Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.

When can you sue a hotel for an assault?

A lot of people are already planning their summer vacations -- and they naturally want to pick a location where they'll feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell from what you're looking at online whether a hotel is in a good or bad area.

If you suffer a criminal assault while you're staying at a hotel, is it possible to hold the hotel's owner responsible for the acts of a third party?

Sometimes, yes. Proprietors have a moral and legal obligation to see to their customers' safety. If the assault you suffered was reasonably foreseeable, then it's the hotel's responsibility to make sure that there's adequate security on the premises to keep its visitors safe.

What exactly does that mean? It means that a lot depends on whether or not the hotel's owner or management should have realized guests were in substantial danger of assault, and could have done anything to prevent it.

For example, if you invited someone back to your hotel room and were assaulted, that's probably nothing the hotel owner could have prevented. On the other hand, it might be a different situation if you were assaulted and robbed in the hallway outside your room. If there had recently been several assaults on guests at area hotels, the manager or owner would have had to notice that there was a problem. He or she could have hired security guards to make sure that guests were safe from muggings, sexual assault, battery and other types of harm.

Security measures are a necessary expense of running a business. When a hotel skimps on security and knowingly puts its guests at risk of harm, it should be held responsible for any injuries that result. If you were injured while staying at a hotel due to missing or inadequate security, find out more about your legal options for recovery.


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