on vacation staying in a hotel. The question is: are you responsible for that accident or is the hotel?
A man in Jacksonville was recently severely injured when he fell two stories from his hotel balcony. The circumstances surrounding the fall are not yet known, but the man has life-threatening injuries. You can bet there will be an investigation to determine who was responsible for this accident: the man, the hotel, or a little of both.
When you’re staying in a Florida hotel, they have certain responsibilities to ensure your safety as a guest. If you’re injured, then it may be possible to pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
Here’s what you need to know about holding a Florida hotel responsible for injuries you may suffer.
Florida Liability Laws
The property owners of hotels in Florida are legally required to maintain their properties in a secure, habitable, and safe condition. If hotel owners do not meet that legal duty and breach it, then they can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result due to negligence.
This rule applies not only to hotels in Florida, but also to resorts, motels, campgrounds, cabins, timeshares, rentals, bed and breakfasts, and rental homes or apartments. Owners of these properties have a high level of duty to those they invite onto their property, like hotel guests.
However, trespassing on a property and getting hurt does not meet the standards set forth under Florida law for premises liability. You may not be entitled to any compensation for your injuries if:
- You are not invited onto the property
- You are asked to leave
- You are otherwise trespassing
When Can You Sue For Injuries?
Resorts and hotels across Florida have a duty to maintain their properties for safety. If they breach this duty and fail to provide a safe environment, then you have grounds to bring a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries.
Some common injuries that lead to lawsuits include:
- Swimming pool accidents due to inadequate signs or maintenance, or slippery surfaces
- Hazards on the floor such as cracked sidewalks or frayed carpet
- Exposure to toxic mold, asbestos, or lead paint
- Unsafe bathrooms
- Inadequate cleaning or maintenance
- Inadequate security or lighting
- Hazards in the parking lot such as poor visibility or inadequate signs
- Slip and fall hazards such as puddles or sand
- Injuries that are the result of other guests
The Burden Is on You
In every case of premises liability in Florida, the burden of proof is with the injured party to show that the owner had a duty of care to you that they breached – resulting in your injury.
That means that in court you must be able to establish that they owed you a duty of care, they breached it, and the breach was the cause of the injuries you sustained. Then, you ten may be able to successfully pursue both economic damages, such as reimbursement for hospital bills, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
If you are injured at a Florida hotel, make sure to get treated immediately by a medical professional so that your injuries are documented. You should also take photos of the scene to document what caused your injury, and file an incident report with the hotel.
You have rights, including the right to be safe in a hotel as a guest. If you believe a Florida hotel is responsible for your injuries, then pursue a legal case against them today.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.