How Hotels are Held Liable in Personal Injury Claims

Understanding Hotel Liability for Personal Injuries: What You Need to Know

Like all businesses, hotels must provide guests with a safe environment in order to avoid injury. This includes making sure that employees are not negligent or careless when dealing with guests. However, there are some criteria that must be met before you can hold a hotel liable if you are injured while visiting or staying there, according to injury lawyers in Las Vegas.


Proving Negligence

The first element that must be met is proving that a hotel is liable for your personal injury claim is to prove negligence. This means you must be able to prove that the hotel breached its duty to prevent the injury and that the breach of duty was responsible for your injury. Under traditional premises law, according to some of the best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas, a hotel guest would be considered an invitee which means they would be legally entitled to a higher amount of protection than someone who is simply visiting the hotel or trespassing. In 1994, the Nevada Supreme Court did away with different categories and held that a hotel must exercise reasonable care in protecting all people on its property.

A hotel is required to inspect the grounds and keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. If a dangerous condition is identified, they must take steps to correct the problem or at least to protect guests from injury. For example, if a pipe is leaking into a hallway and it cannot be repaired quickly, the hotel must post a sign warning guests that there may be water on the floor. A hotel must follow applicable codes, provide adequate lighting and keep steps unobstructed. This means steps should be dry, clear of debris, ice and other objects that could cause tripping. Hotels must control insect infestations, maintain property security, exercise reasonable care during the hiring process, train pool staff to prevent injuries and maintain locks on hotel room doors.


Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is a legal term used when a hotel employee’s actions cause injury to a guest. The action must be within the scope of the employee’s job in order for the hotel to be held liable. Even if the hotel did not sanction the conduct that caused the injury, were unaware of the incident and had no direct control over the employee at the time, they can be held liable for a guest’s injury. For example, if the lifeguard at the hotel pool leaves his post for a cigarette break, leaving the pool unattended, and you are injured, you may be able to hold the hotel liable for your injury.


Injury Must Occur

Once you have determined that the hotel or an employee was negligent, you must then be able to prove that you were injured and that the negligence caused the injury. If you slipped on water spilled in your own hotel room, you may not be able to hold the hotel liable. However, if the spill was left after housekeeping cleaned your room, you might be able to prove that the housekeeping staff was negligent. You must also suffer an injury. If you slip and fall, but are not injured, the hotel may not be held liable.


Damages Recovered

If you are able to meet all the criteria necessary to prove that a hotel was negligent, leading to your injury, you may be eligible for compensation. Damages you may be able to recover include medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, loss of companionship as well as pain and suffering, according to a Las Vegas injury law firm.

If you were a guest at a hotel and suffered an injury, contact the Las Vegas injury law firm, The Schnitzer Law Firm, to learn what rights you may have. You can reach them by calling 702-960-4050, emailing or fill out the easy form online to speak to the best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas residents trust.