Improper Hotel Security Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers
Hotels are usually associated with relaxation, food, and often fun, but recent events in Las Vegas and around the world have shown that these facilities can host unspeakable and horrific events. Violence perpetrated by guests or others can be inflicted upon hotel guests and others in the area of the hotel with little notice. Whether a deranged guest brings a weapon into the hotel and begins attacking other guests or a criminal lurks near a hotel’s parking garage and ambushes guests as they return to or leave the hotel, when a hotel’s security is lacking, you or your loved ones can face serious or even catastrophic injuries and losses, as well as psychological injuries, that can impact your life and independence for years to come.
At Parker Waichman LLP, we stand up for the victims of such crimes and help them to seek justice. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer to see how we can help you recover from your injuries.
Security-Related Injuries, Accidental Deaths, and Hotel Liability
Hotels can’t invite guests like yourself and your family to stay with them without taking reasonable measures to ensure your safety. This means that hotels and the companies that control them must stay abreast of current threats and dangers as well as industry practices to address these threats and dangers. If they do not, they may be liable in hotel lawsuit cases.
- Enable guests to arrive at the hotel and park in a safe location
- Reduce the dark and shadowy areas around the hotel building where criminals or violent individuals might hide and attack guests
- Install, maintain, and properly monitor security cameras
- Develop proper procedures to ensure that all areas of the hotel are regularly inspected
- Ensure that guests do not bring deadly weapons, like guns, bombs or dangerous knives, onto the hotel premises or into areas where other guests may be staying or walking
- Guarantee that emergency assistance, whether it’s law enforcement or emergency medical care, will be summoned quickly to respond to a threat or injury incident
- Train hotel staff on what they can do in the event of an emergency in order to help keep guests safe, protect the health and well-being of guests, and find additional help
Damages You May Be Awarded in a Hotel Security Case
When hotels fail to consider potential dangers and take appropriate actions, their guests are put at risk of suffering personal injury and damage to property. Any such injury or loss can result in thousands of dollars in expenses like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Ongoing therapy or treatment costs
- Loss of future income
- Replacement costs of property
- Costs tied to the emotional and mental harm such events routinely cause
- Purchase and maintenance of special equipment required as a result of an injury
Dangers Stemming From Lapses in Hotel Security
Assaults and Robberies
Hotels are attractive locations for thieves, robbers, and those who want to inflict violence upon others to lurk. Many hotels and hotel parking structures have dark areas in which these nefarious individuals can hide while waiting for a victim to stroll by. Assaults and robberies can inflict significant mental injuries upon the victim as well as cuts, bruises, broken bones or loss of property. Hotel injury settlements often stem from incidents when hotels do not do a good job of avoiding offering places to hide to attackers.
In the wake of the October 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, some hotels in America have started requiring guests to walk through a metal detector before being permitted to check in. Hotels that do not take measures to screen the baggage of guests at check-in may be putting the lives of their guests and others at risk. What’s more, if a hotel does not have a safety plan in place that includes policies on how to respond to such an event, precious time can be lost and more casualties can be inflicted while the hotel staff attempts to react to the situation.
Loss of Property
While not as catastrophic as an assault, robbery or shooting, having one’s property stolen from one’s room can result in significant emotional or mental ramifications. While guests generally have a responsibility to safeguard their own property while staying at a hotel, the hotel may nonetheless be held partly to blame if security in the hotel is wanting or if the hotel did not appropriately and timely respond to complaints from other guests about suspicious activities or people. A good hotel negligence attorney can help you if you have been a victim of preventable theft.
Statutes of Limitations Apply
If you have been injured while staying at a hotel or while on hotel property, you have precious little time within which to take action. In every state, a statute of limitations controls how much time a person who is injured has to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.
In some states, victims may have several years within which to investigate and file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the hotel at fault. In other states, the statute of limitations that a hotel injury lawyer must follow may only be one year. Regardless of how long the relevant statute of limitations in your case is, your case may be dismissed without any compensation being awarded to you if it is not properly filed.
If a claim potentially may be filed against a state or local municipality, there are usually even shorter time frames that must be met. In many jurisdictions, a notice of claim may need to be filed in as little as 30 days from the incident. When you work with an experienced hotel accident lawyer at Parker Waichman, we’ll make sure that your case can comply with these limitations.
Quickly Securing Evidence Is Critical to Your Case
There’s also another, more basic reason, why you will want to take prompt action following a hotel security-related injury. This is because the availability of helpful and persuasive witnesses and evidence decreases dramatically the longer you wait to file your case.
Evidence in lawsuits against hotels for negligence that might help show that the hotel and its parent company were negligent, such as policy manuals, email discussions, surveillance videos, cell phone videos, and internal reports, can all be lost or be destroyed in the normal course of business if preservation orders are not prepared and submitted quickly.
Similarly, a witness’s memory of the events of a particular day can become cloudy with the passage of time. A witness may remember an incident clearly a month or two after the event occurred but be unable to recall critical details of the events that led to your injury, assault or loss later on.
Obtaining poor legal assistance can be just as damaging to your ability to recover adequate and fair compensation as not hiring an attorney at all. Be sure to work with an experienced firm such as Parker Waichman to ensure that evidence is preserved to make the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Do I Have Grounds for a Claim?
Hotels have a general legal responsibility to take reasonable measures to protect their guests, but this does not mean that every shooting, stabbing or other injury incident that occurs will lead to compensation for the victim.
In most states, as long as the hotel’s degree of culpability is greater than the injury victim’s own culpability (if applicable), the victim will prevail. An injured victim or the surviving family members of a deceased victim must present witness testimony or objective evidence to show:
- The type of injury or loss suffered was one that would have been reasonably foreseeable to a hotel or other individual or entity that houses individuals for profit.
- Reasonable measures were available for the hotel or other responsible party to take that would have prevented the loss or injury from occurring or at least would have reduced the likelihood of the event.
- The hotel’s failure to take these reasonable measures was negligent and careless; any other person or entity in the place of the hotel or other responsible party would have taken these measures.
- The harm suffered was proximately caused by the failure to take reasonable preventative and/or reactive measures.
Parker Waichman’s team has extensive experience conducting the type of investigation required to determine if liability exists. They leave no stone unturned when they provide help with hotel lawsuit cases.
In addition to showing that the hotel owner or other responsible party’s negligent and careless actions caused the victim to suffer injuries and losses, the victim must also establish the financial “cost” of this harm. Medical bills, work attendance records, and other similar documents along with the testimony of the victim or the victim’s family and friends may all be necessary to help meet this burden.
The Process of Filing a Hotel Security Injury Lawsuit
If you have a legitimate claim for compensation following a security lapse, assault or other injury at a hotel, the process of recovering compensation through hotel injury settlements or jury awards will begin with the filing of your legal complaint in the appropriate court. This document sets forth the factual allegations and legal theories that support your claim for compensation. This document must also be properly served upon the individual or entity from which you are seeking compensation.
Once served, the other party will then have an opportunity to reply to your filing and answer your claims.
After the filing of your initial pleading and the other party’s response, a process known as discovery begins in earnest. During this phase of a personal injury or wrongful death action, each party is afforded an opportunity to investigate the evidence in the possession of the other party and depose the other party’s witnesses and experts. While the court ultimately controls how long the discovery process takes, in complex cases, it can take several months.
Once this is completed, the case proceeds to trial. Following the trial, the losing party typically has the ability to appeal if they believe that legal errors contributed to an incorrect decision.
Hotel Security Injury Claim FAQs
Am I Able to Recover Damages for My Hotel Security-Related Injuries?
Hotels are responsible for taking reasonable measures to protect their guests from foreseeable harms and dangers, and those that do not provide adequate security on site or do not act to prevent guests from bringing weapons onto the premises may be responsible for any injuries, property damage, and/or loss of life that results.
Will My Hotel Security Injury Case Settle?
Depending on the circumstances of your injuries and the strength of the evidence in your favor, you may be offered a settlement at some point in your case. In most settlement agreements, the hotel or other responsible individual or entity agrees to pay you a sum of money in exchange for your promise not to file a lawsuit against that individual or entity. Because a settlement agreement may require you to waive important legal rights and because most settlement agreements cannot be undone, it’s important to speak with an attorney about whether the settlement offered is in your best interest.
How Can a Hotel Injury Lawyer Help My Case?
The mere fact that you suffered an injury accident while on the premises of a hotel does not automatically entitle you to compensation.
Even if you have a legitimate claim, that claim may be defeated if you:
- Fail to allege sufficient facts in your initial pleading
- Fail to properly serve the hotel, the hotel’s parent company, an employee of that hotel or any other defendant that you allege is responsible for your injuries
- Fail to take timely and appropriate actions when your case is challenged by the opposing parties
These responsibilities can be overwhelming for you and your family in the aftermath of a hotel security-related injury accident. But an experienced attorney is able to ensure that these important legal requirements, tasks, and responsibilities are taken care of so you can focus on your and your family’s well-being.
What’s more, your attorney’s advocacy skills and familiarity with the substantive and procedural laws you will need to prevail will increase your odds of success compared to attempting to handle your claim yourself.
Parker Waichman’s mission is simple: assist injury victims in holding hotels, their parent companies or employees of such hotels responsible for the role they play when tragedies are permitted to happen.
Our personal injury law firm was court-appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committee after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and also represented many thousands of clients injured and killed as a result of the 2001 World Trade Center disaster. The attorneys at Parker Waichman have extensive experience in the most complex cases involving terrorism and terrorist-type events.
The lawyers at Parker Waichman have also received a number of honors and accolades, including:
- A 9.8/10 AVVO rating
- The top Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating of “AV Preeminent”
- Entry into Best Lawyers, based on peer review
- The highest rating of “5” from Lawdragon
With years of experience helping victims and their families recover compensation and a record of obtaining more than $2 billion on behalf of our clients through verdicts and settlements, our team is dedicated to advocating powerfully and persuasively on each client’s behalf.
Talk With One of Our
Hotel Security Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in an assault or other accident while at a hotel, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic losses. Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today to speak with a knowledgeable hotel injury attorney who will give you a free case evaluation to determine your legal rights.