What are Hotel Accident Claims?
If you have sustained an injury while staying in a hotel in an accident for which you were not to blame, you may be eligible to make hotel accident claims for compensation. A claim for hotel accident compensation is a legal civil action which can be made when the accommodation in which you were staying has a responsibility for your health and safety and has failed in its “duty of care” to prevent an accident from occurring which has resulted in you sustaining an injury in a hotel.
Many people sustain injuries in a hotel for which they were not at fault, however some believe it is not possible to claim for a hotel accident – especially when their hotel accident happens overseas. However, if you have been injured while in a hotel, and your overseas hotel accommodation was booked by a USA-registered tour operator as part of a package deal, you will be able to make hotel accident claims for compensation against the tour operator rather than against the hotel – irrespective of where the hotel was located.
What is meant by a Hotel´s “Duty of Care”?
In order to successfully claim for hotel accident compensation, it has to be proven that the hotel, resort or other guest accommodation was negligent by failing to identify a risk of injury and repair, remove or replace the hazard to prevent an accident occurring – and that the hotel´s negligence in failing to make your accommodation safe resulted in you sustaining an injury. This breach in their duty of care makes the hotel liable for your injuries and gives you the right to make a claim for a hotel accident.
It should however be explained that a hotel´s duty of care is not always “absolute”. This means that if a hazard had only just appeared and the staff at the hotel did not have a reasonable period of time in which to identify the hazard and repair, remove or replace the risk of injury, it may not always be possible to claim compensation for a hotel accident. For this reason, it is always in your best interests to discuss your accident in a hotel, and the injuries you sustained, with a lawyer to establish that you are qualified to make a claim for hotel accident compensation.
Your Health Comes before a Claim for Hotel Accident Compensation
When making a claim for hotel accident compensation, in addition to establishing that the hotel was in breach of its duty of care, it is also important to prove that your hotel accident resulted in an injury. Consequently it is vital that, after sustaining an injury in an accident in a hotel, you receive professional medical attention as soon as possible. By immediately visiting the nearest hospital, the injuries that you sustained in the hotel accident will be officially recorded and can be added to your medical notes along with any ongoing treatment or long term consequences to your health on your return
If you waited until you returned home to seek professional medical attention, or relied on first aid administered at the hotel, it could be claimed by the hotel or tour operator that your injuries were not significant enough to warrant hospital attention, or that you contributed to the extent of your hotel injury by delaying a professional examination. You will still be entitled to claim compensation for a hotel accident, but how much compensation you receive may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
Making Compensation Claims for a Hotel Accident
Once it can be determined that you have suffered an injury in an accident due to a hotel´s breach in its duty of care, you can make compensation claims for a hotel accident against the USA hotel or USA-registered tour operator. Your lawyer will write to the negligent party, advising it that you are making a claim for a hotel accident and the hotel or tour operator – or more frequently, their public liability insurers – then has 90 days to conduct its own investigation into your accident in a hotel and advise your lawyer whether they will accept liability for your injuries.
If liability for your hotel injury is accepted by the negligent hotel or tour operator, your lawyer will liaise with their public liability insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of compensation for a hotel accident. Should liability for your injuries be contested, your lawyer will issue court proceedings – an action which often initiates an offer of settlement from the negligent party´s public liability insurers; who may be reluctant to take a chance on the outcome of your hotel accident claim for compensation and keen to save money on potential court costs.
As offers of settlement for hotel accident claims may be made to you directly by the insurance company, it is advisable to be aware of how much compensation for an accident in a hotel you may be entitled to, in order that you do not inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer and are undercompensated. Should you accept an offer of compensation for a hotel accident which is inadequate for your needs, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more!
How Much Can I Claim for an Accident in a Hotel?
How much compensation for an accident in a hotel you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your hotel injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident. The way in which the hotel injury affects your quality of life will also be taken into account, and it is advisable that you maintain a diary in order to record the occasions when you are unable to perform day-to-day tasks or participate in leisure and social pursuits as a consequence of your accident in a hotel.
Any expenses you have incurred for medical treatment can be recovered in a claim for an accident in a hotel, along with any costs for alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and any loss of earnings if the injury you sustained in the hotel prevents you from working. Consequently, no two hotel accident claims are the same – even when the injuries sustained are identical – and this is a good reason why you should always seek professional legal advice when claiming compensation for a hotel accident.
“Contingency Fee” Hotel Accident Claims
Most lawyers will offer a free initial assessment of your hotel accident and injury, and advise you whether you have a claim for an accident in a hotel which is worth your while to pursue. Should you have a hotel accident claim which has a strong probability of success, you will be offered legal representation on a “Contingency Fee” basis.
“Contingency Fee” hotel accident claims enable you to pursue compensation for your injuries without having to worry about lawyer´s fees if your claim for a hotel accident is unsuccessful. However, as you may be liable for the hotel´s or tour operator´s legal fees if your case is lost, lawyers offering “Contingency Fee” hotel accident claims will want to know of any legal fees insurance you may have attached to a household contents or car insurance policy and will recommend that you to take out additional protection if necessary.
Free Legal Advice about Hotel Accident Claims
If you, or somebody close to you, have been injured in a hotel in an accident for which you were not to blame, you are invited to call our freephone service and discuss the circumstances of your hotel accident directly with an experienced public liability lawyer. Our lawyer will provide you with practical and helpful advice which is relative to your personal circumstances and answer any questions you may have about claiming compensation for an accident in a hotel.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for a hotel accident once you have spoken with us and all conversations between yourself and our lawyers are completely confidential. We would advise that you speak with us as soon as practical after you have received professional medical attention following your accident in a hotel to maximise the likelihood of a successful compensation claim for a hotel accident.