If you have been injured in a shower or bathtub at a hotel, you need to reach out to a seasoned Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case. You may assume that you do not have a case, but this is not always true. Every situation is different and we will meticulously assess the circumstances surrounding your fall to determine the full extent of your legal rights and options. At our Law Offices, we are committed to helping clients resolve their Florida personal injury claims in an efficient and effective manner.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in that an estimated 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries they suffered in the bathroom. Of those, approximately two thirds occurred during bathing or showering. In addition, about 81 percent occur because of slip and falls. The CDC also found that injuries increase with age. In other words, the older a person is, the more likely that person is to sustain serious injuries.
Florida law requires property and business owners to maintain their premises in order to ensure the safety of their customers. This means taking the appropriate steps to prevent foreseeable harm. A property owner that fails to do this could be liable for any resulting harm. For example, if the owner of a hotel knew that there was an unsafe hazard in the bathroom and did nothing to fix it, they can be held liable.
Identifying liability in a bathtub/shower slip and fall will depend heavily on individual circumstances. Bathtub and shower areas, by nature, are prone to be damp or wet. They are potentially slippery surfaces that can lead to dangerous falls. Since guests know that bathtubs and showers are inherently slippery, they should exercise reasonable care under the “open and obvious” doctrine. Having said that, hotels have some responsibility as well.
Hotels often believe that the law shields them from liability if a person slips and falls in their bathtubs or shower since it is common knowledge that these areas get slippery. However, this is not always the case. While hotel guests understand the dangers of a wet floor, hotels can and should also take measures to minimize the risk of bathroom falls. This can be done in a number of ways, including the hotel installing handrails on the wall of a bathtub or shower; providing a rubber mat or bathmat on the floor; making sure the bathroom is well light (including repairing light bulbs that may have burnt out); or providing a bath step if the bathtub or shower cannot be accessed with ease.
In litigation, bathroom fall defendants have often tried to invoke the “open and obvious” danger defense. This defense has failed many times. In one notable Massachusetts case, the plaintiff won a slip and fall case against a hotel in which her fall was caused coming out of the shower that had no nearby handrail or bathmat. The plaintiff in that case alleged that the hotel was negligent and that the design, construction and maintenance of the bathtub fell below reasonable standards of slip resistance. The court agreed, and a Florida court may be likely to hold similarly, should a case with similar facts arise here.
If you have been injured in a bathtub or shower at a hotel, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At our Law Offices, our highly skilled Miami slip and fall attorneys will evaluate your case and determine if anyone could be held accountable. To speak to us in more detail about your case, please call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online.
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Summer Means Increased Risk of Teen Deaths in Florida Due to Car Crashes, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, June 15, 2017