Injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. Unfortunately, slip, trip and fall accidents often happen at hotels and resorts while the victim is on vacation. It can be difficult to know what to do, particularly when the injury occurs in another state. If you are injured in a slip, trip or fall accident on resort or hotel property due to slippery or other unsafe conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the hotel was careless or negligent.
If you are injured in slip, trip or fall accident while on vacation, there are some simple steps you can take to maximize your chance of recovery. As soon as possible after the accident occurs you should:
- Take good pictures of the area where the accident occurred, taking special care to document the condition that caused the slip, trip or fall.
- Collect the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses who saw the accident.
- Collect the names and contact information for all resort or hotel employees who assist you.
- Document all medical attention you receive from the hotel or resort staff following the incident.
- Take note of and document all signs warning of the dangerous condition (or the absence of any warning signs); photos are a good idea.
A hotel or resort’s liability for a slip, trip or fall injury requires proof of negligence, or unreasonable carelessness by the hotel or resort. Generally, the existence of negligence depends on two issues. They are:
- Whether the hotel knew about or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the slip, trip or fall and had enough time to remove the hazard or adequately warn of its existence before the accident occurred.
For example, if a sudden storm deposits ice on a walkway causing a guest to slip and fall before hotel staff became aware of the ice or could do anything about it, the resort would likely not be liable for the injuries. If, however, the storm happened the night before and a guest slips 12 hours later, the hotel likely would be liable.
- The extent of the hotel’s control over the cause.
For example, if the slip and fall happens because a member of the hotel’s wait staff spilled a drink, the hotel will likely be liable because the hotel is responsible for the actions of its employees. If, however, the drink was spilled by another guest, and the hotel had no knowledge of the spill or sufficient time to clean it up, likely there would be no liability because the hotel is not responsible for the actions of other guests.
If you are injured at a hotel or resort, you should immediately report the incident to hotel management stating only the essential facts of what happened. Your next step is to contact an experienced Irvine, CA personal injury attorney.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Corbett WIlliams of Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams, for his insight into slip and fall and personal injury practice.