The hotel and hospitality industry is a thriving industry in Florida because Florida attracts many tourists and travelers to the state. The fine beaches and other tourist sites bring travelers from different parts of the United States and attract international tourists from around the world. But, these travelers risk having a hotel slip and fall accident. Many of these visitors spend a couple of weeks on vacation or staycation, as some fondly call it. They lodge in hotels during their time in the city as they explore the beautiful attractions and wonders Florida has to offer.

But sometimes, hotel lodgers and management fall out. Fallouts can occur when the hotelier fails their duty of care toward guests, and avoidable accidents happen. 

Slip, and falls are common accidents in hotel settings. Asides from slips, there are also trips, steps, and stumps which can ultimately lead to a fall. 

About Hotel and Hospitality Industry Statistics in Florida

According to VisitFlorida, 

  • Florida received approximately 122 million visitors into the state in 2021
  • 2021 an estimated 4.6 million visitors came to Florida from Canadian and overseas markets
  • Domestic travel to Florida was up 55.7% in 2021 compared to 2020
  • Colombia, Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador were the top countries with the highest population of people who visited Florida in 2021
  • In 2021, the statewide average hotel/motel occupancy rate was 64.5%, an increase of 34.6% from 2020.
  • As of February 2022, 486,727 hotel and motel rooms in Florida spread over 4,442 properties. 

The Responsibility of Hotel Management to keep their Premises Secured

Hotel management has the responsibility to keep their premises secured. The hotel must take reasonable care in keeping the hotel safe for the lodgers. In a slip and fall accident, liability will depend on whether or not the hotel failed in its duty or neglected its responsibility to its guest. 

The hotel management has a responsibility to keep its premises secured. It is also responsible for undertaking maintenance of its structures and equipment. The hotel management is also responsible for observing routine inspections to ward off possible hazards before they happen. Some of the responsibilities of hotel management are

  • To fix structures and dilapidated equipment  
  • To take precautionary steps in placing the necessary equipment like the swimming pool and the bathroom
  • Making the room clean and neat 
  • Eliminating pests and frequent fumigation
  • Provide adequate security for lodgers 
  • Inspect hallways, staircases, and balconies  
  • Make sure the necessary alarms, such as fire alarms, are available 
  • Swift response to danger 

The Type of Falls

Slip and Fall

A slip and fall may be the one you are most familiar with and possibly the most popular. For example, when a person loses their balance and hits their head due to a wet floor, we say that the person slipped and fell. A slip and fall happens when a person loses their footing and falls because their feet cannot grip the floor’s surface. 

Trip and Fall

When a person trips and falls, they usually run over an object or obstacle put on their path. 

Objects like cables, cords, and toys usually are notorious for causing trips and falls.

Stump and Fall 

When you stump and fall, your foot hits an object, and loses your balance. An example is when the staircase is uneven, or a protruding object is hidden under the rug, creating a bump and leading to a fall.

 Step and Fall

A person steps and falls when they unexpectedly hit a surface, usually due to a change in height, either an elevation, a depression, or an uneven surface that is not likely. 

Common Places Where a Person Can Slip and Fall

A slip and fall can happen anywhere. But slip and falls are more likely to occur in certain places within the hotel premises. Particularly in places like the bathroom and swimming pool. Some of the common areas where a person can slip and fall can occur is: 

  • Swimming Pool
  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways and Staircases
  • Gym and Workout Stations
  • Balcony
  • Parking Lot 
  • Spa

Common Causes of Hotel Slip and Fall

Several things can lead to or cause a hotel slip and fall accident. Usually, some of the common causes are

  • Wet floors and slippery surfaces 
  • When hotels structures do not meet the prescribed standard 
  • Failure to maintain hotel infrastructure and equipment 
  • Not keeping secured places where slip and fall accidents are common (Swimming pools, bathrooms, and hallways)
  • Failure to promptly clean up spills 

Common Injuries in Hotel Slip and Fall

Common but painful injuries from slip and fall accidents include 

  • Broken bones
  • Head Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injury 
  • Cut, craps, and abrasions
  • Concussions 
  • Temporary loss of memory
  • Life-long impairments

 Sadly, life-long impairments and disabilities can ensue. An example is loss of memory or complications from surgery caused by a slip and fall accident. 

These injuries can result in high medical expenses and future expenses due to the slip. For example, when a person suffers a trauma, they may continue rehab for a while. 

A lodger who sustains an injury from a slip and fall accident has the right to demand and receive compensation from the hotel management where the injury occurred. They can receive compensation for medical expenses, possible loss of wages, and opportunity for not being able to go to work, for diminished quality of life.  

Constructive Knowledge of Danger

To help establish your hotel slip and fall claim, the plaintiff must show that the hotel management had actual or constructive notice of the danger and did nothing to avert it. Unfortunately, hoteliers are not likely to admit actual knowledge of the threat, and proving actual knowledge on their part may prove herculean. 

The responsibility lies on your skilled Personal Injury Lawyer to establish constructive knowledge on the part of the hotel management. In establishing constructive knowledge, the plaintiff, through his attorney, must show:

  1. That the danger existed for a reasonable time and the defendant knew or ought to have known about it 
  2. That the condition was foreseeable 

In proving constructive knowledge, the personal injury lawyer must lead circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence is logical inferences from the circumstances that will help establish the plaintiff’s case.   

What Next? (What to do if you have been injured in a hotel slip and fall)

Here’s what should you do next if you suffer a slip and fall in a hotel? First, you should consult a personal injury lawyer. Hotel management should not be negligent when it comes to the safety of their guests. When you sustain a slip and fall injury and do nothing, the chances are that such negligence may repeat itself with another guest who may not be as lucky.

When you contact a personal injury lawyer, they will know how to present your case and represent your interest appropriately. For example, your personal injury lawyer can request surveillance video from the hotel management. 

If you intend to file your hotel slip and fall accident claim, you should do so as soon as possible. Doing so prevents the hotel management from hiding the evidence you will require to establish your case.  

Any Caveat?

Yes. There is a possible caveat. A slip and fall in a hotel will not automatically entitle you to uncontested compensation. Indeed, he who asserts must prove. The provisions of the Florida Statute 768.0755 provide:

Suppose a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment. In that case, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:

(a) The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or

(b) The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

A person who asserts that he sustained an injury from a slip and fall on a transitory foreign substance must show that the hotel knew or should have known about the possible danger and did not take action. 

A transitory foreign substance was defined by the Supreme Court of Florida in the case of Owens v Publix Supermarkets, Inc. as “any liquid or solid substance, item or object located where it does not belong.” 

Transitory foreign substances are water spills, banana peel, and oil. 

 The Role of your Injury Lawyer

What is the role of your personal injury lawyer in your hotel slip and fall claim? The case of Normann v Newport Channel Inn is significant in showing how invaluable your injury lawyer is to your lawsuit. In Normann’s case, he was found unconscious in a hotel parking lot. He suffered injuries to his head and brain. After three weeks in a coma, he woke up with no recollection of the events. The hotel management was hesitant to reveal what had transpired, leading to the plaintiff’s injury. Normann’s personal injury attorney proved the hotel management’s negligence in failing to maintain the balcony railing where the plaintiff lodged through circumstantial evidence. As a result, the railing was shorter and did not meet the standard prescribed by the state law.  

Here are some of the roles your personal injury lawyer will play for you

  • Adequate Representation: Your attorney is your legal representative. You should expect proper representation from your attorney with insurance companies and in court, if your car accident injury snowballs into a lawsuit.
  • Handle Negotiations: You should expect that your car accident attorney will handle negotiations on your behalf. You should not do so yourself and trust your attorney’s judgment in negotiating on your behalf to get you the best financial compensation you deserve.
  • Gather evidence to establish your case: Your car accident attorney will require you to produce any records in your care that will enable them to establish your case. Your attorney must gather evidence, facts, and documents and analyze them to present a strong case on your behalf.
  • Conduct Investigation: Expect that your car accident attorney may conduct an independent investigation to ascertain the different sides of the story to avoid surprises and to arm himself with possible defenses. 

Did you or someone you know suffer a hotel slip and fall accident in Florida? Contact Us Now!

At the Coleman Law Group, we have a team of experienced and well-trained attorneys who have helped many accident victims receive their entitled financial injury compensation.

727-214-0400

Constace@clgfl.com

2901 1st Ave. N. Suite 303 St. Petersburg, FL 33713

Useful Links

https://www.visitflorida.org/resources/research/research-faq/

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.0755.html

http://www.safetyservicesdirect.com/blog/2019/09/05/what-is-the-difference-between-slips-trips-and-falls/

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