Guests who are injured in a Colorado hotel or resort deserve to be financially compensated for injuries caused by the negligence of others.
Hotels Duty of Care
All hotels and resorts have a duty of care to their customers under Colorado negligence law. This means:
- they must take reasonable steps;
- to avoid foreseeable injury;
- to hotel guests.
Challenges of Suing Hotels
Hotels are typically owned by large corporations and conglomerates. They tend to have sophisticated legal teams that fight back against lawsuits, especially when an injured person is unrepresented (or represented by an inexperienced lawyer).
However, with the help of an experienced attorney with years of service to hotel injury victims, you can negotiate with these companies, and file a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation for your harm.
Below, our Colorado personal injury attorneys address frequently asked questions about injuries in a Colorado hotel in personal injury lawsuits and the injuries you may have suffered.
- 1. What do I have to prove in a hotel negligence case in Colorado?
- 2. What duties of care do Colorado hotels owe to their guests?
- 3. What are some common ways Colorado hotels breach the duty of care?
- 4. What kind of compensation can I receive as the result of a hotel injury in Colorado?
1. What do I have to prove in a hotel negligence case in Colorado?
Colorado law requires that an injured person (the plaintiff) prove that the hotel or resort was negligent when it committed the harm against you.
To prove negligence occurred, a person who is injured (the plaintiff) must prove:
- that the person being sued (the defendant) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- that the defendant breached that duty of care;
- that the defendant’s breach was the cause of the injury; and
- that the plaintiff sustained monetary damages from his or her injuries.1
2. What duties of care do Colorado hotels owe to their guests?
Colorado hotels owe a wide variety of duties to each of their guests. Breach of these duties can result in financial compensation to the injured victim through a personal injury lawsuit.
These duties include, but are not limited to:
- keeping hotel rooms and public areas clean and in good repair;2
- reprogramming keys after a guest checks out;
- appropriately contacting 911 or other emergency personnel in the case of an emergency;
- having emergency plans, such as fire evacuation plans;
- complying with Colorado food safety regulations; and
- complying with Colorado and federal anti-discrimination laws.
Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to harm to a hotel guest. This harm can be compensated through a personal injury lawsuit.
2.1 What duties of care are owed under Colorado laws?
Under CRS 13-21-115, hotel guests are considered invitees under Colorado premises liability laws. This means that hotels are obligated to:
- protect their guests;
- from safety hazards or other dangerous conditions;
- that it either knows about;
- or should know about.
This includes certain other duties, such as:
- duty to exercise reasonable care in the security and safety of all guests;
- duty to protect guests from injury caused by other hotel guests;
- duty to conduct background checks on employees;
- duty to make premises reasonably safe for their guests, including the notification or repair of visible or invisible hazards; and
- duty to cover financial costs when confirmed reservations cannot be honored due to overbooking.
2.2 What is Colorado premises liability law?
Hotels are expected to follow and respect Colorado’s premises liability laws. Premises liability is a type of negligence action that:
- holds owners of land responsible
- for certain injuries to others
- that occur on their property.
Different standards of care are owed to people on the property depending on their legal status.
There are three legal statuses relevant to premises liability cases:
- Licensees; and
3. What are some common ways Colorado hotels breach the duty of care?
Hotels and resorts can breach their duty of care in many ways, but some are more common than others. A breach occurs when a hotel fails to exercise a duty of care in such a way that an ordinary and careful person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
Common breaches include:
- Slip and fall accidents, as a result of:
- wet surfaces;
- defective handrails;
- broken stairs;
- cracked tiles
- torn carpeting; or
- uneven pavement.
- Violations of Colorado assault laws, or sexual assault laws, due to:
- inadequate security;
- poorly lit garages;
- improper room security (for example, failure to wipe former room key).
- Food poisoning;
- Shuttle bus accidents;
- Drowning and swimming pool accidents;
- Defective elevator or escalator accidents;
- Injuries from broken or defective products within the hotel.
4. What kind of compensation can I receive as the result of a hotel injury in Colorado?
An injured person could recover both economic and non-economic damages if he or she was injured as the result of an injury in a Colorado hotel or resort.
Economic damages include:
These damages are more easily identifiable through documentary evidence and usually have a defined value.
Non-economic damages are those which are not typical “out-of-pocket” expenses. These losses are more subjective and include:
- pain and suffering;4
- emotional distress;
- emotional distress;
- loss of enjoyment of life; and
- loss of consortium.
Call us for help…
For questions about hotel injury lawsuits in Colorado or to confidentially discuss your case with one of our skilled Colorado personal injury attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us.
We represent clients in and around Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, and several nearby cities.
Injured in Nevada? Learn about Las Vegas hotel injury lawsuits.
- Lopez v. Trujillo, 399 P.3d 750 (Ct. App. Div. 1 2016). (To prove a prima facie negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the defendant owed a legal duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the plaintiff was injured; and (4) the defendant’s breach caused that injury. citing Vigil v. Franklin, 103 P.3d 322, 325 (Colo.2004). Of these elements, duty is the threshold element.)
- 5 COA 743. Cause of Action Against Hotel or Motel for Failure to Provide Guests with Safe Accommodations.
- 17 COPRAC 5.13 (Payment of Medical Bills).
- COPRAC 38:8 (Pain and Suffering–when compensable).