Hotel insurance refusing to cover medical bills from head injury?
A hotel's wooden window valence and associated blackout & sheer curtains fell on my head and knocked me to the floor. I crawled to the phone and had the hotel call paramedics and bring me ice. The paramedics found a head abrasion and second bump. A later visit to ER found the head abrasion healing, the second bump and a contusion on my back.
The CAT scan fortunately was absent of fracture and internal bleeding. Nearly three weeks later, the headaches and noise in my ears continue. I have photos of the window valence. It was held to the ceiling by 5 screws.
While the hotel GM provided insurance information, the insurance company says there is no medical coverage. Despite my many attempts, the hotel GM still has not provided new insurance info to cover the ER, CAT scan, etc. While the accident happened in Arizona, my home state is California.
Should the hotel cover medical treatments, pain & suffering and more? If the hotel does not provide the insurance info, in what state do I seek a personal injury attorney? Can I put a note on TripAdvisor regarding the poor construction at this hotel? Any information you can give on my options would be appreciated. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Hotel insurance refusing to cover medical bills from head injury?":
If you stayed at any of the major hotels, it's unlikely they would not have liability insurance. It is possible however, if you were staying at a local "mom and pop" run hotel, they didn't have liability insurance.
Hotels have a legal "duty of care" to do everything reasonably possible to ensure their guests aren't unduly harmed or injured. In your case, the hotel quite clearly breached its duty of care to you when the valence and curtains fell on you, injuring you. For legal purposes, the hotel's breach of duty of care is referred to as the hotel's "negligence."
When negligence exists, the negligent party is responsible, or "liable," for the injured party's damages. Damages can include a person's medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses relating to the injury and treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Of course, damages must be reasonable and verifiable. For example, if after your experience you sought out blood tests, a bone density scan, consulted with a cardiologist, or sought out other medical services not reasonably related to your injury, those costs would not be reasonably related to your injury.
In your case, because the valence and curtains fell on your head, a visit from the paramedics, visit to the ER, and CAT Scan would have been perfectly reasonable. As a result, the hotel should be liable for those costs.
If the hotel doesn't cooperate, you can certainly seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. While you haven't mentioned the costs you incurred, it's reasonable to assume the paramedics bill may have been about $200.00; the ER visit another $150.00 or so; and the CAT Scan about $750.00. That's a total of at least $1,100.00.
You also may have had to buy medications, and possibly lost wages while treating and recovering. Add to that your pain and suffering, and you may be able to find an attorney to accept your case.
As for Trip Advisor, you will have to pursue that through their proper channels.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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