For a lot of good reasons, hotels go the extra mile to ensure that their guests are safe and well cared for. This isn’t just important for protecting their reputations. It’s also an important way that they manage their legal risk. For someone who has been injured at a hotel, it may be possible to recover compensation from the hotel or its insurance policies for the costs associated with the injury.
A hotel’s liability is often a question of negligence
In most personal injury cases the key issues are whether the defendant behaved negligently, and whether that negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. Negligence takes place if a person or business has a legal obligation to treat another person with a certain standard of care and fails to meet that standard. Standards of care are established in the long history of judicial decisions and, sometimes, in statutes.
Hotels, motels, hostels, and so forth are subject to laws governing public accommodations
. As a public accommodation a hotel has a high duty of care toward visitors. It must take all reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable injuries to guests. This duty extends to the entire publicly accessible property owned or operated by the hotel, including its parking lots, pool areas, gyms, and restaurants.
The high standard of care makes hotels responsible for rapidly responding to dangerous conditions once the hotel (through its staff) is aware of them. Hotels also have an obligation to routinely inspect their property for potential hazards. For example, a guest using a hotel’s public restroom spills water on the floor. Here are two scenarios leading from this that could result in liability for the hotel:
- The guest promptly tells a member of the hotel’s staff about the spill, but the staff member doesn’t do anything about it. Shortly thereafter, someone slips and falls on the wet floor, suffering a serious injury. The inaction on the part of the staff member, acting as an agent of the hotel, may be sufficient to find liability.
- The guest doesn’t tell the hotel about the spill. The hotel doesn’t have a routine process for checking bathrooms, and two hours later someone falls and gets hurt. Here the key question is whether requiring the hotel to inspect the bathroom for things like spilled water is reasonable.
A hotel has limited obligations to prevent injuries caused by third parties
Another source of potential injury at hotels is not the hotel itself but other guests. Nevada law
limits the liability of a hotel for injuries caused by people who are not employees of the hotel unless
the act causing the injury was foreseeable and the hotel didn’t exercise due care to keep visitors safe or prevent the wrongful act of the perpetrator. The foreseeability requirement is a key component of this rule. A hotel that has a long history of rowdy fights in its bar probably has a higher duty of care to be prepared for such events in the future (i.e., by employing security) than a hotel with no such history.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases in Las Vegas. If you have been injured at a hotel and would like a free attorney consultation to discuss your case, please call us today. Call 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website
Tens of millions
of people come to Las Vegas every year to enjoy our city’s unique venues and experiences. The city has invested heavily in making sure that visitors have a fun, safe experience while they’re here. Still, accidents do happen, and some vacationers wind up with serious injuries that require medical care and may have long-term consequences. Especially for people who are from out of state, it can be helpful in such circumstances to work with a local law firm that knows Nevada personal injury law.
The kinds of injuries visitors to Las Vegas may suffer
Las Vegas isn’t your typical city. The casinos, bright lights, and colorful entertainment culture can be dazzling to visitors from almost anywhere. Like any large city, Las Vegas has its share of accidents. Some of the more common ones are:
- Injuries to pedestrians. In 2017, 78 pedestrians were killed after being struck by vehicles in Clark County. A significantly larger number suffered nonfatal injuries. The lesson for visitors is that crossing the road in Las Vegas requires extra care.
- Injuries resulting from alcohol or drug use. Someone who has had too much to drink at a casino bar might stumble and fall, start a fight, or try to drive home. Because Nevada has decriminalized recreational marijuana, there may be an increased chance of encountering someone who is under the influence of pot while driving. Las Vegas is a pretty strict town when it comes to controlling drunk and rowdy behavior, but the fact remains that many people come to the city to have a wild time, and they can end up hurting themselves or others.
- Falls and other accidents at hotels. Las Vegas’s economy is driven by its hotel industry, and as such the city’s hotels take great pains to be safe, enjoyable places to be. Injuries still do happen, whether caused by a clear act of negligence on the part of a staff member or a condition that the hotel should have addressed but didn’t.
The law of personal injury in Nevada
A Nevada personal injury lawsuit can help an injured person recover compensation for medical costs, lost earnings, and other consequences of the injury. In a typical personal injury case the injured plaintiff must establish that the defendant acted negligently, which caused the plaintiff’s injury. This standard applies to many common types of injury, including auto accidents and slip-and-fall injuries. Whether behavior is “negligent” depends on a range of factors that will vary according to the circumstances.
Working with a local law firm can be an efficient way to resolve a personal injury dispute for people who live outside Las Vegas. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented injured clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. Our extensive local knowledge and deep understanding of Nevada law can be a significant asset to anyone who needs representation in our city. Call today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website