For most people who stay at hotels in Florida, they’re hoping to have a great vacation. Sometimes, however, unexpected disasters can happen – like bed bugs.
With such a large tourism industry, Florida hotels have had to fight bed bugs for years. It is estimated that over 60 percent of hotels worldwide have bed bugs.
If you get bitten, the bites can become itchy and infected. And if you take return with bed bugs, eliminating them from your home can incur a huge cost.
The truth is, more than bed bugs pose a danger to Florida hotel visitors.
Here are the options you need to know if you’re injured at a Florida hotel. Most importantly, you’ll learn how hotels can be held liable under the law.
Hotel Negligence Laws in Florida
The Florida Legislature has passed several laws to ensure that hotels take special precautions for guest safety.
Under these laws, Florida hotels are expected to take action to prevent accidents. Preventive actions needs to address:
- Common accidents, like slip and falls
- Accidents involving hazards on the premises, such as swimming pools
- Injury/damage due to criminal activity, i.e. robbery
When a guest gets hurt, because a hotel doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain, that guest can hold the hotel accountable for injuries.
Hotels in Florida also have a common law duty of care. That means they can be held liable for negligence if guests or visitors sustain harm as a result of the hotel’s carelessness or mistakes.
Duty of Care in Florida
In Florida, different duties of care are owed to different people. For example, a hotel’s duty of care to a trespasser is different from the duty of care owed to a paying guest.
The Dangers of Hotels
Bed bugs have been mentioned already, but there’s another important note regarding this pest.
Under Florida liability law, hotel guests who suffer injuries from bed bug bites can hold the hotel liable. Hotels have the duty to exercise reasonable care by providing guests with safe conditions—and that means bug-free linens.
Some of the more common injuries on hotel grounds, aside from bed bugs, include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injuries resulting from sloppy maintenance or repair
- Pool injuries
- Injuries at the hands of third-party vendors
- Criminal acts
Elements of a Premises Liability Claim
If something happens to you while staying in a Florida hotel, you may want to bring a lawsuit. To prove the hotel’s responsibility for your injuries, you will need to demonstrate negligence in four key elements:
- Establish the hotel’s duty of care toward you as a guest
- Show how the hotel breached that duty of care
- Show how that breach resulted in the event that caused your injuries
- Show how the injuries you sustained were definitely related to that accident
If you can meet all four of these elements in court, you can successfully sue a hotel for your damages.
Remember, if you are injured at a Florida hotel, you have rights. You should contact an attorney based in Florida to help with your personal injury case, even if you live outside the state. Understanding Florida law will be vital to the success of your case.
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.