When you’re on vacation or away for business in Georgia, staying at a hotel is often considered a luxury. However, getting into an accident that renders you injured can take all your enjoyment away in a heartbeat. So if you plan on filing a claim, you need to know what situations make the hotel liable.
Hotels and premises liability
Hotels must ensure that visitors stay safe by keeping their premises in a condition that prevents potential accidents. Your safety includes securing all common areas indoors and outdoors by providing adequate lighting, clean, clear walkways and eliminating hazards.
Suppose a visitor encounters a dangerous situation and suffers a slip-and-fall accident; the hotel could be liable under premises liability laws. However, this doesn’t apply to every situation. For example, the hotel would not be at fault if a couple of visitors are horsing around and one takes a tumble down the stairs. However, if a hotel patron is walking down the stairs, the bottom step is loose, and they twist and injure their ankle, the hotel would be liable.
Proving negligence for hotel injuries
Negligence is the leading cause of premises liability lawsuits. As a result, if a person suffered an accident and sustained injuries while staying at a hotel, they would have to prove that negligence was to blame. Four elements of proof can achieve that. The first is that the hotel must keep visitors safe. However, the hotel fails in its duty when there is an unsafe condition on the premises.
The unsafe condition must have directly caused the person’s injuries. For example, a person is walking in the hotel hallway and slips and falls because the floor is wet and there are no warning signs.
The plaintiff must also show that they suffered damages as a direct result of the unsafe condition at the hotel. Using the above example, the wet floor that caused the person to slip and fall resulted in a knee injury. Evidence can help strengthen a premises liability claim against a hotel. Evidence can include photos, witness accounts and accident reports.
Hotels must be safe to accommodate visitors. They can be liable if an accident occurs because of a dangerous condition.