It is almost holiday season and many families already have trips planned to South Florida. For anyone who will be staying at a hotel or resort in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, or elsewhere in South Florida, it is important to understand safety risks at hotels and situations in which a hotel or resort may be liable for injuries. In short, under Florida law, hotels and resorts have a duty to ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for guests. This means cleaning up liquid spills that could cause a slip and fall accident in a reasonable amount of time, as well as ensuring that there are warning signs around dangerous conditions that exist on the property. We will run through some common scenarios in which a hotel may be held accountable for injuries through a premises liability lawsuit.
Slip and Fall Accidents at a Florida Hotel
Florida businesses, including hotels, need to clean up liquid spills that could cause a slip and fall accident in a timely manner. Florida law clarifies that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that a business had actual or constructive knowledge that this dangerous condition existed, but a Florida premises liability attorney can help.
Slips, trips, and falls do not only occur when there is a liquid spill. To be sure, trips and falls can also happen when there is damaged flooring, when a hotel fails to install handrails on a staircase, or even when a hotel or resort fails to fix a broken light that prevents a guest from properly seeing where she is walking.
In general, hotels have a duty to remedy any dangerous condition on the property, or if it cannot be remedied quickly, to warn guests about the potential risks. For example, if there is a lake on the hotel’s property and the hotel knows there are alligators in that lake, it may need to warn guests about the potential risks. This exact issue arose a couple of years ago when a child was killed by an alligator at a Disney resort, according to an article in The Washington Post.
Assaults and Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability lawsuits can also involve assault cases in which a hotel is responsible due to negligent security or inadequate lighting. For example, an assault may be more likely in a hotel parking lot if there are no lights, or if there is inadequate lighting around hotel entryway doors. In most cases, the hotel must take steps to provide adequate lighting to prevent such incidents. This is particularly true when similar assaults have occurred in the past due to inadequate lighting.
Hotels also have a duty to ensure that door locks and window locks work properly. For instance, if the door to your hotel room does not lock properly and there is a break-in, the hotel may be responsible due to negligent security.
Contact a South Florida Premises Liability Lawyer
Hotels and resorts in South Florida often have deep pockets, which means that they have the money to compensate an injury victim for her losses. At the same time, hotels tend to have legal teams to fight against premises liability lawsuits. As such, it is important to have an aggressive and experienced West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer on your side. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC today to learn more about how we can assist with your claim.