Sometimes, hotel stays do not turn out the way you hoped. Everything seems to go wrong – there is no shampoo, the housekeepers forget to freshen up your rooms, and the view is not all that great. These are real annoyances, but at least they do not (hopefully!) threaten your safety.
Unfortunately, there are some ways in which hotels fall down on their duty to keep you and other guests safe. For example:
Not vetting employees properly
Some hotels might not thoroughly vet their employees or perform background checks. These establishments may be liable in the case of a burglary, assault, mugging or other another violation caused by an unvetted employee.
Failing to take security precautions
Say that the hotel has a parking garage where there have been recent muggings. There are security cameras, but the hotel does not have people checking them. It could be responsible if something happens to someone in that parking garage. The same idea applies if there are any known stray dogs on the property that bite or cause harm to hotel guests.
Cooking food improperly
Many hotels market themselves by promoting their free breakfasts or excellent room service meals. However, it is important that hotel chefs cook certain foods properly or keep them at the correct temperature. The hotel may be liable for issues stemming from improperly cooked food, undercooked food or cross-contamination.
Inspections ensure that various parts of a hotel are in good and safe shape for you, the guest. For example, elevator inspections check that the cables are strong enough to handle their loads, and inspections of the premises look for any sidewalks or stairs that might need repair. Hotels must keep a certificate of inspection for areas such as elevators, and you can request to see it.
Not addressing problems promptly
If a cooler of water leaks onto the floor, hotel staff should take steps immediately to clean the mess, stop the leaking and safeguard guests from the potentially dangerous area. Failure to do so in a timely fashion could put guests at risk of having a slip-and-fall incident for which the management and staff may be liable.
Of course, there are other ways in which hotels can be unsafe, and it is important for you as a guest to be aware of risks. However, you should be able to have a reasonable expectation that your hotel is taking the proper steps to keep you and other patrons safe.