Each holiday season, many look forward to reuniting with family around the Christmas dinner table or toasting old friends on New Year’s Eve. For the lucky few who live close to family, or who are visited by others, preparations for these celebrations may involve simply cleaning house, washing some linens, and checking visitors’ flight information. For the rest of us, the holiday season involves some amount of travel and a couple of nights in a hotel.
This year, the American Automobile Association(AAA) forecasted that more than 30% of Americans would be travelling over the holidays. This equals roughly 113 million travelers on the roads this December. Top travel destinations this year include Orlando, FL; Cancun, Mexico; Anaheim, CA; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Honolulu, HI; New York, NY; Kahului, HI; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Miami, FL.  In all of these locations, hotel rooms will likely be fully booked for the holiday weekend to accommodate the number of vacationers.
While there is a risk of injury any time one takes to the roads or the skies for holiday travel, the risk of injury does not disappear when we reach our destination. In fact, hotel injuries are extremely common. Minor injuries are common, partly because we find ourselves in unfamiliar environments: while we may be familiar with the hazards in our own home, hotel dangers can be subtle and hard to anticipate. One of the most devastating examples of a hotel injury occurred last October in Las Vegas when a gunman fired on a crowd of concertgoers in a clearing below his hotel room window. 58 people were killed in the attack, with more than 1,000 injuries. In this case, the hotel sued the victims of the attack in an attempt to avoid liability. 
In another Nevada hotel injury, a man washing windows outside the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas fell to his death on Wednesday, December 12. While no guests were injured, his fall did create a hazard for pedestrians walking below the window.  Even when hotel and casino conditions are primarily hazardous to their workers, they can still create danger and potential injury for holiday guests.
This holiday season also provided the unfortunate backdrop to a hotel drowning in Ohio. According to police, a 26-year-old man drowned in a hotel pool in Richfield, OH on the morning of Wednesday, December 26. Other guests were unable to help the man in the pool, and he was transported to University Hospitals Broadview Heights, where he was pronounced dead. 
Another series of holiday-season hotel injuries occurred In Tulsa, OK. Five people were hurt when a construction elevator and its surrounding scaffolding collapsed around 9:30 in the morning on December 18. Several men were left bleeding and suffered from possible broken bones, but no injuries were life-threatening. The scaffolding was being taken apart when it fell and injured the men. After the accident, several workers noted that the scaffolding and elevator had swayed noticeably near the top of the building prior to the collapse.  While this was an elevator that serviced hotel workers, its collapse created a danger for anyone walking nearby and likely signaled negligence on the part of the hotel.
While these are examples of devastating hotel and casino injuries, more minor mishaps are extremely common. Some of the most common hotel accidents and injuries include slips and falls in rooms, common areas, or stairwells; accidents navigating elevators or escalators; drownings or other pool-related injuries; problems with defective furniture; food poisoning from hotel-provided provisions; bed bugs and other pest-borne illnesses; burns and fires; exposure to toxic chemicals; and assault or other acts of violence.  If you are the victim of an accident or injury at a hotel this holiday season, seek appropriate medical attention, and then be sure to contact a personal injury attorney to ask about your rights.
Image Credit: Jim G in Flickr