When is a Miami Hotel Liable for an Injury You Suffered While Staying?
Each year millions of people from around the world flock to Miami for vacation. Most visitors travel to Miami between the months of December and May—this is Miami’s “high season.” Although injuries occur at hotels throughout the year, many them occur during the high season months when hotels are overbooked and understaffed. Contact Miami personal injury attorney Prosper Shaked if you were injured in a slip and fall incident, or other traumatic hotel accident in Miami. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
When is a Hotel Responsible for Your Injuries?
Whether or not you have a viable claim against a hotel in Miami will depend on whether the hotel or resort breached their duty to you. A hotel or resort generally has two duties:
- The hotel or resort must reasonably maintain or keep the premises and its facilities in a safe condition; and,
- The hotel or resort must provide the visitor or guest with a warning of any concealed danger that the hotel or it’s employees know of or should’ve known about.
Whether or not the hotel breached either of these duties will depend on many factors. Here are some of the questions to ask:
- What were you doing at hotel, resort or club?
- How much control did the hotel have over the incident?
- For how long was the dangerous condition present?
The less time the danger was present, the less likely the hotel breached their duty. Take for example a person who slips on a wet surface, falls to the ground, and breaks their ankle during the process. The floor was soaking wet because another guest spilled their cocktail just 30 seconds prior to the slip and fall. The hotel may not be liable if it did not have an opportunity to realize the danger. Generally speaking, the hotel will be liable for an injury if it should have known that the dangerous condition was present but failed to fix or warn guests about it.
- Did the hotel know or have reason to know of the dangerous condition?
- Were there employees in the immediate surrounding area?
- Was the injury caused by a dangerous activity?
There are certain activities that are inherently dangerous. For example, Basement Miami at the Edition Hotel in South Beach offers nightclub guests the opportunity to ice skate. Hotels, resorts, and other venues are less culpable for injuries sustained during these types of activities.
- Should the hotel have taken extra precautions?
- Was the danger open and obvious?
- Was the injured person under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident?
- Was there sufficient hotel security at the time?
The two most common instances of insufficient security that lead to personal injury claims against hotels in Miami Beach include injuries sustained as the result of bar fights and sexual assault. The hotels, bars, and nightclubs have a duty to protect their guests from dangerous individuals and even from their own employees.
- Was the hotel compliant with the local fire code?
- Was the hotel understaffed at the time of the incident?
These are a few of the many questions you and your attorney will need to address in determining whether the hotel breached their duty to you or your loved one. There are many pieces of evidence that will help answer these questions and determine whether the hotel was liable.
What to Do After Suffering a Hotel Injury in Miami
Step 1: Seek medical attention immediately.
Step 2: Report the accident to the hotel, resort or nightclub.
Step 3: Document everything. Collect the names and contact information for every person who observed the accident. Make sure to photograph the location, your clothing, and the shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident. If you are unable to take photographs yourself, ask someone else to take photographs for you. Keep a record of all doctors and medical providers that you see because of the injury.
Step 4: Make sure the evidence is preserved. It is common practice for hotels to delete video surveillance to make room for new video footage. The time the hotel takes before deleting the video from their system can range anywhere from one day to several years. To make sure the video of your accident is not deleted, it is important that you or your attorney send the hotel and its management a preservation letter immediately. This letter serves to notify the hotel of its duty to preserve the video to avoid any negative litigation consequences. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a preservation letter should ask the property to preserve (1) video surveillance of the incident, (2) cleaning or “sweep logs” of the area, (3) all maintenance and repair documents, and (4) a list of the employees working on the date of the accident.
Step 5: Do not publish anything about the accident on social media. It is best to limit your discussion about what happened.
Step 6: Contact a personal injury attorney. Although it is possible to handle the claim on your own, an experienced personal injury attorney will help maximize the value of your claim while taking control of the process for you.
Types of Accidents a Hotel is Liable For
Personal injury lawsuits against hotels are not limited to injuries suffered as the result of slip and fall accidents. Many hotels offer accommodations and activities that often result in serious injuries to their guests. These activities and accommodations require high levels of maintenance and staff to operate safely and efficiently. Some of the activities and accommodations that you may be a victim of include the following:
- Accidents involving rental jet skis and wave runners
- Accidents involving rental kayaks and windsurf boards
- Injuries sustained while wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, or parasailing behind a hotel owned or operated boat
- Hotel transportation including injuries suffered as a passenger in a hotel operated shuttle or golf cart
- Accidents on the Golf Course
- Serving alcohol to minors
- Food poisoning from old and contaminated ingredients or unsafe preparation.
- Insufficient security in common areas
Miami Personal Injury Attorney Handling Claims Against Hotels
If you suffered a serious injury while vacationing or visiting a hotel, restaurant, or nightclub in Miami you should focus your attention on recovery. At The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked you will find an experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive Miami personal injury attorney to handle your claim for you.
To discuss a potential claim in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked online, or call today at (305) 690-0244.