What Are Your Legal Rights if You Were Injured at a Hotel in Pennsylvania?

June 23, 2023

Whether you traveled to Pennsylvania for work or vacation, the last thing you expected was to get injured while you were here. But you got injured in your hotel, and now you are forced to deal with the consequences.

So, what are your legal rights? Is the hotel liable for your injury? If so, how do you file a claim, and how do you make sure you seek the maximum compensation available under Pennsylvania law?

Hotels Have a Legal Duty to Take Reasonable Steps to Ensure Their Guests’ Safety

Like all businesses in Pennsylvania, hotels have a legal duty to ensure that their properties are safe for their customers. They must meet this duty at all times, and they must do so in all areas of their premises. Among other things, this means that hotels must ensure that the following areas are in good repair, free of slip and trip hazards, and otherwise safe for guests:

  • Parking lot and sidewalks
  • Hotel lobby, hallways and stairwells
  • Dining room and any on-site restaurants or cafés
  • Elevators and escalators
  • Fitness center and pool
  • Conference rooms, business centers and other areas open to guests

Hotels’ duty to protect their guests’ safety exists under the law of premises liability. While Pennsylvania’s premises liability law establishes different duties for different property owners, businesses (including hotels) are held to the law’s highest standard. If a hotel’s managers or other personnel are aware—or even should be aware—of a safety hazard on the hotel’s premises, then the hotel can be held liable for any accidents that result from a failure to appropriately address the hazard in a timely manner.

Your Legal Rights if You Were Injured at a Hotel in Pennsylvania

If you were injured at a hotel in Pennsylvania, what does this mean for you? Determining whether you can file a premises liability claim requires evidence of the cause of your injury. If you were distracted and tripped up the stairs, for example, you may not have a claim. However, if an issue with the hotel’s premises is to blame for your injury, then you may have a claim for just compensation. Common examples of property hazards at hotels that can lead to injuries include:

  • Slippery walking surfaces (including parking lots, sidewalks and floors)
  • Damaged walking surfaces (including torn carpeting and cracked tiles)
  • Loose or missing handrails
  • Inadequate fitness center and pool safety protocols
  • Elevator and escalator malfunctions
  • Bedding, cleaning supplies and other trip hazards in hotel hallways

Again, these are just examples. If you were injured in any type of accident at a hotel in Pennsylvania, you should speak with a lawyer about your legal rights. Hotels can be held liable for guests’ injuries in a wide range of circumstances, and determining whether you have a claim will require a prompt and thorough investigation. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to obtain surveillance camera footage, testimony from hotel employees, and various other forms of evidence as well.

What if Your Injury Isn’t Premises-Related?

So far we’ve been discussing premises-related injuries at hotels. But what if your injury wasn’t premises-related? For example, what if you are dealing with food poisoning? Or, what if you are the victim of a crime?

Hotels can also be held liable for many non-premises-related injuries. Food poisoning, assaults, parking lot collisions, and various other types of incidents and accidents can also leave guests struggling to recover from serious and painful injuries. From negligent food handling to negligent security, guests have several other potential grounds for pursuing personal injury claims against hotels in Pennsylvania as well.

Protecting Your Legal Rights After an Accident at a Hotel in Pennsylvania

If you think you may have a claim against a hotel in Pennsylvania, there are some steps you should try to take promptly. While you may be anxious to get on with your work, enjoy your vacation or return home, right now protecting your health and your legal rights needs to be your top priority. With this in mind, it will be important for you to:

1. Seek Treatment Right Away

Seeking treatment promptly is important for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it will help ensure that the physical effects of your injury are no greater than necessary. Many types of traumatic injuries can get worse without prompt treatment, and you don’t want to suffer (or risk long-term complications) unnecessarily.

Second, seeking treatment promptly will also help with documenting the timing, cause and location of your injury. When you see a doctor, tell your doctor exactly how you got injured—and mention specifically that you were injured at a hotel. If your medical records show that your injury is consistent with your explanation of what happened, this can go a long way toward building a claim for financial compensation.

2. Document the Accident as Thoroughly as Possible

If you’re still at the hotel and it is safe to do so, you should take photos and videos of the accident site with your phone. With that said, if you’ve checked out or you can’t go back to the hotel because of your injury, that’s completely fine. You should also take detailed notes, and you should engage a law firm to investigate as soon as possible.

3. Engage a Local Law Firm to Investigate and Handle Your Claim

Whether you live in Pennsylvania or were visiting from out of state, you will want to hire a local law firm to investigate and handle your claim. The sooner you do so, the better. Your law firm will be able to handle many aspects of your claim on your behalf, and your law firm can help you make informed decisions about when (and if) to settle.

Contact Us for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

If you need to know more about filing a claim against a hotel in Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To discuss your claim with an experienced attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. as soon as possible, call 888-777-7098 or tell us how we can reach you online now.