Hurt in a South Florida Hotel? Does Florida Law Protect You From Negligence of Hotel Security and Hotel Operations?
Posted By Alan Sackrin on June 25, 2013
Last Update: 01/27/16
This week’s news has a New Jersey woman filing a lawsuit against a South Florida hotel because the hotel failed to keep her safe during her vacation stay with her husband last January. Seems the New Jersey guest was seen by some “ladies of the evening” as competition for them and they assaulted her at a Miami Beach hotel in order to keep their market share of the local prostitution trade.
People Get Hurt At Florida Hotels All The Time
Not every hotel injury case is the type that would be featured on TMZ, but every hotel injury case does fall within Florida’s premises liability law. When someone is an “invitee” under Florida law – like a guest in a hotel – then that hotel must exercise reasonable care to keep its guests safe.
Seems like an easy enough job for any hotel to do, but it’s shocking how often people are hurt and seriously injured while staying at a hotel.
According to studies done by those who insure hotels against these sorts of claims, all sorts of injuries happen at hotels in Florida and across the United States. Most of these injuries involve slip and fall injuries – being assaulted by “ladies of the evening” in the lobby is not a common occurrence – but there are still a wide variety of other injuries that happen each year.
It’s Called “Hospitality Risk” By the Insurance Companies
From the National Specialty Underwriters, their data includes the following hotel injuries (for which the hotel is responsible) as being defined as hospitality risk claims:
- Guest Vehicles Damaged – Valet or Non-Valet
- Guest Property – Missing
- Cuts, Lacerations, Abrasions
- Auto Accidents – At Fault / Not At Fault
- Guest Property – Damaged
- Food – Illness / Food poisoning
- Personal Injury
- Assaults – All Types
- Food – Foreign Object in
- Recreational Activity
- Illness – Not otherwise classified
- Guest Vehicles Stolen – Valet or Non-Valet
- Fire / Smoke
- Liquor Liability
Florida Law Places Serious Responsibility on Hotel for the Safety of Its Guests
Anyone injured while staying at a Florida hotel is protected by state law because Florida courts view these people as “business invitees” – as a business invitee the Courts place a strong duty upon the hotel to protect their guests (whom, after all, are paying the hotel revenues). As one Florida appellate court explains:
A registered guest in a hotel is a business invitee to whom the hotel owes a duty of reasonable care for their safety. See cases cited at 17 Fla.Jur., Hotels, Restaurants, and Motels, § 24; 40 Am.Jur.2d, Hotels, Motels, and Restaurants, § 111. While most of the Florida cases announcing the innkeeper-guest standard of care involve a hotel’s common rooms and other facilities which are available for the use of all hotel guests in common, we see no reason to require a higher degree of care for protection of a guest in the confines of the particular room assigned to him upon registration, than in the common areas.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed at a hotel, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
- What Type Of Legal Duty Does A Florida Property Owner Have For Injuries To Visitors?: Florida Premises Liability’s Invitee, Licensee, Trespasser Distinctions
- Florida Hotel Laws: Who Controls and Regulates Hotel Safety and Security for Hotel Guests in Florida? Federal or State Laws?
- Florida Hotel Guests and Hotel Injuries: Hotels Consider their Duty to Provide Safety and Security as “Risk Management”
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.