Injuries in New York Hotels
Many people are injured in hotels in New York. There were 6 fatal occupational injuries among accommodation and food services workers in New York City (NYC) during 2020. (1) For New York state, the figure rose to 12. (2)
“Crime in the city’s hotels and motels has soared by nearly 20 percent over the past three years… according to statistics compiled by an industry research group off NYPD data,” states a New York Post article in 2018. It continues, “In 2017, there were 2,656 hotel crimes reported city-wide, compared to 2,223 in 2015, a 19.5-percent increase.” (3)
These are startling numbers. Many staying at hotels are tourists or people traveling for business. A 2021 Office of the New York State Comptroller report noted, “The City’s tourism outlook fundamentally relies on a feeling of public safety for all visitors.” (4)
Injuries Due to Negligence
If you were at a NYC hotel and were severely injured while there, consider a negligence case against all those “involved in causing the injury.” (5) Negligence is when the hotel or its employees fail to act to keep their guests safe.
You could be harmed by a crime committed against you at the hotel, or from an accident occurring there. In either situation, the hotel may have been acting negligently.
What Are the Common Causes of Hotel Accidents?
Hotel accidents are no joke. Severe, even lethal, injuries suffered while staying or working at hotels can arise from slips and falls, cuts, burns, or something found in the food. (6)
Just what causes these accidents varies. Here are some of the most common causes of hotel accidents: (7) (8)
- Foreign objects in food.
- Improper lighting.
- Improper use of tools, such as kitchen knives.
- Incorrect use or storage of hazardous chemicals.
- Insufficient signage.
- Lack of safety gear, such as gloves and goggles.
- Malfunctioning equipment.
- Uneven floors.
- Unsafe flooring.
- Unsecure handrails.
- Wet floors.
- Wiring in the way.
If you suffered an injury while visiting or working at a hotel, contact us for a free case evaluation.
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Hotel Accident Liability
When accidents happen, your legal case hinges on whether you can show the court the hotel owners or their employees were somehow negligent. If you succeed, they can be held liable for your injuries. (9)
In New York, there are several ways the hotel owners bear responsibility for injuries on their property. Owner liability applies to: (10)
- Common areas — These are areas used by all guests, such as halls, stairways, walkways, or parking lots. For example, you may have tripped on carpet in the hotel hallway or fallen on ice in the parking lot.
- Latent defects — The owners are responsible for hazards on the property they know about or should have known about. For instance, the elevator doors close on you as you attempt to enter or exit, and you are crushed by them. Before your accident, other guests filed complaints about the same elevator. The doors were never fixed or were inadequately fixed.
- Statutory and contractual obligations — Laws made by the state legislature dictate property owner duties and responsibilities (statutes). Or when responsibilities are detailed in a contract, such as a lease agreement.
- Public use — The owners are responsible for the conditions of the property under a short-term lease, especially if it is open to the public. Say a club rents out a hotel’s swimming pool area for a party. One of the party guests becomes trapped in a pool duct and is seriously injured. The club, the hotel owners, and employees could be liable for any injuries.
Negligence Claims in New York
Negligence cases are often challenging. A knowledgeable attorney is key to the success of your case.
To win your negligence case in New York, it is important for you to show the court you were lawfully on the property when your injuries occurred. Additionally, you have to prove the negligence of the owners, employees — or both — caused your injuries. (11)
Your claim of negligence should be supported with evidence demonstrating to the court the owners or employees knew of the hazard. Yet they failed to fix the problem or inadequately fixed the problem. (12)
Simple Steps to Help Prove Your Claim
Vital to negligence claims is the evidence collected and presented to the court. There are steps you can take to help gather critical evidence for your case.
Some simple steps to help prove your hotel accident claims are:
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Take pictures of your injuries.
- Use your cell phone to video record the scene of the incident, if not the incident itself.
- Fill out an accident incident report with the hotel or police.
- Gather contact information from witnesses.
This information should be collected as soon as you are able. Do this while at the accident scene. Inform your attorney.
You also want to give your attorney copies of your medical bills and receipts for other expenses incurred due to the accident.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries while visiting a hotel, contact us to know your legal rights.
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Victims of accidents are eligible to collect monetary awards (damages) as compensation. (13) “The amount awarded is based on the proven harm, loss, or injury suffered.” (14)
Damages may be awarded for expenses such as:
- In-house help — Damages could cover the cost of in-home nursing care, rehabilitative services received at home, or housekeeping services during your recovery.
- Job loss or lost wages — If you cannot work, you may be awarded damages to recover those losses. You may also get damages if you get fired because you cannot work, due to your injuries.
- Medical bills — Doctor and hospital bills mount up when you have serious injuries. Damages would cover these expenses.
- Pain and suffering — These damages may be awarded to help you recover from psychological and emotional pain, trauma, or distress resulting from your accident.
How W&L Can Help
Weitz & Luxenberg has a highly experienced personal injury team. Our attorneys work to help you collect the maximum damages you may be due. Contact us today.
Here are some examples of compensation we helped our clients win:
- High six-figure settlement for an airplane passenger hit by falling luggage from overhead bins.
- $13.34 million judgement for a man hit over the head with a baseball bat by a bouncer in a Queens bar.
- Multimillion dollar negligence settlement for a man who suffered traumatic brain and other injuries from a fall from an apartment building walkway.