Hotels are often considered a getaway or a haven for travelers. However, a number of accidents, sometimes involving serious injuries or fatalities, do occur in California hotels.
Southern California, especially Orange County, has a healthy tourism industry thanks to its world-famous amusement parks and sun-kissed beaches. This means that the occupancy rates in local hotels are high year-round.
The potential for injuries to occur at hotels is significant. Slip-and-fall accidents, trip-and-fall mishaps, swimming pool accidents such as drowning or near-drowning, and electrocution are just a few examples of some of the serious injury accidents that could occur at hotels.
There are several steps injured victims and their families would be well advised to take in the event they are injured or have lost a loved one due to a hotel’s negligence. These steps are necessary in order to help victims protect their legal rights and in the long run, their best interests.
If you’ve been injured in a hotel in California, contact our experienced premise liability attorneys with decades of success in and out of the courtroom. Our team of trial lawyers have taken on some of the toughest cases involving premise liability accidents.
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CA. Hotel Injury Resources
How long Do I have to File a Hotel Injury Claim in California?
The statute of limitations for filing a hotel injury claim in California is two years from the date of the injury or the date the injury was discovered. If you wait longer than two years to file your lawsuit, you will likely be barred from recovering damages for your injuries.
There are a few exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations.
For example, if you were injured due to the hotel’s negligence and you were unaware of your injuries until later, you may be able to file a lawsuit within one year of the date you discovered your injuries. This is known as the “discovery rule.”
This is why it is important to speak to an experienced hotel injury attorney as soon as possible after you are injured. An attorney can help you assess your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. We can also help you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the statute of limitations for hotel injury claims in California:
- The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of the injury, even if you are not aware of your injuries at the time.
- The statute of limitations is not paused if you cannot file a lawsuit due to illness or other extenuating circumstances.
- The statute of limitations can sometimes be extended, such as if the hotel tries to cover up its negligence.
Types of Hotel Injuries
- Swimming pool accidents and drownings
- Bed bugs
- Electrical shock
- Fire and burn injuries
- Slip and fall
- Escalator injuries
- Negligent security
- Unsafe or defective furniture
- Food contamination or food poisoning
- Assault and battery injuries
Common Premises Where Injuries Occurs
Common Hotel Injuries
- Broken bones: This is one of the most common types of injuries in personal injury accidents. Broken bones can occur in any body part, but they are most common in the arms, legs, and ribs.
- Head injuries: Head injuries can be severe, and they can lead to a variety of problems, including brain damage, paralysis, and even death.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, leaving the victim paralyzed from the neck down.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries are not always visible, but they can be just as serious as broken bones or head injuries. Internal injuries can include organ damage, bleeding, and even death.
- Lacerations: Lacerations are cuts that can be caused by sharp objects or by the force of an impact. Lacerations can be deep or superficial, requiring stitches or other medical treatment.
- Abrasions: Abrasions are scrapes that can be caused by falling or by being dragged along the ground. Abrasions can be painful and can lead to infection.
- Burns: Burns can be caused by fire, hot liquids, or chemicals. Burns can be superficial or deep, and they can require medical treatment.
Call the Authorities After a Hotel Injury
If you have slipped and fallen or been the victim of a crime at a hotel, you must contact the authorities. If you have been seriously injured, call 911. If a criminal act was involved, make sure you file a police report. This not only ensures that you get your account of the incident into the report but also serves as proof later that the incident did occur and that you were injured or suffered a loss due to the incident. Do not ignore this step. It could prove costly when you file your premises liability claim.
Contact the Hotel's Management to Report Injuries
If you have, for example, slipped or tripped and injured yourself, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed. Likely, it was not your fault. Report the incident and what you believe caused it to an employee. Ideally, file a report with the hotel’s manager.
If you leave or fail to report the incident, the defendant may later deny that such an incident happened. When you report the incident, make sure that an incident report is prepared. Most importantly, make sure that you get a copy of that report. Ensure you maintain a file documenting all communications with the hotel or its representatives.
Documenting What Happened at the Hotel
It would be best if you documented everything that happened. You can do this by taking pictures of where the incident occurred. For example, was there a broken or damaged stair that tripped you? Or did you stumble on bunched-up carpeting? Was there a liquid spill on the floor where you slipped and fell?
These are all important details to have. If you have to get to a hospital right away or, for some reason, are unable to document the incident scene, ask a friend to take some photographs before the problem is hurriedly fixed or repaired.
Also, take photos of any bruises, swelling, or lacerations on your body. Make sure the photos are dated. These visible signs of injury may also disappear quickly. So, it is important to document them visually as soon as possible.
Consult with a hotel injury attorney to discuss your documentation and proof of injury to determine if you have a premises liability claim.
Seeking Prompt Medical Attention
If you have been injured at a hotel, it is important that you seek medical attention right away. It is essential to get checked out by a physician even if you don’t feel injured initially. For example, in slip-and-fall accidents, you may not feel anything due to the initial shock of the fall.
A number of injuries, such as neck and back injuries, may surface days or even weeks after the incident. When you seek prompt medical attention, you not only maximize your chances of having a quick and complete recovery, but you also prevent injuries from getting worse. You have evidence to show that you took care of yourself right away.
Keep Track of all Your Injury Expenses
Any serious injury accident results in significant physical, emotional, and financial strain for victims and their families. If you have health insurance, your policy will likely cover most of your treatments.
However, if you do not have health insurance or if you lack sufficient coverage, then, you may have to pay a number of expenses out of pocket. Even those with proper insurance coverage may have to pay a number of items out of pocket such as physical therapy or chiropractic care.
These bills can add up quickly and pose a significant financial burden for victims and their families. It would be in the best interests of victims to keep track of all their expenses, including medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages and other expenses caused by their injuries.
Suing a Hotel for Negligence
Not all accidents qualify for a premise liability case. The hotel would have to have been negligent to file a lawsuit. Without “negligence,” you can’t successfully sue a hotel for the injuries. If negligence is often questionable, the hotel may settle with you just to avoid the lawsuit.
Negligence is when a hotel should have been aware of the problem but did not do anything about it.
For a hotel to be negligent, it needs to have had knowledge of the potential danger and still ignored it.
The following are some examples of negligence:
- Failure to provide safe drinking water in the event of a water contamination warning.
- Failure to provide fire alarms or extinguishers;
- Failure to provide safe exits in case of an emergency evacuation.
Negligence cases against hotels are filed when the hotel violates a duty it owes its customers. This includes inadequate security, not providing the amenities promised, or not providing timely and accurate information about a customer’s reservation.
Several different types of negligence cases can be filed against hotels. These include:
- Breach of contract
- Negligent misrepresentation
- Negligence per se
- Violation of public policy
What are some of the most common causes of hotel negligence?
- Inadequate training of staff members
- Lack of proper maintenance and cleaning staff
- Poor quality equipment
If you’ve been injured, contact a hotel injury lawyer in California to preserve your legal rights. There is no fee if we don’t win your injury claim.
How Much Can you Ask for From a Hotel Injury?
Typically a lawyer will ask for 3-4 times the amount of money the injury caused you for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and time missed from work. Most premise liability lawsuits consist of compensatory, punitive and general damages.
You usually cannot sue for lost property unless it’s proven that extreme neglect was involved. Someone simply walking off with your luggage won’t qualify. However, you may file a claim in most scenarios if items are stolen from your room.
Contact a hotel accident lawyer for a free case evaluation to find out how much your case is.
Duty of Care in Hotels
Hotels are required to keep their premises safe for guests. This includes keeping equipment safe and properly securing the grounds and rooms.
Doors that don’t correctly lock or unsanitary rooms is not the proper duty of care. Furthermore, if there is a potential danger, the hotel must inform guests of alternative accommodations until the danger is removed.
This could include unsafe electrical outlets, worn carpeting, or a damaged restroom towel rack that could result in a fall. Hotels are also responsible for their employees and actions an employee may take against a guest such as assault.
Contact an Experienced California Hotel Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured as the result of a hotel’s negligence, it is crucial that you seek the counsel and guidance of an experienced California hotel injury attorney who will thoroughly review all aspects of your case and ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will go after the at-fault parties and ensure that they are held accountable for all your injuries, damages and losses.
Call 800-561-4887 now to speak with our top premises liability lawyer.