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Understanding Hotel Negligence Cases

February 6, 2024

Tourism is a major industry in Colorado, with a record high of approximately 90 million visitors to the state in 2022. To accommodate such a large number of vacationers, Colorado has thousands of hotels, lodges and resorts. Unfortunately, hotel guests do not always enjoy safe visits. Hotel negligence can lead to serious and catastrophic injuries.

What Is Hotel Negligence?

Popular tourist destinations such as Denver County are hotspots for hotels and motels. These establishments have a legal responsibility to ensure the reasonable safety of their guests and visitors. Failing to meet this legal obligation constitutes negligence from a legal standpoint.

A hotel’s responsibility of care comes with a range of duties, including:

  • Regularly inspecting the premises for hazards
  • Promptly repairing property defects
  • Warning visitors of potential injury risks
  • Properly maintaining stairs and elevators
  • Providing adequate security
  • Preventing slip and fall accident risks
  • Providing adequate lighting
  • Exercising care when hiring and training employees
  • Maintaining amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools and spas
  • Ensuring working locks on hotel room doors
  • Adequately protecting a guest’s personal property
  • Correctly storing and preparing food to prevent food poisoning

If a hotel or any of its staff members fall short of these duties of care, it can create an unreasonably dangerous premises that exposes hotel guests to a high level of injury risk. This is known as hotel negligence, and it can lead to related injury claims.

Hotel Injuries and Colorado Premises Liability Law

Under Colorado Revised Statute (CRS) Section 13-21-115, known as the “Colorado Premises Liability Act,” a civil action can be brought against a landowner by “a person who alleges injury occurring while on the real property of another and by reason of the condition of such property, or activities conducted or circumstances existing on such property.”

However, landowners can only be held liable for visitor injuries if they violate the duties of care owed to a specific type of property visitor. There are three types: trespassers, licensees and invitees. Under Colorado law, hotel guests are classified as invitees, who are owed the highest duties of care by hotels.

CRS 13-21-115(4)(c)(I) states: “An invitee may recover for damages caused by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers the landowner actually knew about or should have known about.”Reasonable care is a degree of care that an ordinarily prudent person would use for the safety of himself/herself and others under the circumstances.

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Pursuing Compensation for a Hotel Injury in Colorado

If you get injured while staying at a hotel in Colorado, you may have the right to file an insurance claim against the hotel. If a staircase has a broken railing, for example, and hotel staff knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard but failed to correct it, this could make the hotel liable for injuries you suffered in a fall accident.

While hotels in Colorado are not legally required to carry commercial insurance policies, most do to pay for injuries suffered by their visitors. A personal injury attorney in Denver can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for a hotel injury, such as coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. Discuss your legal options after this type of accident during a free consultation at Fang Law Firm.