California is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. People planning a visit to the Golden State might book at a hotel for a night or decided to reserve a room for a month. Local residents may just need a quick getaway and decide to book a weekend stay in the mountains or at the beach.
You want to find clean towels and a comfortable bed, but you should also expect your stay to be as safe as possible for you and your family.
In fact, hotel owners and operators have a legal duty to keep their occupants safe and secure in their rooms, in the hallways, at pools, and in the parking lot. When you or a loved one are hurt during a hotel stay, a hotel chain or a local owner may owe you substantial financial support.
A Free Consultation After an Accident at a California Hotel
If you are hurt on your way to your room or injured while in your room, hotel owners and operators could be liable for every recovery cost. You’ll be contacted by corporate hotel lawyers and insurance representatives. But before you give them a statement, speak with a real California Hotel Accident Lawyer.
Schedule a free case evaluation with Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, to discuss your case and find out about every benefit available to you. Insurance companies hope victims are in the dark about their rights so they can rob them of valuable compensation. Make sure you don’t let a hotel escape responsibility for what you’ve been through.
California Hotel Personal Injury Dangers for Guests
California hotel owners and operators definitely owe guests and visitors a “duty of care.” This legal duty means they clean up or repair any hazards their employees might cause or a guest may leave behind.
They may not be able to catch every obstacle as it’s created, but part of their duty is to constantly monitor for dangers and remove them in a reasonable amount of time.
These are just a few of the different types of California hotel accident hazards that might leave an owner liable for recovery costs:
- Slip-and-Fall and Trip-and-Fall Accidents – Orange Juice spilled in the breakfast area can cause a fall and leave victims with a head injury or a broken bone. Water tracked across the lobby by a child returning from a pool should be mopped up immediately and warning signs should come out. A pothole in the parking lot might cause you to trip and damage a knee.
- Stairwell Hazards – Stairs must be properly maintained and any crumbling cement should be restored. A loose handrail that causes a devastating tumble leaves the hotel responsible for every cost of recovery.
- Pool Hazards – Proper pool safety equipment should be provided and staff members should know what to do in case of emergency. You might also be placed in jeopardy by exposure to overuse of pool chemicals.
- Carbon Monoxide Leak – People tragically die in CO poisoning cases in hotels each year. CO gas can build up in rooms from car exhaust and gases built up from furnaces and other machinery.
- Bug and Infection Hazards – People can become sick after a bed bug bite. A bacterial or fungal infection can occur when you come in contact with surfaces that haven’t been cleaned properly after someone else has touched them.
- Burns – Occupants have suffered burns from electrical outlets, from overheated water, and other hazards around hotels.
- Assault injuries – Hotels should provide adequate security, especially in areas where crime rates are known to be high. Security cameras and security guards should be on site.
What to Do After an Accident at a Hotel
Unfortunately, hotels won’t automatically provide the support needed for you to make a full accident recovery. They’ll have aggressive insurance adjusters trying to blame your accident on you. The bigger hotel chains will also have corporate lawyers ready to discount your suffering and try to limit what you receive.
It’s important to gather as much evidence on the scene of a hotel accident as possible to back up your insurance claim. If you are physically strong enough, try to collect these details:
- Call 911 if you are injured. Get checked out by paramedics even when you feel your injuries are minor. The shock of your accident may mask pain and serious injuries until a day or two later. Get photos of the obstacle that caused you to fall. If you must leave for the emergency room, ask someone with you or a helpful witness to help you gather evidence. Call for the police if you’ve been the victim of a crime.
- Get photos. Take pictures or shoot video of the obstacle that caused your injury. Show any warning signs or warning tape around or the lack of warning signs. Take photos of any visible injuries.
- Alert a hotel manager about what happened. The manager will need to fill out an incident report for the hotel’s corporate office. This report can provide valuable evidence for you. You want to avoid commenting on the fault in the accident or how badly you are hurt. You might make a statement without a good idea of what happened and these statements can be used against you later.
- Note if there are any security cameras in the hotel or outside that might have captured your accident.
- Talk to witnesses and find out what they saw. Find out how to reach them later. Your personal injury lawyer will be relying on their testimony to prove what happened.
- Get examined by your personal doctor. Get all injuries and any new pain documented. Follow all of the doctor’s recommendations and see any specialists the doctor advises. Save all medical receipts.
How Much in Compensation Is Available After a California Hotel Accident?
It’s impossible to put a dollar amount on an injury case because every case is so different. The only way to get a true idea of what your injury may be worth is to go over the details of what happened in a free consultation session with a legal professional.
Your California Hotel Accident Lawyer will also be investigating the circumstances of your accident and going over your medical charts. From this information, you and your lawyer will be deciding how much you’ll need to seek to pay all of your recovery bills and secure what’s fair for your suffering.
There are several factors that will play a role in how big a settlement check you and your family might earn. These are just a few of the determining factors:
- The totals on current medical expenses and for care expected to be required in the years ahead.
- Estimated expenses for care over a lifetime for a victim with a permanent disability.
- Physical pain and emotional anguish suffered by the victim in an accident and through a difficult recovery. This can include a loss of enjoyment of life and a loss of intimacy with a spouse or partner.
- Travel costs while attending doctor visits.
- The totals on lost paychecks at work while in recovery. Any lost income expected in the future.
- Wrongful Death Benefits. Families who have lost a loved one in a California hotel accident may file a wrongful death claim. This civil claim seeks help with funeral costs and medical expenses. It should also protect the family from economic hardships in the future when they’ll be without the financial support the deceased would have provided.
How Long Do I Have to File a Hospital Injury Claim?
Once an accident occurs on the property of a hotel, California allows victims up to two years to file a claim for damages. It may seem like you have plenty of time, but you shouldn’t delay months or years to explore filing a claim against a Hotel. The longer you wait the harder it will be for your California Hotel Accident Lawyer to investigate your case, secure documents, and track down witnesses.
You want to give your personal injury lawyer the best chance to build a strong case for you. This is important when corporate lawyers and insurance adjusters attempt to downplay your injury and the disruption it’s caused to your life and the lives of your family members. You want every piece of evidence available at the ready to force a hotel chain to do the right thing and support the victims of its negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I was partially at fault for my hotel accident?
You can still ask for help in recovery. In California, the fault in an accident can be divided up between you and the hotel. You may be assigned 25% of liability after your fall. The hotel would still provide support, only your 25% of liability would be deducted.
Should I talk to the hotel’s insurance representatives?
No. Insurance adjusters will be calling you asking for a recorded statement about what happened. Refuse. These statements can be used to weaken your case later. Only give basic information about yourself and then refer them to your lawyer.
What is Premises Liability?
When hotel owners and operators are negligent in their duty to protect guests, they are liable for injuries under the concept of “premises liability.” It means that “invitees” who are injured on hotel property can hold the hotel responsible.
Contact a Hotel Accident Lawyer Serving California Victims
If you or a loved one are hurt in an accident at a California hotel, motel, or inn, don’t count on insurance adjusters to treat you fairly. You’ll need to hold them accountable even when you have strong evidence showing a hotel’s negligence.
Having an experienced California Premises Liability Lawyer such as Martin Gasparian on your team safeguards your case and helps you earn the maximum compensation available. Contact Mr. Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, for a no-obligation consultation that comes with no charge to you.
Mr. Gasparian firmly believes that every victim should be protected from the tactics used by the insurance industry. As you heal you should be focused on your recovery and not be left to worry over financial concerns.