When you pick a hotel for your vacation, you naturally expect the accommodations to be clean and comfortable during your stay. You also expect them to be safe. Unfortunately, even well-known hotels are the hunting grounds for criminals, from thieves to sexual predators.
When owners and managers fail to take reasonable steps to provide for their guests' safety, and you or your family member gets hurt as a result, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses through a premises liability claim. Here's what you need to know:
What does it mean when a hotel has "negligent security" issues?
Every guest or legitimate visitor to a business has a right to expect that business to keep its premises reasonably safe, including from intrusion by criminal elements. When a property's owner or operator doesn't put the effort or money into the security measures that guests expect, that's considered a type of negligence.
In the case of a hotel or motel, negligent security can look like:
- The failure to add additional security when the hotel manager is aware that hotels in the area have been experiencing a rash of break-ins that could endanger their guests
- The failure to have or keep operational security cameras in hotel hallways, parking lots, and near entranceways
- Not having enough lighting in parking lots, hallways, and stairwells where someone could easily be lurking to attack or rob a guest
- Not investing in tamper-resistant locks and other security devices for the doors or windows
- Failing to warn guests of known dangers after there has been an incident on the premises or nearby in order to avoid bad publicity
- Not taking steps to make sure that pool and gym areas are locked off from the outside and occasionally patrolled to look for interlopers
Negligent security can also involve staffing failures. For example, it's only reasonable to expect a hotel manager to keep the front desk informed about the common scams being used by criminals to obtain keycards and access to guests' rooms. You should also expect the hotel's support staff, including the cleaning crews, to know how to spot suspicious behavior and what to do when they see it.
If you or your loved one suffered harm because a hotel's management dropped the ball and put you in danger through negligent security measures, talking with a premises liability lawyer can help you better understand how to hold the hotel responsible for your losses.
For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer near you.