Visitor Question

Hotel slip and fall incident while taking a shower in my room…

Submitted By: Mike (Denver, CO)

While driving through New Hampshire in Sept. 2015 we stayed at a hotel.

The next morning, while taking a shower, I slipped and fell.

When I fell I did not land in the tub, but I fell backwards out of the shower/tub and the center of my back (half way between my neck and waist) landed on the toilet.

I sustained very large back bruising and immediately went to the nearest hospital emergency room where I got a back x-ray. They said I was extremely lucky as the center of my spine was what hit the toilet, and I could have easily severed my spine.

My concern now is that I did have pain and bruises to my very lower back, and I believe the x-ray (they did only 1) did not image my back that far down.

After 3 weeks I still have severe lower back pain that is not getting any better.

Can I claim the small amount already that I had to pay for the emergency room and pain medication, or is a slip and fall that happened inside the shower/tub considered not actionable?

Beyond the financial expenses listed above, I am concerned that this injury might result in chronic back pain. Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mike,

While your injury is certainly unfortunate, from the facts you present there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of negligence. Without showing negligence a victim does not have the basis of a claim for compensation for damages. Damages can include your medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Under premises liability theory, hotels have a legal “duty of care” to do everything with reason to make the hotel grounds and guest rooms safe for guests and others who would be legally upon the property. Colorado has a specific statute dealing with premises liability. Under Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-21-115

“In any civil action brought against a landowner by a person who alleges injury occurring while on the real property of another and by reason of the condition of such property, or activities conducted or circumstances existing on such property, the landowner shall be liable…”

When a hotel fails in its duty of care, and as a result of that failure a guest is injured, the hotel is considered to have “breached” its duty. That breach is called negligence. When as a result of a hotel’s negligence a guest is injured, the guest is entitled to damages as set out above.

You suffered what is commonly referred to as a slip and fall injury. Learn more about liability in slip and fall claims here.

While you no doubt suffered a slip and fall injury, you have failed to produce evidence of the hotel’s negligence. You appear to have slipped and fell of your own volition, and not as a result of a broken bathtub mat, broken water spout, or other event which would have caused you to fall.

Therefore, it appears you don’t have the basis of a legitimate personal injury claim based on premises liability.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 15, 2015

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