Premises Liability and Degree of Care Owed
Under Louisiana law, property owners are responsible for their property and keeping it safe, or they must provide warnings of the unsafe condition. This duty of property owners to their guests is more commonly known as premises liability. This doctrine allows you to recover damages from a property owner when your injuries are a result of their failure to properly maintain their property. Hotels owe a high degree of care to their guests and have a duty to maintain that standard of care. This duty includes maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition and regular inspections of the premises and equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, cleaning up spills as soon as they are noticed or reported, keeping the pool area clear of debris, and making repairs within a reasonable time of being notified of the issue. One of the most hazardous areas of a hotel can be the pool. There are usually a lot of people, few pools have lifeguards or attendants at smaller hotels, and water always adds an element of danger.
Hotel Pool Accidents
All parents have told their children to stop running around a pool because they do not want them to slip and fall on the premises, break something or fall in the water, or something worse happen. There are always risks when going to a hotel pool, like the crowds and the slippery concrete. This means that when an accident does happen, you may feel responsible, or that it just was an accident with nobody to blame. However, some risks at hotel pools can be prevented or at least warned against, and a hotel’s failure to do so may have caused your accident. If that is the case, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the cause of your accident.
Hotel Pools and Negligence
Hotels owe a high degree of care to their guests. In order to show that a hotel is liable, you have to demonstrate that the hotel owed you a duty as a guest, breached that duty, you suffered an injury as a result, and that injury entitles you to monetary damages.
Most people expect the ground around a pool to be slippery, a shallow and deep end of the pool, and lots of people when they go to a hotel pool. However, you also expect that the pool is being properly maintained. Hotel pool negligence usually consists of:
- Inadequate pool maintenance
- Inadequate pool lighting
- Missing safety equipment
- Missing or damaged pool ladders
- Defective diving boards and pool parts
- Improperly trained or lack of pool lifeguards and staff
Most of these things you would not notice upon first glance unless you were looking for them. It is easy to see how any number of these could cause injury. If you were relying on a ladder to get in the pool and it just gave way, you could easily hit the rim of the pool and then fall the rest of the way into the pool. If you are going to jump off of a diving board and it breaks, you may hit your head. Pools are always lovely at night, but if there is improper lighting it is easier to lose someone in the water. Not properly maintaining the water in a pool can mean someone accidentally wanders into water that is too deep. These are very possible hotel pool-related accidents, but they are usually preventable when due care is used on the part of the hotel.
Common Injuries from Hotel Pools
The most common type of accident that happens around hotel pools is slip and fall accidents. These accidents can include:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Sprains and fractures
- Broken bones
- Head trauma and brain injury
- Neck and spinal cord injury
Dealing with these types of injuries is a personal injury attorney’s area of expertise. More severe accidents can also occur. Diving injuries often result in head trauma, a broken neck or spinal cord injuries that cause permanent disabilities. Near-drowning accidents can cause oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation affects brain function, as well as other parts of the body. It often results in long-term disabilities that require ongoing medical treatments and medications.
A Successful Hotel Pool Injury Case
It can be difficult to show that the hotel’s negligence caused your injury. The first hurdle you have to get over is showing that the hotel breached its duty. The main way to show a breach of duty is to show that the hotel owner/operator had “constructive knowledge” that the dangerous condition existed. A hotel owner/operator will be held to have constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition if the condition existed long enough to reasonably have been discovered by the staff. If you can prove that they knew the hazard existed, it is much easier to show causation between the hazard and your injury. In order to have a successful case against a hotel for the injuries you received in and/or around their pool, you have to be able to show the following:
- The property owner or a responsible party for the swimming pool owed a duty of reasonable care;
- The duty of reasonable care was breached;
- An injury resulted due to this breach; and
- Injuries resulted in monetary damages to the victim.
In order to recover damages for your injuries, you must prove that the injuries were directly caused by another person’s negligent actions. In personal injuries cases, you are usually your best advocate right after the accident. This means that if you or a loved one is injured at a hotel pool, you should collect as much evidence as possible once your injuries are addressed. This will also be greatly helpful to your attorney later on. You can gather witness’s names and contact information, take pictures of the hazard or lack of sign, and write down how the accident occured so you can accurately retell it later. Once you contact an attorney, they will be able to consider this evidence and also see if there were reasonable steps the hotel should have taken to make the pool safe. An attorney can also investigate whether other people have been injured in the pool. If there have been other similar accidents, then the hotel has been put on notice that the pool was hazardous. If the accident is a result of another person’s actions, not associated with the hotel, premises liability rules will not apply. This means when a lawsuit is based on an injury caused by the other person’s intentional or negligent behavior while also using the pool, premises liability does not apply as long as the other person is not associated with the hotel.
If you or a family member was injured while at a hotel, motel, or inn pool, you should immediately contact an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases. Premises liability is complicated, and you need an attorney you trust to help you navigate your case. Contact Cueria Law Firm L.L.C. today.
Our attorneys have helped hundreds of injury victims get the fair compensation they deserve so they can get back to their lives and their families. Give Cueria Law Firm a call at (504)-525-5211 today!