Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Florida, with more than 128 million visitors flocking to the Sunshine State last year. A sizable number of those opt to stay in one of the state’s 423,000 hotel rooms. Like any other property owner, hotels, motels and resorts owe a duty of care to their patrons that requires they keep the property in reasonably safe condition, check for hazards and warn guests of any non-obvious dangers that can’t be remedied right away. In the event this does not happen and someone is seriously hurt, those injured should explore the possibility of a hotel injury lawsuit.
Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys will examine your premises liability claim to determine whether it’s viable and identify all potential defendants. Some of the most common hotel injury claims include:
- Parking lot injuries;
- Swimming pool accidents/drowning;
- Slip-and-fall injuries;
- Trip-and-fall injuries;
- Falls from heights;
- Food poisoning;
- Burns from fires, hot water, food or drinks;
- Elevator/escalator injuries;
- Animal attack;
- Injury caused by broken/defective furniture;
- Bed bugs/unsanitary conditions;
- Exposure to toxic chemicals;
- Playground injuries;
Any one of these incidents can cause serious and lasting injuries and trauma. If there is evidence the hotel staff knew or should have known about the risk and failed to fix it or provide guests warning, there is a good chance a personal injury claim could be successfully made.
Defendant hotels will often argue comparative negligence (i.e., the person injured shared some or all of the blame, proportionately reducing damages) or that the claimant wasn’t as seriously injured as they said. Having an experienced personal injury attorney will be imperative.
Falls, Fires and Fights – Hotel Injuries Run the Gamut
Recently in Orange County, an 8-year-old child was rushed to the hospital after falling three stories at a hotel where the family had stopped before they planned to make their way to Disney World. The child, visiting from the United Kingdom reportedly fell out of a window and into some hedges and trees, ultimately suffering a knee injury.
The sheriff’s office stayed to investigate, and it’s not clear yet whether the family will file a claim against the hotel. It’s likely if an injury lawyer is consulted, he or she will look carefully at applicable Florida building codes for guardrails, handrails and windows in multi-unit dwellings to determine whether all statutory rules were followed.
Other recent Florida hotel injuries have included:
- A lawsuit filed by multiple guests at a Disney hotel who alleged they became ill and required multiple trips to the emergency room after they were served lettuce wraps that allegedly contained live insects. They were subsequently diagnosed with food poisoning and other injuries that “do not occur absent negligence,” according to the lawsuit. Disney denies the allegations.
- A federal lawsuit filed in Orlando, Starstone Nat’l Ins. Co.v.Polynesian Inn, LLC, one man who was seriously injured and the estate of another who was killed at a hotel sought damages from the hotel’s general liability insurer, asserting negligent security after a woman attacked them at the door of their hotel room. Although the motive isn’t fully known, the woman did take cash and other personal items from the men as she fled.
- A Central Florida woman staying at an amusement park resort was allegedly attacked by a wild bird while on a dock owned by the resort. She reportedly suffered serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury. She claims the resort was aware these birds were a threat to visitors, and failed to warn them. The hotel is fighting the claim.
In another case out of Tampa, hundreds of guests had to be evacuated due to a fire that broke out in a hotel room where a guest’s straightening iron was accidentally left on. No one was hurt.
Hotels in other states have faced lawsuits recently for a range of offenses, including inadequate security for failing to verify that a man was allowed to enter the room of a female guest (he was the guest’s estranged, abusive husband) and unsanitary conditions leading to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease.
If you are injured at a Florida hotel, our personal injury lawyers in Southeast Florida will assess the circumstances to determine whether you have grounds to pursue a claim.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Officials: 8-year-old falls three stories at hotel, escapes with knee injury, Aug. 1, 2019, WFTV-9