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Back September 19, 2019

Claims for Hotel and Resort Injuries in North Carolina

Charlotte is home to numerous world-class hotels, lodges, golf resorts, and other places to stay when visiting the city. These hotels and resorts are constantly adding more amenities to attract guests, including spas, fitness centers, high-end restaurants, bars and clubs, and much more. With these additional conveniences and aspects of your stay, there also come additional risks that you might be involved in an accident and sustain serious injuries. 

Hotels and resorts know that they should take all possible steps to keep guests safe. This includes properly training staff, having clear and strict safety policies, inspecting and maintaining the premises, and complying with all safety and building code regulations. Hotels and resorts are complex operations, however, and safety measures can be skipped in the process, leading to serious accidents. 

If you sustained an injury during a hotel or resort stay, you should discuss what happened with our experienced Charlotte personal injury lawyers. We can evaluate your rights and guide you through the legal process. The following are only some examples of common hotel and resort accidents.

Shuttle Accidents

Many hotels and resorts provide shuttle transportation for guests around the Charlotte area. Most people board shuttles or vans without a second thought, though these vehicles can be involved in serious crashes. Drivers can make errors that result in a collision with another vehicle, and shuttles and large15-passenger vans are highly prone to rollover accidents. To make matters worse, many people do not have proper access to seat belts on shuttles, so they can sustain devastating injuries should the shuttle crash or roll over. 

Some common causes of hotel shuttle accidents include:

  • Speeding, especially on turns
  • Untrained or inexperienced shuttle drivers 
  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Violating traffic laws

Determining liability in shuttle accident cases can be complicated. If the shuttle driver was negligent and caused the accident, the hotel (as the driver’s employer) can likely be held liable for your injuries. If a driver in another vehicle or an external factor caused the crash, you might have to seek compensation from that negligent party. 

Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Accidents

Many families choose hotels and resorts for their swimming pool and hot tub access. There are many risks of injuries when it comes to water-related activities, including fatal drowning. Establishments are expected to maintain the pool area adequately to ensure there are not any safety violations or possible hazards. However, this does not always happen, and people are regularly injured in hotel pools and hot tubs. 

Some issues that might lead to injuries include:

  • Items left on the pool deck that can result in someone tripping and falling into the pool
  • Not having a locked door or barrier for the pool area to prevent small children from wandering in
  • Not having depth markers or warning signs, such as “No Diving” or “No Lifeguard on Duty”
  • Having a broken diving board or ladders
  • Drains that are not in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
  • Having sharp surfaces in or around the pool that prevent swimmers from putting their feet down or grabbing the side of the pool
  • Violating any additional pool safety regulations

These hazards often exist and can lead to many types of injuries, including brain injuries and drowning.

Slip and Falls

People can slip and fall anywhere, though hotels can have many opportunities for this type of accident. With room service and cleaning crews in the hallways, there can be spills or items left in walkways that lead a guest to slip and fall. Slip and falls are also common in bars and restaurants or pool areas. 

While slip and falls might not sound like serious accidents, they can cause surprisingly serious injuries. Some common slip and fall injuries include:

  • Fractures
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Soft tissue sprains, strains, and tears
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Broken hips or pelvis

Older hotel guests are at a higher risk of slipping and falling, and they regularly sustain hip fractures when they fall. Any slip and fall injury can result in extensive medical bills and other losses. Hotels that allow slip and fall hazards should be held accountable.

Fitness Center Accidents

Many people make use of the gyms and fitness centers in hotels, especially if they have a long stay or travel regularly for business. With fitness centers comes the risk of injuries. When you are exercising, there is always the potential to injure yourself, and hotels will not be responsible if you strain a muscle when lifting weights or sprain your ankle with a wrong step on the treadmill. On the other hand, if an accident happened because the hotel did not properly maintain the fitness center, injured victims could have a legal case.

Some gym accidents that might lead to an injury claim include equipment that malfunctions, falling objects, slip and falls, and more. You should always discuss your legal rights with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer if you were injured in a fitness center accident.

Food Poisoning

When you eat at a hotel and then start to feel ill shortly after, you might have food poisoning. While you might be tempted to simply wait out your illness, food poisoning can result in dangerous dehydration and other life-threatening complications. You should always seek medical assistance as soon as you suspect you might have food poisoning. Not only will this ensure that you receive the treatment you need, but it can also help establish the cause of your illness if you need to file a legal claim. 

As soon as you are diagnosed with food poisoning, you should discuss the matter with a trusted personal injury lawyer. Proving that your illness stemmed from the food you ate can be complicated, and you will need to show whether it was defective food from the manufacturer or unsafe practices by the hotel restaurant that led to the contamination. If you incurred medical bills or lost income due to food poisoning, seek a case evaluation right away.

Inadequate Security

Many establishments, businesses, and property owners are expected to take necessary security measures to keep guests and customers safe. Hotels are no different, and hotels and resorts should take particular care when designing security measures since the risk of criminal activity is high in these establishments. With so many strangers staying and sleeping in the same building, hotels are often the locations of theft, physical assault, and sexual assault.

When a hotel does not have adequate security, guests can suffer severe physical, mental, and financial injuries due to criminal activity. Some examples of inadequate security that might lead to a claim include:

  • Door locks that do not work
  • No one manning the front desk
  • Having security cameras that are not working
  • Not having cameras or guards for stairways or parking garages
  • Allowing non-guests and non-employees access to rooms or certain areas

After an assault, you should report the incident to the police, seek medical help, and then discuss a possible case with a personal injury attorney. 

Malfunctioning Furniture

Furniture is a necessity for hotels, and they must fill the lobby, restaurants, and each individual room with couches, chairs, tables, beds, desks, and more. With each piece of furniture is the opportunity for that piece to malfunction and cause injuries. If you are having dinner and your chair suddenly collapses, you can sustain fractures, sprains, back injuries, and more.

After this type of accident, it is important to determine whether the malfunction happened due to a manufacturing defect or due to negligence on the part of the hotel in not removing and replacing broken furniture.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning or Toxic Exposure

All hotels and resorts should have carbon monoxide detectors, though in recent years, many hotel guests have died due to carbon monoxide poisoning in North Carolina hotels and across the country. This has become such an issue that the North Carolina General Assembly passed new laws regarding mandatory detectors in certain areas of hotels. The risk persists, however. Some hotels may allow guests to be exposed to other toxins, as well. This can happen due to cleaning chemicals, poor ventilation, lead paint or asbestos, and more. 

Fires

Every hotel should have fire escape plans clearly posted, though evacuating a large resort or hotel can be a time-consuming challenge in many situations. Hotels should take all necessary measures to prevent fire hazards, since guests can suffer respiratory injuries, burns, and other life-threatening injuries should a fire start in a hotel or resort. If you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a hotel fire, you need a personal injury law firm with extensive resources and experience on your side. 

Contact Our Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyers for the Help You Need

At the law firm of Biazzo & Panchenko, PLLC we represent clients after a wide variety of accidents and injuries. To learn whether we can assist you with a legal claim, please contact our office for a free case evaluation. Call 704-900-7675 or contact us online today.

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