Visitor Question

If I waited a week to report the injury, does that void the claim?

Submitted By: S (Ohio)

I recently stayed at a hotel in the New York area. The room was a handicap accessible room. The shower had a leak that sprayed into the middle of the restroom, not just the shower area. Water also leaked from the ceiling and the light. While showering, I fell and hurt my hip, and my head smacked against the wall.

I had to be helped up, but was able to navigate satisfactorily afterwards. I didn’t fill out an incident report because I didn’t expect the pain to linger, but now I am walking with a limp, my neck still hurts, and my hand seems to go numb when raised at chest level.

I have contacted the hotel and they asked if I want to fill out an incident report. I advised that I did want to fill out the report. Is this case attorney-worthy, or should I let the insurance company pay for any medical bills and be done with it? Any perspective you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.

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.


Dear S,

At this point you appear to have sustained “soft tissue” injuries. These normally include sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, whiplash, minor abrasions and contusions, and the like. You must however, see a doctor and have your injuries evaluated as soon as possible.

Numbness can be a symptom of more serious damage to your brain or nervous system. If you’ve sustained any type of hard injury, you must speak with an attorney. More serious “hard injuries” can include fractures, 3rd degree burns, deep gashes requiring many stitches, head or spinal trauma, scarring, and the like.

If you see a doctor and your injuries are in fact minor, you can probably negotiate a settlement with the hotel’s insurance company yourself. Be sure the hotel completes an incident report and ask them for a copy. While they are not under a legal obligation to give you a copy, they may.

Again, before entering into a negotiated settlement with the hotel, be sure you know the extent of your injuries, and your probable future treatment needs and their costs. Once you have that information, you can either hire an attorney or attempt to settle your injury claim yourself.

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: November 21, 2014

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