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Hawaii hotel accidents: at what point does a hotel become liable for your injuries?

Hawaii hotel accidents: at what point does a hotel become liable for your injuries?

November 22, 2013

Accidents happen all the time at Hawaii hotels due to guests slipping on wet lobby floors, guests horsing around on hotel grounds and children running around pool areas. While there are a hundred reasons an accident can happen, at what point does a hotel become liable for your injuries?


Determining when a hotel might be liable for injuries will likely depend on whether it owed guests a duty of care and whether it acted reasonably under the circumstances – especially when it comes to providing a safe environment and medical assistance when needed. Here’s a closer look at both:

  • Safety. Hotels have to act reasonably when it comes to keeping their premises safe, as guests are “invitees” on the premises. Hawaii law holds property owners to a higher standard of care when the person injured was invited onto the property where the accident occurred. However, even though there’s a higher duty, the term “reasonable” is often very hard to define.

For example, is a hotel liable if a guest spills a sticky drink on the lobby floor and another guest slips, falls and is injured? The answer is – it depends on whether the hotel acted reasonably. If the time that elapsed between the spill and the fall was short, then the hotel might not be liable. If a long time passed and the spilled wasn’t cleaned up, the hotel may be liable.

The issue of reasonableness and a duty of care in these types of situations will depend upon the facts and circumstances surrounding each specific accident.

  • Medical Assistance. While hotels are not in the business of providing guests with medical assistance, they likely have some type of duty to act reasonably when it comes to reacting to accidents. However, the question becomes – how much help do they need to provide and can they be liable if they provide too much and cause further injury?

For example, let’s say that someone trips and falls on a hotel’s concrete pool patio, suffers cuts and possibly breaks a leg. If hotel staffers do nothing, they are likely acting unreasonably. However, they might be acting reasonably if they attempt to treat the victim’s cuts as best they can with the first aid materials on hand. Yet, if they attempt to address the victim’s broken leg and it results in further injury, the issue of whether they acted reasonably could go either way.

Confused? You’re not alone. The bottom line is that these types of cases are always dependent on the specific facts and circumstances of the accident. That’s where an experienced Hawaii personal injury lawyer can help.


Premises liability lawsuits involve an accident that occurs due to the negligence, negligent maintenance or unsafe and dangerous conditions of a property owned by someone other than the injured victim. These include hotels, restaurants, rental companies and any other type of store or establishment.

Property owners and business establishments have a duty to provide their guests with a safe environment and clearly warn customers about the potential of possible hazards such as construction, broken doors, slick floors and anything else that could cause any type of injury – from a simple slip and fall to a more serious injury such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, broken bones or even death.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured due to the negligence of a property owner, make sure that you contact an experienced premises liability law firm who understands how these types of cases are handled so that you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost income, physical and emotional distress, rehabilitation and more.

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