When you stay at a hotel, shop at the mall, or run errands in a public building, you have a right to be safe from hazards to your health and safety that may be present. Owners of public buildings have a legal responsibility to protect you from dangers as a visitor to their business.
Each year tens of thousands of people are injured or killed in accidents and fires in public buildings and businesses. Failure to protect visitors and guests from crime, fire, and safety hazards on building premises may make the building owner liable to you for their negligence.
Crimes in Hotels and Hospitals
Hotels and hospitals have a special responsibility to protect the safety of their guests and occupants from violent crime. Every year, individuals are victimized by violent acts of sexual assault, murder, and kidnapping in hotels and hospitals due, in part, to the owner’s failure to properly secure the building from intruders or to identify and apprehend threatening individuals who are already on the premises.
Legal claims may arise against the hospital or hotel owner for inadequate building security. Claims can include missing or inadequate door locks, inoperable security cameras or lights, or failing to appropriately respond to reports of criminal conduct on the premises.
In addition, if the owner knows or should know that the facility is in a high-crime area or that there is a heightened potential for criminal incidents based on the community environment, the owner may have an obligation to supplement existing security procedures and possibly warn guests of the threat.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 3,970 structure fires in hotels and motels between 2003 and 2007. These fires caused an annual average of 11 civilian deaths and 151 civilian fire injuries, and $63.3 million in direct property damage.
If you or a family member have been hurt in a hotel or apartment fire, contact the Gilbert Law Group. Our firm has the experience to help you deal with the trauma and emotional and physical scars of burn injuries and property loss. We have the expertise to thoroughly investigate and identify the causes of the fire while standing up for your interests in dealing with insurance companies and business owners.
Property owners, construction companies and manufacturers may be liable for negligence for:
- Poorly designed or difficult to access fire escapes;
- Lack of available fire extinguishers or defective fire sprinkler systems;
- Non-working or faulty fire alarm systems; and
- Blocked or locked escape routes that prevent evacuation.
Construction Site Accidents
Construction of new or existing buildings can present especially hazardous environments to people passing by or visiting a construction site.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 1,239 fatal injuries at construction sites in 2006. Some of those killed were non-workers who were simply visiting or passing by the construction site.
Construction companies and property owners may be liable for construction site accidents causing personal injury, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, or wrongful death to visitors or passers-by where owners and construction companies:
- Fail to properly warn visitors to the presence and dangers of the construction site;
- Do not install a security fence or overhead protection to guard against flying or falling objects;
- Allow passersby to walk or drive in areas prone to falling or flying objects; and
- Fail to adequately light areas where there are protruding objects in known walkways.
Slip and Fall: Catastrophic Injuries
Visitors to malls, big box retail stores, airports, hotels, and other public sites can be seriously injured when owners fail to maintain their property and do not fix hazards present to visitors inside and outside a building.
Visitors can be seriously injured or killed when they trip on hazardous objects in walkways. Other individuals are hurt when they slip and fall as a result of the owner’s failure to clean up liquids or waste the owner knew or had reason to know was present.
In 2006, there were 234,450 non-fatal and 789 fatal slip and fall accidents in the United States, according to the Department of Labor.
The Gilbert Law Group has decades of experience representing children and adults with traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, or families who have lost loved ones in wrongful death accidents.
Contact us to notify The Gilbert Law Group about your case, or call us toll free at 1-877-431-4529 to discuss your matter. All initial consultations are free.