Visitor Question

Stepped On a Nail in a Hotel…

Submitted By: Ashley (Las Vegas, NV)

I was staying at a large hotel in Las Vegas last week. As I was getting ready in front of the mirror I stepped on a nail with a stopper at the end of it which had come out the hotel chair leg.

My boyfriend pulled the nail out, which was almost an inch through the bottom of my foot. We filed an incident report with the hotel.

I’m wondering if they are liable? Should I get any money for this?

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 Ashley,

Yes, the hotel should be liable for your injuries. Hopefully you sought medical care immediately after the injury. If you hadn’t had one in the last few years, you may have received a tetanus shot.

The hotel should reimburse you for the cost of any medical care, out of pocket expenses (prescription antibiotics, over the counter medication, bandages, etc). If, as a result of the injury you had to miss work, the hotel should reimburse you for that amount as well.

Next is the issue of pain and suffering, often called mental anguish or emotional distress. It seems a fair presumption the nail in your foot reduced the amount of fun you hoped to have while in town. As a result, you should receive an additional amount for the pain and suffering you endured.

The problem is getting the hotel to pay. What leverage do you have?

Send the hotel manager a friendly letter reminding her about the incident. Enclose a copy of the incident report.

Also enclose copies of your medical bills, receipts for your out of pocket expenses, and a letter from your employer or supervisor verifying your rate of pay and the number of days or hours you were absent from work.

Total the amounts. Then multiply only your medical bills by 3. Doing so includes the intangible amount for Pain and Suffering.

Ask the hotel to pay the combined amount. Do not threaten to sue. Management is trained to send any references to lawsuits or legal action immediately to corporate headquarters to be routed to their legal department. That’s the last thing you want, at least for now.

If the hotel management ignores or denies your request your only alternative will be to file suit in Small Claims Court in Las Vegas. Since you live there you should be readily available for all court hearings.

The maximum jurisdictional amount one can sue for in Small Claims Court in the State of Nevada is $5,0000.00 dollars.

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: September 8, 2011

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