Hotels should be a place to relax and unwind on vacation or rest peacefully during a business trip. Unfortunately, not all hotel experiences leave you refreshed and ready to return to your daily routine. If you were injured while staying at a New Jersey hotel, you could be left with unexpected medical bills and physical pain.
Accidents happen, but if your hotel injury was due to something the management knew about or reasonably should have known about, you might be eligible for compensation.
The experienced New Jersey premises liability attorneys at Petro Cohen, P.C. believe that you should not be held responsible for injuries that could have been avoided if hotel management had done a good job of providing a safe environment for your stay. We specialize in personal injury and strive to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Is Premises Liability?
Injuries sustained at a hotel or other business fall under the legal umbrella of premises liability. Like most personal injury claims, premises liability is based on the damage that happens because of someone’s negligent action or omission. To succeed, a victim must prove that the property owner owed them a duty to keep the property safe.
This duty depends on the relationship between the owner and the injured person. Business visitors, such as guests in a hotel, are owed the highest duty of care, whereas trespassers are owed a minimal duty of care.
Who Is Liable for Injuries on a Hotel’s Premises?
Every hotel guest is owed a reasonable standard of care, but not all injuries that occur at the location are going to constitute hotel liability. For a hotel to be held financially responsible, there are four circumstances that must apply to the incident that occurred.
Duty of Care
Hotels, resorts, and other overnight hospitality facilities have a contractual or implied obligation to provide a certain standard hotel duty to guests, employees, and anyone else welcomed onto the property.
Breach of Duty
The action or inaction of hotel management or staff must have resulted in the injury of another person. For example, water is spilled in the lobby, and the concierge was aware of it but did not address it. If someone slipped and was injured, the hotel would be liable.
Proof of Notice
The owner, manager, or employee must have known that the dangerous condition existed or had reasonable time to discover it.
This means that a dangerous condition at the hotel was the cause of the injury or damage, and the damage is compensable.
Types of Hotel Injuries
There are many situations in a hotel where injuries could take place. Some of the most common hotel injuries can occur as a result of the following:
- Elevator or escalator accidents,
- Slip and falls,
- Injuries in or around pools or hot tubs,
- Broken or defective furniture or gym equipment,
- Food poisoning,
- Burns from hot water,
- Bed bugs or other insect infestations,
- Lack of security, and
- Exposure to toxic chemicals.
Not all hotels have the same amenities, which can change the probability of certain types of hotel injuries.
Hotel Liability for Employee Conduct
According to IBISWorld market research company, there are over 1,000 hotels in New Jersey, employing over 25,000 people. Ultimately, it is someone’s job to make sure the hotel premises are safe for guests. If an employee neglects their duties or causes an injury or damage, the hotel itself can be held liable under the legal theory of “vicarious liability.”
If the employee’s actions were performed within the scope of employment, a hotel might be held responsible. Even if it did not condone the conduct, the hotel is likely liable for the employee’s actions while on the job. This also applies in other employer-employee situations. For example, a hospital may be responsible for a doctor’s actions, just as a ride-share company may be responsible for a driver’s actions.
If you sustained injuries at a hotel or resort, an experienced premises liability lawyer can help you determine who is liable for injuries on a hotel’s premises and how much it is worth. Premises liability is a complex area of law, and the circumstances of your injury are important.
Trust Petro Cohen, P.C. with Your Personal Injury Case
At Petro Cohen, P.C., our injury attorneys have decades of experience handling thousands of personal injury cases with successful outcomes for our clients, fighting hard to recover fair compensation and appropriate medical care for their injuries. Petro Cohen, P.C. Managing Partner Susan Petro heads the Personal Injury Department, which includes experienced injury attorneys Rich Gaeckle and Mike Veneziani. Whether your injury resulted from a slip and fall, construction site mishap, or an accident involving an automobile, truck, motorcycle, boat, or bicycle, we can help, even if it means litigating against big corporations or public entities. Petro Cohen, P.C. has offices to serve you in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ. To determine if you may have a potential personal injury case, schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. lawyer. You can contact us through our online form or via 24/7 live chat at PetroCohen.com.