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I was hurt in a hotel room in Chicago. Could negligent security be in issue even though I was hurt in a private room and not in a common area?

Yes, you could have a negligent security claim against a hotel if you are hurt in your room rather than in the lobby, restaurant, gym, or other common area. That said, the evidence necessary to pursue a negligent security case may be different if you are attacked in your room.

Things to Think About

As you think about whether or not you have a negligent security claim, it is important to consider:

  • Whether you knew your attacker and whether you invited that person into your room. If it was a friend or relative who hurt you after being invited into your room, then the hotel might not be liable for your injuries.
  • The quality of the lock on your door and whether it was locked at the time of your attack. If the door lock did not hold when someone tried to get into the room, then that could be relevant to your claim.
  • Whether you were able to call for help and how long it took for help to arrive. Did you call the front desk before or during your attack? Who responded, and how long did it take to get assistance to your room? This could also be relevant to your claim.
  • Whether the hallways were well lit and if there was an employee on duty at the front desk. These factors could be relevant because the absence of adequate lighting and hotel employees on duty could make an attack more likely.

The person who attacked you may not have the resources to pay for your injuries, but the hotel and its insurer likely do. Accordingly, it is important to consider whether you have a potential negligent security claim and to take action to protect your rights, if it is appropriate to do so.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham