Hotel Injuries in St. Augustine
St. Augustine is a huge tourist destination. Because of this, St. Augustine has more hotel rooms per capita than most cities in Florida. However, with hotel stays come hotel injuries. While most hotels have safe premises, some do not, and the results can be catastrophic, which may put in you need of a St. Augustine personal injury lawyer.
Hotel injuries typically result from dangerous conditions on the property. Dangerous conditions include recently mopped floors without “wet floor” signs, stairwells without handrails, stairs or with uneven treads or risers that do not comply with building codes, uneven walkways and sidewalks, unsafe swimming pools, defective gym equipment, food borne illnesses, and holes or other trip hazards in parking lots.
Claims against a hotel operator can also arise when a criminal assault occurs. For example, if a hotel has been the scene of prior assaults and the hotel operator fails to take measures in an effort to prevent further crimes, the operator may be found negligent for failing to do so. Those efforts can include installing appropriate fencing, using electronic room keys cards that expire with every new rental, providing sufficient locks in hotel rooms, adding security cameras, adding security personnel, and adding lighting.The Claims Process for Hotel Injury Cases
While we are investigating the facts regarding your incident, we will also be closely monitoring your medical care to determine when your healing process is complete. This is because the value of a personal injury claim is largely based on the extent of an injured person’s permanent injuries. Until your medical care is complete we do not know what your permanent injuries are. Trying to settle the case at that point would be like playing poker without being able to see your fifth card.
Once your care is complete, we will send a pre-suit settlement demand to the insurer. Following that, negotiations typically take 4 to 8 weeks to complete. We find that about 75% of cases settle without suit being filed.
If the insurer does not offer fair value to resolve your case, we file suit and set your case for trial. After that, the discovery phase of the case begins. During this process, each of the parties will answer written questions and provide documents. Depositions will be taken which can take several hours or more.
Prior to trial, your case will be mediated. Mediation is a settlement conference during which a court appointed mediator talks to each party separately to see if there is room for compromise. If a settlement is not reached at mediation, your case will proceed to trial in order for a jury to determine whether the hotel operator was negligent and, if so, the amount of reimbursement you are entitle to receive for your pain, suffering, medical bills and lost wages.How Our St. Augustine Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You
Once we get involved, the first thing we do is to write to the hotel to obtain its insurance policy information. Often, a hotel with have something called “medical payments” coverage. This is coverage that applies even if the hotel is not at fault for causing your injuries as long as the injury occurred on its property. Using a bit of an extreme example, if an asteroid fell from the sky and hit you while you were on hotel property, its medical payments coverage would apply to pay your medical bills.
What is so helpful about medical payments coverage is that it does not come with the restrictions on providers and referrals that come with health insurance. We can usually get the insurer to provide us the medical payments coverage with a simple letter. This lets you obtain medical care that may not be otherwise covered by your health insurance. It can also be used to pay your deductible.
As attorneys handling St. Augustine injury cases, we will have local knowledge regarding the location where your incident occurred, the medical professionals in the area and the judges.
We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we recover money for you.