Injuries at Hotels and Resorts
According to official estimates, there are around 370,000 hotel rooms in the state of Florida. Not only does this figure represent a lot of tourism dollars, but also it can point to a large amount of potential liability for accidents resulting from negligence or recklessness by hotel and resort owners. Serious injuries and even a tragic death can result from common issues such as improper maintenance or lack of security. If you or a family member has been hurt while visiting a Florida hotel or resort, the Pembroke Pines premises liability lawyers at Cohn & Smith can help you assert your legal right to seek compensation from the responsible party.Proving Negligence Against a Florida Hotel or Resort
Hotel and resort guests include families on vacation as well as business travelers. Regardless of a guest’s reason for staying at a particular property, he or she should be able to feel safe, comfortable, and free from serious risks of harm. This means that hotel and resort owners have a legal obligation to take certain steps to create an environment that is free from open and obvious dangers as well as devoid of latent defects that could be discovered in the exercise of reasonable diligence. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Some of the more common accident and injury scenarios at hotels and resorts include:
- Slip and falls on wet floors;
- Burns from faulty wiring;
- Accidents and drownings in swimming pools;
- Food poisoning;
- Falls due to missing handrails; and
- Criminal activity due to lack of proper security or adequate lighting.
In order to recover damages for injuries sustained on the premises of a hotel or resort, the person seeking compensation usually must be able to make out a case of negligence. Generally, a negligence case has four components: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In order to hold a negligent party responsible, the injured person (or the survivors of a person killed in a fatal accident) must be able to prove each element of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. In addition, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that he or she was lawfully on the property and that the dangerous condition that caused the accident was something of which the property owner either was aware or reasonably should have been aware.
Often, a plaintiff bringing a premises liability lawsuit against a hotel or resort will be faced with an allegation of comparative fault, which is an assertion that the plaintiff was partially or wholly to blame for the accident. In this situation, the plaintiff still can potentially recover compensation that is proportionate to the percentage of fault attributable to the defendant. For instance, if the jury finds that both parties were negligent and assigns 20% of the fault to the plaintiff, he or she may be able to recover up to 80% of his or her damages from the defendant.
Damages that may be recoverable in a premises liability lawsuit against a resort or hotel often include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of spousal consortium. In wrongful death cases, funeral and burial costs, lost net earnings to the victim’s estate, and other damages may be sought as well.Consult a Pembroke Pines Lawyer for Your Premises Liability Claim
If you or a loved one has been hurt at a hotel or resort, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The Pembroke Pines premises liability attorneys at Cohn & Smith are here to help. Call us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online to schedule a free appointment with a member of our team. Our slip and fall lawyers serve victims in many South Florida cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Aventura, and communities throughout North Dade County.