Slip and Fall in Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs
You might be surprised to know that injuries to people who fall in Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs at Hotels, Motels or Rented Properties is a common injury to guests in Indiana.
That’s because tubs, showers and hot tubs are very common in the hotel industry. It’s nearly impossible to go to any hotel that does not contain at one shower or tub in the room, as well as a swimming pool or hot tub nearby.
Recovery for a slip and fall in a tub, shower or hot tub is based on a legal theory known as premises liability. An owner of a property, whether a motel, hotel or landlord, must maintain the tub, shower and hot tub in a reasonably safe condition or be subject to liability to people who fall.Causes of Falls in Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs
Many injuries to guests using tubs, showers and hot tubs occurs due to slipperiness of the item when wet. This might seem ridiculous at first blush – of course, tubs and showers and hot tubs are wet – but there are industry standards for all hotels and motels when it comes to making the items slip resistant.
Furthermore, tubs, showers and hot tubs might come with guardrails that are absent, damaged, weak, shaky, or too low to be effective could be an invitation to a serious accident.
Slip and falls in hot tub or other bathing facilities is also a common occurrence. Slip resistant flooring with particles added to the tile can reduce the number of injuries greatly.
Other accidents can include instances where the glass bathtub or shower enclosure product fails due to improper standards or mounting procedures. Failure of tub and shower enclosures can happen in hotels, motels and rented properties in Indiana.
Hotel, resort, condominium and other property owners might not keep their properties up to date with appropriate requirements of the safety codes or industry standards.
There are standard consumer safety specifications when it comes to bathing or showering for slip resistance in Indiana structures.How to Hold a Landowner Responsible for Injuries That Occur From a Fall Down Stairs or a Flight of Stairs in Indiana
To establish a claim for “negligence” on the part of a hotel, motel, resort owner, business owner or apartment complex, you must show that the duty of “reasonable care” was breached (not met). This means the property owner must have actual or constructive knowledge (knew or should have known) of the presence of the hazardous condition of the tubs, showers and hot tubs in order to be held liable. Schulz v. Kroger Co., 963 N.E.2d 1141, 1144 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012).
At Shaw Law, we believe it is never “reasonable” for a landowner to do anything but the safest choice available – especially if that choice costs little or nothing in order to ensure the tubs, showers and hot tubs are safe for everybody – children, the frail, handicapped persons or the elderly.
One way to hold a hotel, motel, resort owner, business owner or landlord responsible for the dangerous condition of tubs, showers and hot tub areas is if the property owner landlord should have discovered the unsafe condition based on a reasonable inspection schedule. That is called “constructive knowledge” of the problem – whatever the problem might be. It’s not required that the landowner know of the specific problem, but rather a general idea that the item is dangerous as it is currently being used.
Another way is if you or another guest informed the hotel, motel, business owner or landowner about the dangerous condition and they took no action to fix it. That type of information provides “notice” or actual knowledge to the property owner or the landlord of the unsafe condition of its Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs.
Another way to hold a property owner or landlord responsible is to prove the landowner was aware of the dangerous condition, but didn't put up an appropriate warning sign to advise you of the potential danger, prevent you or others from using the Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs or fix the problem.
Furthermore, it might be possible to hold the motel, hotel, business owner, resort owner or landlord or proprietor responsible if the Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs was not designed properly or mounted correctly.
Another consideration is whether the Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs met the law known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) that require appropriate handrails and other requirements.
There are industry standards when it comes to the design and construction of stairs in Indiana. These standards can have the effect of law when adopted by the state. Otherwise, they are evidence of “negligence” when an expert witness can testify that a specific flight of stairs at a business did not meet “standards.”
One example is the ASTM standards. ASTM International is an international group of scientists and engineers, founded in 1898, that establishes and publishes voluntary standards for a wide-range of products – including stairs and walkways – that many organizations adopt and use when constructing or designing bathing facilities such as tubs, showers or hot tubs.
The specific ASTM standard is F462 which covers consumer safety specifications regarding the slip resistance of bathtubs and shower structures used for bathing or showering referred to as bathing facilities. This specification establishes the definitions, methods of testing the slip resistance of bathing facilities and the in-use performance requirements needed to minimize the accidents caused by slipperiness during any reasonable use by guests and customers. When followed, it is intended to reduce accidents to persons, especially children and the aged, resulting from the use of bathing facilities.
Failure of a hotel, motel or other business that provides bathing and showering facilities without following the safety code of the ASTM might prove to be “negligent” when an expert safety witness testifies on a specific case.
The bottom line is this – it’s difficult to navigate a successful claim for falls inside bathing facilities such as tubs, showers and hot tubs in Indiana without excellent legal assistance.
An experienced Indiana slip and fall lawyer who deals with falls by guests inside Tubs, Showers and Hot Tubs understands these methods of recovering from hotel, motel, resort owners or landlords, apartment complexes and business owners or proprietors for injuries.
Call us at Shaw Law for real answers.
We get you back on your feet.