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Hotel Security Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers
Hotels are usually associated with rest, relaxation, food, refreshment and oftentimes fun, but recent events in Las Vegas and around the world have shown that these facilities can be attract unspeakable and horrific events. Violence from guests or from others in the community or outside the community, can be inflicted upon 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, you and/or your loved ones can face serious – even catastrophic – injuries and losses as well as psychological injuries that can impact your life and independence for years to come.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP?
Parker Waichman LLP’s mission is simple: assist those injured, in holding hotels, their parent companies, and/or employees of such hotels responsible for the role they play when such tragedies are permitted to happen.
Our personal injury law firm and the lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP were court appointed to the steering committee of 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. In short, the attorneys at Parker Waichman have extensive experience in the most complex cases involving terrorism and terrorist-type events.
Our personal injury law firm and the lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP have also received a number of honors and accolades, including:
- A 9.8/10 AVVO.com rating
- The Top Martindale AV Peer Review Rating of “Preeminent Lawyers”
- Entry into Best Lawyers’ Peer Review’s publication
- The highest rating of “5” on Lawdragon
With years of experience helping victims and their families recover compensation and a record of obtaining over $2 billion on behalf of our clients through verdicts and settlements. Parker Waichman LLP is prepared and dedicated to advocating powerfully and persuasively on your behalf.
Security Related Injuries, Accidental Deaths and Hotel Liability
Hotels cannot invite guests like yourself and your family to stay with them without taking reasonable measures to help 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.
Hotels must develop and implement plans, policies, and procedures that will:
- Enable guests to arrive at the hotel and park in a safe and secure location
- Reduce the dark and shadowy areas around the hotel building where criminals and/or violent individuals might hide and attack guests
- Install, maintain and properly monitor its security cameras
- Develop proper procedures to ensure that all areas of the hotel are regularly inspected
- Ensure “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 law enforcement or emergency medical care – will be summonsed quickly in order to respond to a threat, danger 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 wellbeing of guests, and reach out for additional help
Damages You May be Awarded in Your Improper Security Case
When hotels fail to consider these dangers and take appropriate actions, the guests of that hotel are put at risk of suffering personal injury and damage to property. Any such injury or loss can result in thousands of dollars in costs and expenses like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Ongoing therapy or treatment costs
- Loss of future income
- Replacement of property costs
- Expenses tied to the emotional and mental harm such events routinely cause
- Purchase and maintenance of special equipment required as a result of an injury
Lapses in Hotel Security can Lead to:
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 lurk 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, and/or loss of property.
In the wake of the October 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, some hotels in America are beginning to require 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 is 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 contact law enforcement.
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 may 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 and/or persons.
Special Time Limits or 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 state-specific 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 at-fault hotel. In other states, the statute of limitations 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 your case is not filed.
If a claim potentially may be filed against a state or local municipality, there are usually even shorter time frames than those of a statute of limitations that must be timely met. Oftentimes these are referred to as Notice of Claim and in many jurisdictions they can be as short as 30 days from the days of the incident.
Quickly Securing Evidence is Critical to Your Case
There is 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 that might help show the hotel and its parent company were negligent – policy manuals, e-mail discussions, surveillance videos, cell phone videos, internal reports and investigations – can all become lost or be destroyed in the normal course of business if preservation orders are not prepared and submitted quickly.
In a similar way, a witness’s memory of the events of a particular day can become cloudy with the passage of time. An event that a witness may remember clearly a month or two after the event occurred may be unable to recall critical details of the events that led to your injury, assault, or loss. It’s no secret that the party to get to a witness is more likely find the witness agreeable to talk to them.
Parker Waichman has extensive experience in this area. Jerrold S. Parker, one of the founding partners of Parker Waichman, is a former Special Agent with the U.S. Treasury Department. Herbert L. Waichman, also a founding partner of Parker Waichman, is a former New York City Police Lieutenant. They, along with others at Parker Waichman are expertly trained in matter such as this.
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 certain to speak with an experienced firm such as Parker Waichman LLP about your case today.
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 attack, shooting, stabbing, or other injury incident that occurs will lead to compensation for the injury victim.
In most states, so long as the hotel’s degree of culpability is greater than the injury victim’s own negligent behavior (if applicable), the victim will prevail. An injured victim or the surviving family members of a deceased victim must present witnesses’ testimony and/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 who houses individuals for profit
- Reasonable measures were available (i.e., measures or steps that were not prohibitively expensive) 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 from happening
- The hotel’s/responsible party’s failure to take these reasonable measures was negligent and careless – that is, any other person or entity in the place of the hotel or 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 thought their team have a long history in conducting the type of investigation that is required to uncover the facts needed to determine if liability exists. They leave no stone unturned.
Proving Damages to Ensure You Receive Full Compensation
In addition to showing that the hotel owner’s 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 and/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 or Obtaining a Just Settlement
If you have a legitimate claim for compensation following a security lapse, assault, or other injury at a hotel, the process of recovering compensation will begin with the filing of your legal complaint in the appropriate court.
This document sets forth the factual allegations and legal authorities that support your claim for compensation. This document must also be properly served upon the individual(s) and/or entity or entities from whom you are seeking compensation.
Once served, the other party or parties will then have an opportunity to reply to your filing and “answer” your claims.
The Discovery Process in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions
After the filing of your initial pleading and the other party’s response, a process known as discovery begins in earnest. During this phase each party is afforded an opportunity to investigate the evidence in the possession of the other party and/or depose (that is, take the sworn statement) of the other party’s witnesses and experts.
While the court ultimately controls how long the discovery process takes, in complex cases it may take several months before the discovery process can be completed. Once it is completed, the case proceeds to trial.
Following the trial, the losing party typically has the ability to appeal the adverse verdict to an appellate court if the losing party believes that legal errors contributed to an incorrect decision.
Hotel Security Injury Claim FAQs
Am I able to recover for my hotel security-related injuries?
Hotels are responsible for taking reasonable measures to protect their guests from foreseeable harms and dangers. This means that, given the recent tragedy in Las Vegas as well as other similar events across the country and around the world, hotels who do not provide adequate security on site and/or who 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 result.
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, once consummated, cannot be undone, you are strongly encouraged 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.
- If you fail to properly serve the hotel, the hotel’s parent company, an employee of that hotel, and/or any other defendant you allege is responsible for your injuries.
- If you 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.
An experienced attorney, from Parker Waichman LLP, is able to ensure that these important legal requirements, tasks and responsibilities are properly completed for you so that you may focus your attention on your and your family’s wellbeing.
What is more, your attorney’s advocacy skills and familiarity with the substantive and procedural laws you will need to prevail will afford you a greater opportunity at succeeding than if you attempted to handle your claim yourself.
Talk With One of Our Hotel Security Attorneys Today
Do not hesitate to reach out to Parker Waichman LLP after 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.
We are pleased to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case with you in a free case evaluation. Schedule your free case evaluation today by completing our online form or by contacting our knowledgeable and compassionate legal team at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).