Involved in a Hotel Accident?
Hotel accident claims occur when a guest, visitor or employee sustains an injury as a result of the negligence of the hotel to provide a safe environment. These claims are usually made against the owner/management of the hotel for not adhering to the duty of care that is expected of a hotel towards all visitors and staff.
Accidents can happen in any part of a hotel and it is the responsibility of the owner and management to ensure that they are providing a safe environment for guests and employees. A hotel owner must carry out frequent health and safety checks to ensure that there are no potential risks of safety hazards and so that there is no hotel negligence on their part.
If you have suffered an injury or accident at a hotel which was booked through a package holiday then it is important that you contact your travel agent to inform them of this also. The majority of claims for hotel accidents are for personal injury. The claimant needs to prove that the hotel owner did not show a reasonable duty of care to them and that this led to the accident.
If you are an employee making a claim for an accident in a hotel, you may need to prove that they did not provide the correct safety equipment and training that you need to safely carry out your job.
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 states that an occupier of a building has a duty of care to all visitors to provide a safe environment for them. The health and safety of a hotel owner’s guests should be their first priority and they should do everything they can to ensure that there are no hazards which may cause accidents or injury to them.
Who is Liable?
If you have been injured in a hotel accident and have decided that you want to make a claim then you will need to determine who was at fault for the accident. In order to proceed with a claim, the accident must have been caused by somebody else who acted in a negligent manner. If you were the main cause of the accident then you will not be entitled to pursue a claim for the injuries you sustained as a result.
There can be a number of people responsible for an accident in a hotel. In general, most claims are made against the manager or occupier of the hotel who failed to have the adequate health and safety measures in place. An occupier has a responsibility to ensure that both staff and visitors to the premises are kept safe and their safety should be their first priority. They also need to ensure that they provide staff with the necessary training needed in order to carry out the job correctly and minimise the risk of accidents happening.
Accidents can also be caused by employees who failed to act efficiently. They have not cleaned up a spillage as quickly as they should or may not have ensured that there were no hazards on the ground which may lead to a potential injury.
Other members of the public may also have caused the accident if they acted in a negligent manner. It is important to note that it is not just an owner who has a duty of care but also all those who visit the hotel at any time. Members of the public have a duty of care to both employees and other customers to act in a way which does not put the safety of others at risk.
Common Hotel Accident Injuries
A hotel accident can cause a serious injury. Some common types include:
Common Causes of Hotel Accidents*
Hotel accident claims relate to personal injuries while staying or visiting a hotel. Some of the most common complaints are:
When can a Hotel be Liable for Personal Injuries?*
Some of the most common hotel accidents where a hotel may be held liable are:
The most common cause of hotel accidents is wet floors which have not been cleaned up by employees of the hotel. Any spillages on a floor should be cleaned up immediately or a wet floor sign should be put down to warn people of the potential hazard.
Contaminated Food or Water
Food poisoning is another very common cause of hotel accidents. This is usually caused by contaminated food or water. If you are staying in a hotel abroad they may have different standards of health and safety which may result in you contracting food poisoning. This could be unfiltered water or the incorrect preparation of food.
Many hotel corridors can be quite dark and have low lighting, especially at night time. This can lead to trips and falls.
Lack of Training in Manual Handling and Health and Safety
This is generally an accident associated with hotel employees who have not received the adequate training in relation to manual handling. All employers should ensure that all of their staff have the correct training to carry out their job. Incorrect manual handling can lead to injury which may leave the injured person out of work for a period of time.
Faulty or Broken Furniture and Equipment
As hotels are used by a large number of people, furniture may become broken quicker due to more wear and tear. If hotel furniture is not updated regularly it can become faulty causing injury and accidents. Broken furniture can collapse suddenly causing back injuries and broken bones.
What do I do if I'm involved in a hotel accident?
Following a hotel accident, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Seek medical attention
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident needs medical attention. If anybody has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
You must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
Report the accident
It is important that you report the accident to management. You may be required to assist to fill in an accident form. This is to provide them details of how the accident occurred and details of the injury. You should also request that they preserve any CCTV footage.
Identify any witnesses
Collect contact details of any witnesses to the accident – their names and contact information.
Document the incident
Just like any personal injury claim, documenting exactly what happened is a very important step. It is important to obtain:
- How the accident happened, time and date of the accident.
- Details of any witnesses to the accident (including staff and other customers); their names, contact information.
- If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident.
- Take pictures from different angles of where the accident happened and what caused you to slip, trip or fall.
- Take pictures of any injuries you suffered, this will help your solicitor to understand how the accident happened.
Speak to a personal injury solicitor
If you are considering moving forward with a claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A solicitor can help you prepare your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.