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Assaulted at a Hotel – Can I Sue?

Whether you are on vacation, or a business trip, you expect your stay at a hotel to be at the very minimum – safe. Sure you may have to deal with their weak coffee, the bland color of the curtains, or the underequipped fitness center; but you should never be victimized in a hotel you are staying in.

Florida law recognizes that people entrust hotels as their home-away-from-homes. We sleep, shower, and keep our precious belongings in hotel rooms. For those reasons, hotels owe a special duty to their clientele.

The Florida legislature regulates the hotel industry.  Both hotels and motels operate under a prescribed “duty of care” under Florida law.  The hotels must meet minimum operating standards in how they conduct, operate, and maintain their businesses.  If hotels do not, they can be held liable for injuries resulting from their failure to meet the minimum legal standards.

Courts have also imposed a common law duty of care upon the Florida hospitality industry.  Thus, hotels and motels can be found liable for negligence when their guests, patrons, or visitors suffer harm because of the hotel’s mistakes or carelessness.

While a hotel is obligated to exercise reasonable care for the safety of all the people who come into the hotel; this duty extends first and foremost to hotel guests.

Hotels should absolutely have some type of security. Criminals find Florida hotels enticing because they are often packed with visitors and tourists. And if a hotel knows, or should know, that it is in a high crime area, they are even more obligated to have security people present, as well as an operable surveillance system in place.

Hotels do know they attract criminals and are legally bound to combat crime that could potentially occur on their property.  In addition to security guards and surveillance, hotel room locks, proper lighting, and round-the-clock staffing, are all steps that hotels must employ to insure guests are safe from crime.

If a crime does occur and an arrest is made, that case will be handled by law enforcement and the local prosecutor. However, that doesn’t preclude you from recovering monetary damages against a hotel if it was negligent.

If the hotel failed in its duty of care, the crime victim may have a claim based upon negligence. Florida hotel negligence laws allow hotel crime victims to recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and sometimes more, for being criminally victimized.

If you have been injured at a hotel or motel be sure to contact , Goldman, Babboni Fernandez & Walsh. Our firm employs a team of lawyers dedicated to getting you justice. Schedule a free case review at [email protected].

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Assaulted at a Hotel – Can I Sue?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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