hotel premises liability

Injured While on Hotel Premises in ME? Here Is Who’s Liable

If you were injured while staying at a hotel in Maine, you may be wondering about your legal options. Understanding hotel premises liability is crucial to determining who is responsible for your injuries and whether you can seek compensation.

Below, the Maine hotel premises liability lawyers at Mann Law, LLC with go over the details of being injured while being on vacation in Maine and who is liable. If you have questions, please contact us right away today.

What Is Hotel Premises Liability?

Hotel premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that hotel owners and operators have to ensure the safety of their guests. This means maintaining a safe environment, promptly addressing hazards, and adequately warning guests about potential risks. If a hotel fails to meet these obligations, it can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.

Relevant Maine Premises Liability Laws

In Maine, premises liability law dictates that property owners, including hotel operators, must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their premises.

Under Maine law, property owners owe a duty of care to lawful visitors, which includes regularly inspecting the property, repairing any dangerous conditions, and providing adequate warnings about known hazards.

Can You Sue a Hotel for Injury?

For a hotel to be held liable under Maine’s premises liability laws, you must establish the following elements:

  • Duty of care—the hotel had a duty to ensure your safety;
  • Breach of duty—the hotel failed to uphold this duty by not maintaining safe premises;
  • Causation—the hotel’s breach of duty directly caused your injury; and
  • Damages—you suffered actual harm or losses as a result of the injury.

So yes, you can sue a hotel for injuries sustained on its premises if you can prove that the hotel was negligent based on the above. 

How Comparative Negligence in Maine Affects Premises Liability

Maine follows the comparative negligence rule, which can impact your hotel premises liability claim. Under comparative negligence, your compensation may be reduced if you are partially at fault for your injury.

Maine’s modified comparative negligence rule allows you to recover damages as long as you are not 50% or more at fault for the incident.

For example, if you slipped and fell in a hotel lobby due to a wet floor but were also texting on your phone and not paying attention, a court may find you partially responsible for your injury. 

Understanding comparative negligence is crucial when pursuing a hotel premises liability claim, as the hotel or its insurance provider may try to assign some blame to you to reduce their liability. An experienced attorney can help argue against such claims and work to maximize your compensation.

When a Hotel May Not Be Liable for an Injury on Their Property

While hotels have a duty to ensure the safety of their guests, there are instances when a hotel may not be held liable for injuries sustained on their property. Understanding these exceptions can help clarify your legal standing and expectations. Here are some examples:

  • Guest’s negligence. If a guest ignores clear warning signs and engages in risky behavior, such as running on a pool deck or entering an area closed for repairs, the hotel’s liability may be reduced or eliminated.
  • Unforeseeable events. Hotels are generally not liable for injuries caused by unforeseeable events or acts of nature, such as earthquakes, lightning strikes, or sudden, unexpected weather conditions.
  • Third-party actions. If a guest is injured due to the actions of another guest or a third party over whom the hotel has no control, the hotel might not be liable. For example, if another guest assaults someone, the hotel may not be responsible unless it can be shown that the hotel failed to provide adequate security measures.
  • Adequate warnings. If the hotel provided adequate warnings about known hazards and the guest still chose to proceed, the hotel might not be liable. 
  • Lack of notice. If the hotel was unaware of a dangerous condition and could not reasonably have been expected to know about it, they may not be liable.

Understanding these exceptions is important when evaluating a potential premises liability claim. If you were injured at a hotel in Maine, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine the strength of your case and navigate any potential defenses the hotel might raise.

What to Do If You Are Injured at a Hotel

If you are injured while staying at a hotel in Maine, follow these steps to protect your rights and strengthen your potential premises liability claim:

  1. Report the incident. Inform the hotel management immediately and ensure the incident is documented. The prompt creation of an accident report will be useful if and when you need to file a claim.
  2. Seek medical attention. Get a medical examination as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to have a medical professional treat you to ensure you don’t have any latent or non-visible injuries. 
  3. Document everything. Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any hazards that caused your injury. Collect witness statements and contact information.
  4. Keep records. Save all medical records, receipts, and any correspondence with the hotel.
  5. Consult an attorney. Speak with a premises liability attorney to understand your legal options and next steps.
  6. Be careful when speaking to insurance companies. Insurance companies will likely use anything you say in a statement against you, so only speak with them after consulting with an experienced premises liability attorney.

Hotel premises liability cases can be complex and often require a thorough investigation. Your attorney will likely gather evidence, review hotel maintenance records, interview witnesses, and possibly consult with expert witnesses to build a strong case.

Our Attorneys at Mann Law Are Here for You

If you’ve been injured while staying at a hotel in Maine, Christiana Mann and the entire Mann Law team are here to help you navigate the complexities of hotel premises liability.

Insurance companies will try to argue that you’re at fault or downplay your injuries, so you need a dedicated Maine premises liability lawyer to advocate for you.

With recognition from Super Lawyers and National Trial Lawyers, we know what it takes to help clients recover. Call us today to start your journey toward justice and recovery.

attorney image
Christiana E. Mann Christiana “Chrissy” Mann has specialized in civil litigation for 21+ years as a savvy and creative litigator, and she’s regarded as a fair, compassionate, and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients.