Balconies and decks are beautiful places to spend time outdoors, as long as they are designed safely. Unfortunately, some balconies are poorly designed or poorly maintained and put visitors at significant risk of injury. This can be a big concern in hotels where the majority of rooms usually have balconies.
Along with balconies, many other areas in hotels must be maintained so guests can safely use them without fear of being harmed. If a hotel fails to fulfill its obligation to maintain balconies, swimming pools, lobbies, rooms, and other common areas, the hotel could be held responsible for any harm caused by poorly designed areas or hazardous conditions due to neglect. If you or a loved one was injured in a hotel accident, an experienced injury attorney can help provide assistance and explain all the options available to you for recovering compensation for your hotel accident.
Hotel Balconies May be a Site of Injuries
There have been several reported incidents this past summer in which individuals staying at hotels have sustained injuries after falls from balconies. Daily Mail reported several young people were badly hurt after falling from a balcony in their hotel rooms.
One victim was a 21-year-old who was on a balcony one floor up. She fell and sustained several broken bones, including a broken hip. She indicated she would be spending the summer recovering and posted pictures of herself in a wheel chair after the incident. Another was an 18-year-old man who fell from a three-story balcony and sustained serious head injuries. Early evidence indicated the young man had fallen off the balcony when he was trying to climb from one balcony to another connected to a different room.
If guests intentionally jump off balconies or try to climb on them, hotels will usually not be held responsible for such behavior since guests willingly engaged in such reckless behavior. However, if hotels created unsafe situations on balconies because they were poorly designed, constructed, or maintained, this could be a situation where premises liability laws impose legal responsibility on the hotel to cover damages.
There are many examples of situations where hotel balconies are unsafe. Railings may not be high enough or not be designed to adequate safety standards. Doors to balconies may not lock properly and children could go onto balconies unsupervised and fall because the door unlatches. A balcony collapse can also be a clear situation where victims have a right to seek compensation for harm. BBC reported a balcony collapse several years ago at a hotel in which a hotel owner and four other individuals fell 10 feet when a balcony collapsed. All of the injury victims required hospitalization.
When an injury occurs on a balcony, the key is to determine if the accident occurred due to negligence. Hotels have an obligation to warn guests or correct such dangerous conditions. If they fail to do so, they could be held responsible for accidents involving hotel guests.