What are Hotel Injury Claims?
If you were to sustain an injury while staying at a hotel at home or abroad, due to an accident for which you were not to blame, you may be eligible to make hotel injury claims for compensation. Compensation claims for a hotel injury are legal civil actions which can be made when the hotel 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.
What is meant by a Hotel´s “Duty of Care”?
In order to successfully claim compensation for an accident in a hotel, it has to be proven that the hotel was negligent by failing to identify a risk of injury and remove, repair or cordon off 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 hotel injury claims for compensation.
However, a hotel´s duty of care is not always “absolute”. This means that if a hazard in the hotel had only recently materialised – such as if you tripped over an item which had recently been dropped by another guest – and staff at the hotel did not have a reasonable period of time in which to identify the hazard and remove the risk of injury, it may not always be possible to claim compensation for an accident in a hotel. For this reason, it is always in your best interests to discuss your accident and the injuries you sustained with a lawyer to establish that you are qualified to make a compensation claim for a hotel injury.
Your Health Comes before a Hotel Injury Compensation Claim
When making a claim for an accident in a hotel, in addition to establishing that the hotel was in breach of its duty of care, it is also important to prove that your 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 due to your accident in the hotel recorded in your medical notes along with any ongoing treatment or long term consequences to your health.
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 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 make hotel injury claims, but how much compensation for an accident in a hotel you receive may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
Making Compensation Claims for a Hotel Injury
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 injury. The procedure for claiming compensation for an accident in a hotel is going to depend on whether your injury was sustained in a USA hotel or in one overseas. If located in the USA, your lawyer will write to the hotel, advising it that you are making a claim for being injured on its premises, and the hotel – or more frequently, their public liability insurers – then has 90 days to conduct its own investigation into your hotel accident and advise your lawyer whether they will accept liability for your injuries.
If your accident happened in an overseas hotel, your lawyer will put you in touch with a public liability lawyer in the country of your accident, who will guide you through the procedures applicable to the country in which your hotel accident and injury occurred. The exception to this is if your accommodation at the overseas hotel was booked as part of a package deal through a USA tour operator, in which case your hotel injury compensation claim can be made against the tour operator and would follow the same procedures as if your hotel accident had happened in the USA.
If liability for your hotel injury is accepted by the negligent party, your lawyer will liaise with the hotel or tour operator´s public liability insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of compensation for an accident in a hotel. Should liability for your injuries be contested, your lawyer will issue court proceedings – an action which often initiates an offer of compensation for an accident in a hotel from the company´s public liability insurers, who may be reluctant to take a chance on the outcome of your hotel injury compensation claim and keen to save money on potential court costs.
As offers of settlement for hotel injury 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 hotel injury compensation 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 Injury in a Hotel?
How much compensation for an injury in a hotel you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to your hotel accident. The way in which the injury from the accident in the hotel 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 hotel accident.
Any expenses you have incurred for medical treatment can be recovered in a claim for an injury 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 accident prevents you from working. Consequently, no two hotel injury 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 making hotel injury claims for compensation.
“Contingency Fee” Hotel Injury 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 injury claim which has a strong probability of success, you will be offered legal representation on a “Contingency Fee” basis.
“Contingency Fee” hotel injury claims enable you to pursue compensation for your injuries without having to worry about lawyer´s fees if your claim for an accident in a hotel 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 injury 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 Injury 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 injury in a hotel.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for your accident in the hotel 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 possible after you have received professional medical attention following your hotel accident to maximise the likelihood of a successful claim for an injury in a hotel.