Actions to recover for swimming-pool accidents at hotels, motels, resorts, and private association or club facilities are governed by standard negligence principles. Hotels and resorts may be held liable for injuries to guests and visitors and can also be held liable for negligent acts of hotel employees.
How Can I Prove That a Hotel or Resort Was Negligent?
In order to hold a hotel or resort liable for injuries that occurred on the hotel premises, the plaintiff or injured party must prove that the hotel was somehow negligent. This means that the hotel owed a duty of care to the plaintiff and the hotel breached this duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable measures to prevent the injury. When a hotel does not inspect the premises that is open to all guests or fails to maintain safe conditions, it has breached its duty of care to guests and a personal injury claim may be brough.
What Are the Duties of a Hotel or Resort to Guests?
A hotel or resort has a general duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining a safe premises for it;s guests. The hotel also has a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the hotel business. A hotel guest is considered a "invitee" under premises liability law. A hotel must usually inspect the hotel premises for any existing dangerous conditions and take reasonable steps to protect guests from known or discoverable unsafe conditions. Common hotel or resort duties are:
- Maintain adequate lighting in access areas
- Repair any hotel defects that are unsafe and exposed
- Control insect infestations ( bed bugs)
- Maintain proper security to avoid crimes and theft
- Train all pool staff to prevent injuries to guests
- Maintain all stairs and elevators
- Maintain locks to all hotel rooms
Can a Hotel Be Liable for Lack of Lifeguards?
A hotel or resort may be negligent for failing to provide some person experienced in life saving or warning of the absence of one. For example, one court held a motel liable based on the absence of a lifeguard. If a hotel has a pool that is open to the public, the hotel must train all pool staff to prevent injuries to any guests. A hotel or resort can also be liable for a lifeguard's inadequate supervision.
What Are the Common Hotel Injuries?
Some common injuries that occur to hotel guests which the hotel may be held liable for are as follows
- Swimming Pools: The swimming pool premises was dangerously designed or had lack of supervision and warning to prevent injuries
- Broken Furniture: The furniture provided for guests was broken or poorly made which caused injury to a hotel guest
- Slip and Fall: A hotel guest was injured because of a slippery floor, bunched carpet, cracked floor that the hotel was aware of or should have been aware of.
- Bed Bugs: The hotel beds, mattress, pillows were infested with bugs because of hotels insanitary maintainence.
- Criminal Conduct: Criminal acts of third parties that occurred in hotel that the hotel had a duty to prevent or was aware of
- Food Poisoning: The food served by the hotel was unsanitary or the utensils or cups provided to guestrooms were not clean.
Can a Hotel Be Liable for Criminal Acts of Other Guests?
A hotel or resort cannot be held liable for criminal acts of third parties who are not employees of the hotel unless the hotel knew or should have anticipated the crime. If the hotel is in a high crime area, the hotel must take extra measures to protect the guests from criminal conduct that is common in the surrounding areas
Can a Hotel Be Liable for Guest's Personal Belongings?
A hotel's liability for theft from a guest's hotel room is limited. A hotel is usually not liable for theft of guest items within the rooms unless the guest can show that the hotel was negligent in providing safe premises or the lock on the room was faulty. The hotel may also be liable if it can be proven that the hotel employee was the person who took the guest's valuable's or items held in their room. Another way a hotel may be liable for theft of guest's items is if the guest leaves their luggage or items within the hotel's control either at the front desk or with an employee.
Should I Consult an Attorney Regarding Swimming Pool Injuries?
If you have been injured in a swimming pool, a personal injury attorney can help develop your case against the hotel or resort. Proving negligence can be difficult, but an experienced attorney can help explain the law and your rights so that you can recover damages for your injuries.