Key West Hotel Injury
Tourism is king in Key West. Approximately 2.2 million people visit the Florida Keys each year, generating some 2.4 billion dollars in revenue and employing more than half the local workforce. As an extremely popular tourist destination, the Keys are packed with hotels. A recent annual report by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council revealed $950 million tourist dollars are spent on lodging, with Key West being the prime destination.
Owners and management companies of hotels, resorts and bed-and-breakfasts profit handsomely but it comes with certain responsibilities to their customers, such as, exercising care to ensure as best they can that the site is reasonably safe for guests.
Property owners who invite people onsite for their own financial gain owe the highest duty of care to their guests, which are considered “invitees. “That means, the hotel must perform regular maintenance. They must routinely check for - and promptly correct - any property hazards with the potential to put guests in danger. If they do not take action to correct the problem right away, they must offer an adequate warning of it.
The hotel staff or managers’ failure to take these duties seriously - or to consider them at all - can be grounds for a Florida premises liability lawsuit. This may be the best means by which to hold them accountable and recoup your losses. The Key West hotel injury lawyers at The Garvin Law Firm can help.Common Florida Keys Hotel Injuries
Although every incident will have its own unique fact pattern, some scenarios leading to injuries at hotels crop up time and again.
Slips, Trips and Falls. These are probably by far the top injury sustained by hotel guests. They are usually preventable too, if hotel employees maintain the property and routinely check for hazards. Inadequate maintenance is a prime cause of slip, trip and fall injuries at hotels.
Examples of inadequate maintenance can include:
- Broken handrails
- Poorly lit hallways and staircases
- Spills near bar and restroom areas
- Steps to pool and hot tub that are not properly marked
- Recently mopped floors
- Slippery surfaces near a hot tub or pool
- Uneven walkways or sidewalks
- Loose carpeting, rugs, tile, etc.
- Poorly repaired and/or broken furniture
It should be noted that if yours was a slip-and-fall case, F.S. 768.0755 requires proof that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Actual knowledge would be hotel employees discovering or being made expressly aware of the issue or having created it themselves. Constructive knowledge can be established by showing circumstantial evidence that either the hazard had been there so long it should have been discovered, had hotel staff been exercising ordinary care or that it occurred so regularly as to be foreseeable.
Criminal Assault and Battery. Hotels are expected to have sufficient security necessary to keep guests reasonably safe from a criminal attack. Property owners are not expected to predict the future, however, there are some types of criminal activity that can be reasonably foreseen based on the type of business, crimes that have previously occurred there or in the immediate vicinity and threats that have been made.
Examples of common security measures are:
- Appropriate lighting
- Trained security patrols
- Functional security hardware (locks) on guest doors and windows
- Restricted access to the property by non-guests
- Background checks on employees.
If an attack was reasonably foreseeable and a hotel does not take these measures, guests have the right to be adequately warned.
Burns. Burn injuries at hotels can happen in several ways, resulting in serious and painful injuries.
Some examples include:
- Malfunctioning irons, appliances, outlets, lamps or hair dryers
- Hot tub, shower or sink water that is scalding
- Scalding beverages
- Heating equipment in a food/drink area that is far too hot
- Caustic chemicals carelessly left in areas where guests might be exposed.
Dangerous Exercise Equipment. Many hotels and resorts offer guests a complimentary gym service, as many in Key West do. Although any exercise carries its own risks, hotels do have a duty to routinely check and make certain all exercise equipment in their fitness center is in good working order. Broken treadmills, weight-lifting machines, rowing machines, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines can result in severe and lasting injuries.
It should be noted that in general, hotels and other property owners, do not owe a duty of care to someone who is trespassing. The one exception to this is where children are concerned and the hazard is deemed an “attractive nuisance,” as explained in F.S. 768.075. Children are recognized under the law to be naturally curious and they cannot be expected to always protect themselves from serious danger. So, for example, a hotel may place a sign near the pool indicating children must be supervised at all times, however, if the hotel fails to restrict access and a child easily slips in unsupervised leading to injury, the hotel may be held liable.
If you are injured while staying at a Key West hotel, our attorneys can help you examine your legal options for compensation.Contact our Key West Hotel Injury Lawyers