When traveling along the state and interstate highways, the signs are omnipresent at almost every single exchange. Whether they are called hotels or motels or courtyards, major hospitality companies are competing to draw in tired travelers passing through and business people visiting the area. The have well known logos often displayed on high mast signs that can be seen from a long distance.
When you stop for a night at one of these national chains it is reasonable to expect that your hotel will be safe. One well known chain used to say in their ad “We’ll leave the light on for you.” But do they leave the security cameras on also? And who is watching them?
A story broke in July of 2015 when a CNN news anchor was attacked and her husband shot multiple times, while staying at a Motel 6 in Albuquerque NM. The couple both had firearm carrying permits and the husband shot and killed one perpetrator and the other was arrested. It was determined that the location had received multiple police calls in the past and no one was watching the surveillance camera. A law suit has been filed in that case against the motel chain.
What can you do to help ensure your safety while checking into and staying at a roadside motel? One is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and park in a well-lighted spot near your room or the entrance to the hotel. If there is no parking that looks safe, it is best to move on to another motel. Other questions should be answered beforehand that include:
- What is the crime rate in the area? The local police can provide this information. It may seem safe because it is close to the interstate but you don’t know the area.
- How many times have the police been called to that location and why. Domestic violence, drunk and disorderly, robberies, assaults, car thefts and break-ins are all reasons to stay clear.
- Are there security cameras and are they being monitored 24 hours per day. In the case mentioned previously the crime probably would not have happened if someone was watching.
- Are there smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every room and are they working properly?
- How far away is emergency response if needed such as police, fire and EMS?
It is the responsibility of the hotel or motel to provide a safe environment for guests. Many of these well-known chain hotels are not operated by the company whose name is on the sign. They are independently owned franchises that operate often under their own supervision. To assume that everything is being done to ensure safety can be a big mistake. In fact a hotel parking lot is often the one place a potential criminal can park for long periods of time without drawing suspicion.
If you or someone you love were staying at a hotel or motel and were the victim of a crime, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the hotel chain or owner. If the hotel did not provide adequate security, had insufficient lighting or unlocked exit doors, they could be found guilty of negligence. In these cases it is important that you seek the help of a premises liability attorney. The attorney will perform a complete investigation into the crime to determine if the hotel management could have taken measures to prevent it. In the case of a violent crime you may be entitled to compensation for you physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as your past and future medical bills and loss of income.
Dolman Law Group has successfully represented victims of crimes committed due to negligence on the part of a third party. If you or someone you know is a victim, contact Dolman Law for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652