Hotel Liability for Guests' Belongings

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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Can a Hotel be Liable for a Guest's Personal Belongings?

Hotels are limited in their liability for your personal belongings.  Limited liability means that the hotel will only be liable for a given amount, regardless of the value of your loss.  However, if you can show that the hotel or its staff's negligence was the cause of your loss, then the hotel will be liable for the full value. 

Is a Hotel Always Liable for a Guest's Personal Belongings? 

If negligence is not shown, hotel liability depends on state law.  Here are some common examples where hotel liability is an issue: 

Can a Hotel's Liability Depend on the Guest's Actions? 

Yes it can.  For example, if you act negligently and end up losing your property, you cannot place the blame on the hotel.  A common occurrence involves the safe for your valuables provided by a hotel room.  If you don't use the safe and your valuables are stolen, some states will hold that the hotel is not liable since you could have protected your valuables but did not do so. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to Hold a Hotel Liable for Lost or Stolen Property?

Since state laws regarding hotel liability vary so widely, you should consult an experienced attorney if you believe you have a claim against a hotel.  An attorney who knows the local laws will be able to inform you of what you can recover and other possible actions against the hotel.

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Last Modified: 08-22-2012 03:17 PM PDT

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