If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Las Vegas, your choices run the gamut from rooms at economic limited-service hotels to luxury suites at famed hotels like the Bellagio. But no matter where you stay, you should not have to worry about injuring yourself due to slippery surfaces or a general lack of maintenance.
Hotel owners have a duty to keep their properties safe for guests, but unfortunately, they don’t always do this. If a hotel owner is negligent in maintaining the safety of their facility and you are injured as a result, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a premises liability lawsuit against the hotel.
What type of hotel accidents might fall under the category of premises liability? Here are just a few examples.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of injuries in the hospitality industry. Hotel guests should reasonably be able to expect that walkways in the facility will be free of tripping or slipping hazards, but that expectation may be subverted by a hotel that fails to clean up a spill promptly, clearly mark a recently mopped floor, repair an uneven sidewalk in front of the building, or clearly label hard-to-see steps.
If you were taking reasonable care when walking through a hotel but you still suffered an injury because of the hotel’s negligence, it will be in your best interest to document the accident and talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your case will hinge on showing that the hotel owner or manager either knew about the dangerous condition or that the condition existed long enough that they should have known about it and that they failed to adequately address the issue.
If you become the victim of a crime on hotel property, the person who harmed you should be held responsible in criminal court. Under certain circumstances, the hotel might also be liable for failing to prevent the crime that caused their liability. It all comes down to whether the hotel owner could reasonably have foreseen that there was a crime risk and failed to take the necessary security steps. For example, it might be considered negligent security if the hotel failed to run a background check on an employee who assaulted a guest, or if the hotel failed to monitor security cameras in their parking garage, even though crimes had occurred there before.
There has been a resurgence of bed bugs in the United States in recent years, and because they spread relatively quickly—especially in places where people are living in close proximity—and are difficult to kill, hotels need to make every effort to prevent them from entering in the first place. If a hotel does receive a complaint about bed bugs in one of their rooms, they need to address the issue immediately rather than trying to cover it up. If bed bugs continue to live in the hotel, they can bite guests and leave them with itchy welts. If the infestation is severe enough, bed bugs can even cause people to become anemic.
Food poisoning, which is usually caused by undercooked food, cross-contamination in the kitchen, or other negligent preparation measures, can occur even at luxury hotels and resorts. In fact, a four-star British hotel recently had a food poisoning outbreak that resulted in more than a dozen guests needing IV drips and sent one person to the hospital for severe symptoms.
It is possible to sue a hotel for food poisoning if you are diagnosed with something like norovirus, E. coli, or salmonella. If you are hospitalized due to food poisoning and the hotel comes to you with a settlement offer, talk to a personal injury attorney before agreeing to anything. Your case may be worth more than you think.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Many large hotels in Las Vegas have elevators or sometimes even escalators to make it easier for guests to get from one level of the building to another. The hotel owners are responsible for making sure that any elevators or escalators in their building are well-maintained and that any safety concerns that arise during maintenance checks are quickly addressed. When hotel owners fail to do this, accidents can happen. Back in 2008, there was a particularly harrowing accident at the Paris Las Vegas hotel when the cable of an elevator carrying four people snapped and caused the elevator to drop fifteen floors. Fortunately, no one was hurt. If you are in a similar situation but are not so lucky, contact a hotel accident lawyer as soon as possible.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of The Law Office of Andrew Winston. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”-an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state-and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”