Like residential and other commercial property owners, hotel owners have a duty of reasonable care and keep the property in a safe condition by discovering unsafe conditions and replacing, repairing, or giving adequate warning of a dangerous condition that can cause injury or harm to someone.
California Laws Related to Hotel Owner Premises Liability
According to CACI 1001, hotel owners are legally responsible for dangerous and unsafe conditions that they either knew about or should have reasonably known.
According to California law hotel owners are particularly required:
- To keep walkways free of obstacles
- To mark clearly locations that are potentially dangerous
- To keep guests reasonably safe from criminal activity and violence.
Are Hotels Liable for Their Employee Conduct?
Hotel owners are also liable for the acts of their employees who are acting within the course and scope of their employment in case they create a dangerous or unsafe condition that can cause injury to someone. the hotel owner is presumed to have notice of that condition, by law. Hotels aren’t legally liable for injuries caused by unforeseeable events.
A hotel can be responsible for failing to protect the visitors and guests from criminal acts in case it fails to provide chain locks, deadbolt locks, peepholes indoors, and other security devices to avoid contact with criminals.
Some Examples of Accidents That Can Occur as a Result of a Hotel Owner’s Negligence:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Stairway accidents
- Inadequate security
- Sexual assaults in hotels
- Other accidents and injuries
Common Causes of Hotel Injuries
Common causes of hotel injuries include the following:
- Slippery stairs
- Spills in hotel restaurants
- Unsafe conditions in a swimming pool
- Poorly maintained hotel furniture
- Food poisoning due to contaminated food served
- Improperly installed equipment in a fitness room
- Malfunctioning elevators
- Unsafe equipment in a children’s play area.
- Inadequate security that fails to prevent attacks in hallways or hotel garages.
What Must the Plaintiff Prove in a Premises Liability Claim?
To establish the hotel owner’s negligence in a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must be able to prove the following elements:
- The hotel owner didn’t fulfill his legal obligation to take adequate measures for keeping the premises reasonably safe.
- There was a potentially dangerous situation on the premises, and the hotel owner failed to sufficiently inform the plaintiff about it.
- Plaintiff sustained a personal injury as a result of the hotel’s negligence or crime at the hotel.
- Plaintiff’s injury was a result of the hotel’s negligence
Statute of Limitations for Hotel Accidents in California
In California, a victim has two years to file a premises liability lawsuit against the hotel.