Visitor Question

Do I have a claim for getting hit in the head by a door closer?

Submitted By: Deb (Muscoda, Wisconsin)

I opened our hotel room door and as I walked in, the device at the top that closes the door came off and hit me in the back of the head. Two screws hit my head and caused bleeding, and there was a large hematoma on my head where the heavy box hit me.

This was our last night in the hotel, and there was no drinking involved. It knocked me into the doorway and bruised my ribs. I then fell onto our bed and my husband called the front desk to get someone up to our room.

I was taken to the emergency room and they did a CAT scan. I’m just wondering if this is worth getting a hold of a lawyer? What can we do about this? 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 Deb,

Based on the facts, it appears the hotel was negligent. Hotels are bound by a legal precept called Premises Liability. This basically says hotels have a legal duty to do everything within reason to protect their guests from undue harm, and their failure to do so can lead to liability for their guests’ injuries.

Hotel management knows, or should know their hotel rooms require constant maintenance. For example, wiring in rooms may loosen over time, toilets and faucets may stop up, hinges on doors may loosen, and carpets may tear or bunch up.

Inspecting the rooms should be performed at least on a daily basis, or after each guest leaves, and before another guest occupies the room. Performing these tasks is entirely reasonable.

In your case, hotel management knew, or should have known the door hinge was not functioning properly. It is fair to say an inspection of the room by management, or their employees would have likely identified the problem and corrected it.

Liability can result in the payment of compensation to injured guests for the guests’ damages. These can include medical bills, related out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and an additional amount for pain and suffering.

In your case you sustained an injury which required emergency medical care. At a minimum, the hotel is responsible for your medical bills, prescription medications, lost wages (if the injury caused you not to be able to work), refund of the day’s room change., and an amount for your pain and suffering.

It is never a bad idea to seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. If you choose to seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney, do so promptly.

Unfortunately, the longer you wait to take action, the greater the likelihood the hotel will take the position your injury was aggravated by a subsequent event, such as a fall, or other injury incident separate from the hotel injury.

Learn more here: Injuries at Hotels and Resorts

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 with your claim,

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