Hotel Liability in Virginia : An Injury Lawyer’s Perspective
With all the great historical sites and the fun recreational opportunities of the water in Hampton Roads, Virginia, tourism is a big part of our economy. With tourism you have lots of hotels with guests staying for often significant periods of time and coming from all across the country but particularly from nearby states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. We have a ton of hotels in Virginia Beach on the ocean front and also lots of lodging for tourists and business travelers in cities like Norfolk and Chesapeake. Williamsburg with its colonial and historical sites is also a huge draw for tourists from everywhere.
A hotel owes a duty to its guests to provide a reasonably safe place for them to stay. The hotel owners and managers must take ordinary care to prevent there being dangerous conditions on the property and to warn of any dangers that cannot be quickly and easily removed. The obligation to provide a safe place in the hotel applies to all parts of the hotel not just the common areas like the lobby and the parking lot but also the actual rooms themselves. Because the customer is not going to be staying in the hotel room more than a couple nights or a couple weeks at the longest they are not in a very good position to check for safety problems and have the right to assume that the hotel has done some reasonable investigation and maintenance to make sure that all parts of the motel are in are safe including the rooms themselves.
Types of dangers that can arise at hotels are as broad as the imagination and are the same kinds of dangers that can occur in any home or commercial establishment but certainly include the following which list is partially based upon cases that I have worked on in the past:
1 Electrocution because of bad wiring in a shower;
2 Tripping on steps which are not well marked, lighted or provided with adequate handrails;
3. Tripping on carpet or flooring that has been allowed to deteriorate over time;
4. Slipping on water that’s been allowed to accumulate at the entrance to the building without proper placement of mats;
5. Having objects like window treatments or hanging lighting fall on a customer because it was not properly fastened or secured to the wall or ceiling,
6. Accidents in hotel swimming pools.
If you hurt at a hotel, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. I recently wrote Top 10 Tips If You Are Injured At a Store, Hotel or Restaurant in Virginia. Call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.