With countless miles of beautiful beaches, resorts, theme parks, and other tourist attractions, Florida has a great deal to offer the adventurous traveler – especially during the winter months, when cold weather sets in across much of the country. However, vacations and plans are sometimes spoiled when accidents occur on resort or hotel properties. These accidents, the most common of which include slip and fall accidents, can result in serious injuries and damages that can last for a very long time.
When guests stay at a hotel or resort, it should be expected that the facility has been inspected regularly and that it is reasonably safe from all defects and dangers on the premises. This expectation also extends to attractions on the premises and to transportation provided by the hotel or resort. Hotels and resorts have a legal duty to warn guests of known dangerous conditions on the premises and to protect guests from known dangers and hazards.
If you or someone you love has sustained serious personal injuries at a Florida hotel or resort, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. An experienced Clearwater resort injury attorney can investigate your claim and may be able to assist you with obtaining the compensation for your injuries that you need and deserve.
Common Hazards at Resorts and Hotels
Hazards lurk everywhere at Florida hotels and resorts. It is important for hotel and resort guests to be vigilant and aware of common hazards that are prevalent in the following locations:
Resort grounds: Some of the most common hazards that are prevalent on resort grounds include slippery floors and walkways and poor security in parking lots. Failing to place the proper warning signs and placards on the premises can result in a finding of liability on the part of the hotel or resort.
Rides and attractions on resort premises: All too often, injuries occur on amusement rides and other attractions that are located on resort or hotel premises. These dangers are usually the result of improper maintenance, and in some cases, from poorly trained staff or ride personnel. Even when independent contractors provide or operate these rides and attractions, the hotel or resort can still be liable for hiring or retaining these independent contractors.
Resort transportation: Transportation at hotels and resorts is often provided by buses, vans, and shuttle services. Guests are typically transported from the resort to the airport (and vice versa) or to scenic destinations and other points of interest near the resort. When these modes of transportation are not properly inspected, repaired, or otherwise kept in proper working order, the hotel or resort can be held liable for resulting accidents and injuries.
Florida resort injury cases can be difficult to prove because insurance companies will often dispute liability – or deny liability altogether. They will claim that the hotel or resort was not aware of the dangerous condition or was not notified of the defect promptly. The insurance company may even claim that the injured plaintiff caused or contributed to the accident and that he or she is entitled to little – if any – recovery.
Burden of Proof
The owners of hotels and resorts owe an affirmative duty to their guests to provide a safe, clean property that is free from dangerous and hazardous conditions. When hotel and resort owners breach this duty of care, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages that result.
In every Florida premises liability case, the injured person must demonstrate that the property owner or occupier owed a duty of care directly to the injured person and that a breach of this duty of care proximately resulted in injuries and damages.
Duty of care: The owner or occupier of hotel or resort property owes a legal duty of care to all resort guests on the premises. Since a resort guest is presumably on the premises to benefit the owner of the property, then he or she is deemed a ‘business invitee’ under Florida law. Business invitees are owed the highest legal duty of care. Premises owners and occupiers have a duty to warn of or correct known dangerous condition on the premises – and to regularly inspect the premises for any unknown dangerous conditions.
Breach (or violation) of the duty of care: This means that the hotel or resort owner violated the applicable duty of care, such as by failing to remove a spill from the floor or walkway promptly or failing to properly inspect or repair a broken stairwell or railing.
Causation: The injured resort or hotel guest must be able to demonstrate that hotel owner’s breach of the applicable duty of care legally and proximately resulted in injuries and damages.
Damages: Damages in Clearwater hotel and resort injury cases consist of both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages can be calculated exactly, in terms of dollars and cents, while noneconomic damages are more subjective.
Types of damages available to Florida personal injury plaintiffs may include some or all of the following:
- Related medical bills and expenses (hospital, doctor, and physical therapy bills)
- Lost wages and time missed from work
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Past, present, and future pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity (in cases of permanent injuries and damage)
- Loss of spousal or family support or consortium
- Causally related mental health, psychological, or psychiatric treatment
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of quality or enjoyment of life
- Loss of medical or disability benefits
- Death benefits (where applicable)
- Punitive damages (available only in limited circumstances)
Contact an Experienced Clearwater Resort Injury Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Florida resort accidents and injuries can have serious and lifelong impacts. If you have been injured in an accident at a Florida hotel or resort, our experienced Clearwater attorneys may be able to help you obtain the monetary compensation you need and deserve under the law. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Clearwater resort injury lawyer, please call Dolman Law Group at 727- 451-6900 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756