If you are travelling this holiday season, you may be staying at a hotel or motel. The vast majority of hotels have excellent security and franchises require strict adherence to security guidelines. However, many franchises vary on the implementation of those guidelines. So what can you do and who is responsible if you are a victim of a crime while at a hotel?
Who is responsible for my attack?
If you find yourself or a loved one in a tragic situation where you have been attacked or victimized at a Missouri or Illinois hotel, you have some recourse to be compensated for your pain. When a hotel allows you in and accepts payment to house you, they enter into a special relationship with you. Essentially, you become an invitee of the hotel which means they are inviting you to come to their business and they will provide a safe place for you. The hotel is accepting that responsibility as part of its deal with you. It is a legally imposed responsibility and cannot be shirked.
Missouri courts have held that the “duty owed by an innkeeper to a guest is one of reasonable care under the circumstances”. See Stafford v. Drury Inns, 165 S.W. 3d 494. The guest is relying on the hotel to provide a safe place for them. Essentially, the courts have said that the guest entrusts themselves to the protection of the hotel to provide a place of safety. Therefore, the hotel must implement reasonable procedures to insure your protection. There are affirmative duties imposed on the innkeeper to keep a person safe. See Virginia D. v. Madesco Inv. Corp., 648 S.W. 2d, 881. That means the hotel must make concerted efforts to provide for the safety of their guests. They cannot just sit back and hope that a guest will be safe. The hotel must take action. If they don’t, and you are hurt, they are responsible and should be held liable.
What can you do to avoid a bad situation?
Every hotel has security procedures. If you are booking a hotel, call ahead and ask who their director of security is. If they don’t have one, ask them why not. Ask them if their franchisor recommends one. Ask them if they have had any recent incidents of attacks or robberies. These are all answers they should readily have available and be able to answer. If you cannot get answers that you are satisfied with, move to the next hotel. There are too many options to not be satisfied.
Remember that many people utilize hotels from all walks of life. A hotel that has you as a guest has a duty to provide you with a safe place. If they don’t respect that duty, we can help you.
If you’ve been injured at a hotel or the victim of a crime at a hotel in Missouri or Illinois, call us. We will speak confidentially to you for free to see if you have a claim. We have handled these types of cases and can provide you with the experience you need and deserve. Call us for free at 314.646.0300.
Stafford v. Drury Inns, 165 S.W. 3d 494
Virginia D. v. Madesco Inv. Corp., 648 S.W. 2d, 881
Richardson v. QuikTrip Corp., 81 S.W. 3d, 54