This article will help you discover:
- Why it is important to notify a hotel or other business of your injury – the sooner the better.
- Two strong reasons you probably want to avoid accepting gifts from a hotel after an injury on the hotel property.
- Whether it is still possible to file an injury claim if you signed a waiver releasing the responsible party from liability.
What Steps Should I Take While On The Premises If I Fell And Was Injured At My Hotel?
First, it is important that you notify the hotel of your injury so that they can take appropriate actions that may help your case. If they are aware of the incident, the hotel can:
- Make a record of your injury and the situation it involved. This will help ensure that there is no dispute down the road about whether or not an injury actually occurred.
- Preserve any video evidence that might have been recorded of the injury or surroundings that caused the injury. There are surveillance videos in common areas, such as hallways, where there may be video footage. Video is not always kept forever on a server, and often will be preserved for a set time period and then written over by new video. By informing the hotel of the incident, you can ensure any video evidence is saved. If there is video footage, an attorney can request to preserve this data.
- Take other potential actions that may assist with your case.
Does It Hurt My Personal Injury Case To Accept A Free Stay Or Upgrade After Falling And Being Injured At A Hotel?
Sustaining an injury can be traumatic and stressful, and it can be tempting to accept gifts or offers from the business if the injury occurred on a business property. Still, we recommend declining these offers in order to help your case in the future.
Legally, accepting a gift or upgrade from the hotel does not prevent you from making a claim, as long as you do not sign a release in acceptance of those offers. Practically, however, accepting these offers can hurt your claim if your lawsuit goes to trial and evidence is introduced that you accepted a gift in exchange for your injury. This action sends two messages that could hurt your case:
- It sends the message that the hotel is kind and conscientious, which does not play to your advantage and could be harmful.
- It could also suggest that you were not hurt that badly, and that you are willing to accept a trivial gift in exchange for the injury you sustained.
Ultimately, these ideas could be detrimental to your case. Depending on the extent of your injuries, whatever trivial gift the hotel might offer you is most likely something you should refrain from accepting.
Does Signing A Document Relieving The Owner Of Liability Mean I Cannot File A Personal Injury Claim After A Slip-And-Fall Injury At A Place Of Business?
Waivers are documents that are usually signed before engaging in an activity that may pose certain dangers to participants. The waiver explains in detail the risks of the activity and the major implications that can occur, including serious injury and even death. It asks the person signing the document to acknowledge that they understand the risks involved, and that they accept these risks in exchange for the opportunity to participate in the activity.
While the enforceability of those waivers of liability can be attacked, these documents are written with the express intent of avoiding liability. Even if you are able to bring a lawsuit, move past summary judgment, and get to trial, the fact that you signed a waiver or similar document could have a very damaging effect on the jury’s decision.
In certain cases, however, there could be dangers that are not obvious and do not necessarily arise from the activity itself, but that create a problem. For instance, suppose someone owns an old factory and they set up batting cages for their daughter’s softball team to practice batting. They hire a lawyer to ask that all parents and kids sign an acknowledgment of risk and waiver of liability.
The document is well-crafted and properly explains all the risks inherent in the activity, such as swinging bats of aluminum, and the high speeds of softballs that can cause injury. But while one player walks across the floor to the batting cage, the floorboards break, and the child plummets 20 feet to their death. In this example, this particular hazard would unlikely be covered in the waiver that was signed.
Depending on the situation, the fact that you signed a waiver of liability for injury from engaging in a particular activity may not prevent you from having a compelling case. You may still be able to file a claim, especially if your injury resulted from conditions completely unrelated to the activity for which you had signed a waiver.
Besides Seeking Medical Treatment, What Other Steps Should Someone Take After Sustaining An Injury At A Place Of Business?
The first step after sustaining an injury is always to seek medical treatment. In addition to this initial and very important step, you should also make sure you follow all of your doctor’s advice after being examined by a medical provider. We also recommend consulting an attorney who can tell you what other steps you should take based on your specific case.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Premises Liability Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Premises Liability Law in Indiana, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 359-8007 today.