When a guest in a hotel is injured on site, hotels can be liable for the negligent acts of hotel employees. In order for a hotel to be legally responsible for injuries incurred by a patron, plaintiffs need to establish that the hotel was somehow negligent. In other words, the hotel owed the visitor a duty of care, and breached that duty and the end result was that the person was injured.
Generally speaking, hotels have a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the business and protecting guests. Under premises liability law, a hotel visitor would be considered an “invitee,” which means he or she would be entitled to a high level of protection (as compared to, say, a trespasser or someone who is on site strictly for their own benefit). Invitees can generally expect that a hotel would conduct background checks on its employees, make the parking lots secure and have locks on the doors, maintain stairs and elevators and train pool staff on prevention of guest injuries. It also means that hotels would take care to reduce the chances of a slip-and-fall accident on site.
In the recent case, weighed by the Idaho Supreme Court, plaintiff suffered personal injury in a fall at a hotel. The issue the state high court had to consider was whether the statute of limitations (the time limit she had in which to file his claim) should be tolled (extended) because of confusion in identifying the actual owner of the hotel at the time of the incident. This case underscores why it is so imperative to have an experienced hotel injury attorney handling your case. Continue reading