By:   Jason R. Margulies

Our Compassionate and Nationally Recognized Sexual Assault and Hotel Rape Lawyers Will Help You Hold Your Abuser Accountable and Recover The Compensation You Deserve

Lipcon, Margulies & Winkelman, P.A. are one of the U.S.’s leading sexual assault and hotel accident law firms. In business since 1971 and advocating for the rights of sexual assault victims for more than 50 years, our team have successfully recovered more than $300 million for our clients and handled more than 3,000 cases across our careers. Four of our personal injury lawyers have been named to “Best Lawyers” ® and our firm has been selected as one of the “Best Law Firms” ® in America by US News & World Report every year for nearly a decade. Our 14 attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience and are strategically located at 8 office locations across the nation. This makes it possible for you to access our legal guidance and support no matter where you are in the U.S.

Our personal injury lawyers are regularly called upon by national news programs and shows to provide expert opinions regarding maritime accidents, the “hidden epidemic” of hotel rape and sexual assault, and countless other personal injuries. In fact, our founder, Charles Lipcon, was responsible for handling numerous landmark maritime and personal injury cases that shape how the U.S. handles these lawsuits. With decades of experience handling rape and sexual assaults not only in hotels, but at resorts and on cruise lines, we are uniquely suited to handle the complex and sensitive issues surrounding your case.

Whether you were staying at an international hotel or resort or were sexually assaulted or raped at a hotel anywhere in the United States, our firm is here to help you get through these trying times and demand justice. You can rely on us to protect your reputation, identity, and handle sensitive information discreetly every step of the way. Read on to learn more about how the sexual assault and hotel rape claims process works, and how you can hold not only your abuser, but those responsible for facilitating the abuse, accountable for their sexual violence. Contact our team as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation so we can begin working on your insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.

Is Your Hotel As Safe As You Think?

Staying at a hotel should be a comforting, safe, and relaxing experience. Many people expect hotels to provide them and their families with security, safety, and shelter while vacationing, traveling for work, or just treating themselves for a weekend getaway. The last thing you want to think about while staying at a hotel is your safety and the safety of the ones you love. Every hotel or resort has a legal duty to take reasonable security measures to minimize or reduce the risk of hotel sexual assault, a “hidden epidemic” impacting resort, hotel, and cruise ship guests across the world.

Unfortunately, this standard of reasonable care is not always met.  We have handled many cases that involved inadequate security, cameras that were either not functioning or non-existent, improper room key storage and access, and other issues of negligent security that led directly to preventable crimes being committed.   In recent years, sexual assault cases have increased in the hospitality industry for both hotel guests and hotel employees. Working with experienced lawyers is an important step to take if you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted, especially where a property owner failed to take reasonable security measures to protect you from harm.

hotel-security-guard

What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Rape Or Sexual Assault At A Hotel

  1. Report the Incident to Local Authorities
    Becoming a victim of rape or sexual assault taken place at a hotel or resort is a horrific and traumatic experience. Speaking about the incident can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is important you report the incident as soon as possible. If you are a victim, you should notify the hotel or hotel security, but you must also notify local authorities. This is because there are times when the hotel security is more interested in protecting the company than it is in protecting your rights. Accordingly, it is crucial for your legal case that you have notified the necessary parties including local law enforcement, as soon as possible.
  2. Document Evidence
    This may be challenging right after experiencing something life changing, but this is a key element for your case. Photograph the scene of crime and take notes about the incidents that occurred before and after the assault.
    If possible, seek medical attention soon after. The medical examiner will document any signs of physical harm.
  3. Contact an experienced lawyer
    When facing a legal burden related to rape and sexual assault, it is important to have a skilled sexual assault lawyer on your side. Many individuals do not realize that the perpetrator of their crime can be held responsible for their actions. That is why we are here, to help provide closure for victims and hopefully prevent more of the same incidents from happening in the future.

The Types of Civil Damages Awarded in Sex Crime Lawsuits

When pursuing a civil case against a perpetrator or other at-fault party such as a hotel owner, victims can seek a wide range of damages that your attorney will identify, calculate, and then argue for on your behalf.

Civil damages in a personal injury claim are divided into several different categories which will be explained in detail below:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the impacts of a hotel sexual assault that have measurable dollar values. These include the cost of medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and any other costs including mental health expenses or the cost of services meant to support a victim as they work to recover from a sexual assault and the physical injuries they may have suffered. Simply stated, economic damages are those which can be rather easily calculated.

Non-Economic Damages

Conversely, non-economic damages are those that cannot be easily calculated. Instead these types of damages are left up to the jury (or judge or arbitrator) to determine the amount. As such, broadly speaking, non-economic damages are more complicated than economic damages, because these compensatory damages identify and calculate dollar values for impacts of non-consensual sexual activity that have no set dollar value. In a civil lawsuit, non-economic damages typically include things like the pain and suffering that a victim endures as a result of their experience, as well as short-term and long-term emotional effects such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mental issues.

In addition, non-economic damages may include issues like a victim’s decrease in their quality of life, loss of enjoyment, and other impacts of sex-related crimes.

Punitive Damages

These damages are awarded as a way to punish the defendant for their conduct in order to deter them and others from acting similarly in the future.

Punitive damages are rare in civil cases, and are only awarded by a judge or jury as an award at the end of a trial — and only in instances whether the defendant, whether a hotel operator, property owner, assailant, or other liable party, acted in an egregious or reckless manner where compensatory damages alone do not adequately address the wrongdoings.

Building a Strong Case: Strategies, Evidence, and Legal Tactics

You have a right to hold the liable parties responsible for your suffering, and building a strong case is critical if you or a loved one is the victim of sexual misconduct. Your attorney will handle this process for you, and will use a range of approaches. The following section will review just a few of these key strategies and tactics designed to recover the maximum compensation for you.

Conducting Thorough Investigations

Your attorney knows that a thorough investigation is the foundation of any strong case. They will interview potential witnesses, including hotel staff members, guests, and eyewitnesses, and will examine hotel records including surveillance footage, employee training manuals, and incident reports stemming from your case.

Collecting Evidence

Physical evidence is very important in cases involving unwanted sexual contact, including DNA, clothing, personal items, and anything else that can help establish a perpetrator’s identity and guilt. Eyewitness accounts and surveillance footage from the hotel premises are also important evidence that can help establish key facts in the case.

Medical reports can also often prove to be central evidence in a hotel sexual assault case, and can establish facts like the extent of the victim’s injuries, treatment received, and the damage suffered. Your lawyer will also review the police report as they build your sexual assault case.

If there is any digital evidence such as text messages, phone records, social media posts, or other electronic communications, these can all be powerful forms of evidence, as well.

Tactics for Maximizing Success

A skilled attorney will have a range of tactics at their disposal that can help them maximize their chances of success while pursing a case stemming from sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault in a hotel, resort, or motel.

They will draft strong legal pleadings that establish the facts of the case and present the most compelling arguments. If the case goes to trial, your attorney will depose witnesses during the discovery phase in order to gather additional information. They will also request documents including things like past reports or incidents of sexual harassment or assault in the hotel, as well as documents relating to the hotel sexual assault prevention protocols.

Building a strong case will require your attorney to use all of the strategies and tactics available to them as they work to ensure that the perpetrators and liable parties are held accountable for their actions (or inactions).

Settlements and Compensation: Negotiating a Fair Resolution

Once your attorney has built the foundation of your case, they will need to present the damages they have calculated. Some cases go all the way through trial, but many cases also resolve or settle prior to trial. In our experience, many defendants prefer settlement because of the sensitive nature of the allegations and thus there is a desire to keep the matter out of the press. When settlement is pursued, you can expect a series of negotiations between your attorney and the at-fault party to come up with a fair settlement value to resolve your case.

Negotiations can be difficult to entertain as victims of rape, sexual harassment, or other sexual abuse are often quickly overwhelmed. Your attorney will be able to handle this entire process on your behalf so you can avoid the added stress, and instead you can focus on moving forward from the unwanted sexual contact you endured and getting your life back on track. Having said that, it is critically important to understand that the rape victim is the only one with the authority to actually resolve the case. Your attorney will give you his/her advice and recommendation about what constitutes a fair settlement, but it is always the client who makes the ultimate decision(s) regarding settlement.

If your attorney is able to reach a fair resolution, then you may not even need to file a lawsuit; however, if negotiations prove unsatisfactory then the next step may be to prepare for trial.

Successfully Handled Hotel Rape Cases

Hiring Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is the clear decision when it comes to working with a law firm that is experienced, aggressive, and confident enough to take your case as far as it needs to go. We are here to fight for your rights and will keep fighting the hidden epidemic of hotel rape and sexual assault until the case is resolved.

Our team has a diverse background of education and representation with experience allowing them to effectively assist clients who have found themselves in terrible circumstances involving hotels and resorts. We have recovered more than $300 million dollars for our clients, which include many victims of sexual assault.

These are some examples of cases we have successfully handled or are currently handling:

  • Two female employees of a Caribbean resort were sexually assaulted by an intruder on the premises which was not properly secured.
  • Two female guests at a resort in Jamaica were raped at gunpoint by an employee of the resort.
  • A 15-year-old girl was raped at a resort in the Bahamas by an assailant who should not have been allowed on the premises.

The attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., have a diverse background of education and representation with experience allowing us to effectively assist clients who have found themselves in terrible circumstances involving hotels and resorts. We have recovered more than $300 million dollars for our clients, which include many victims of sexual assault.

Tips for Preventing Sexual Assault in Hotels

Here are a few basic hotel safety precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t publicize and keep your room number to yourself at all times. No one should know your room number but yourself and those staying in the room. If possible, have the front desk employee write down your room number rather than announcing it aloud.
  2. Inspect the room when you first enter. Scope out the room including the bathroom, closet, and behind the curtains.
  3. Always lock doors and windows. You should always make sure your door lock is functioning properly and lock it from the inside. Use the deadbolt if one is provided. Lock your windows at night if your room is near a street or if you have a balcony view.
  4. Keep unwanted visitors away. Never open the door unless you know the person behind it and their purpose in visiting your room, including a hotel employee.
  5. Look for the nearest exit. In case of an emergency, you’ll know where to go and make sure to memorize it as best as possible.
  6. Use the main entrance. When entering and exiting the hotel, try to use the main entrance as much as possible, as this is typically the busiest area of a hotel. Avoid solitary situations. If it makes you feel more comfortable, call the front desk and ask for an employee to accompany you to and from your car.

Hotel Rape FAQs

After you’ve been violently attacked and raped in a hotel, you may be left with a million questions running through your mind all at once. We have seen firsthand how traumatizing it can be for victims of sexual assault to attempt to recount the attack and provide the details needed to prove liability and negligence. In our years working with survivors like you, we have come to recognize some of the most common questions you might have regarding hotel rapes and your opportunities for justice.

With this in mind, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below surrounding rapes in hotels. If you have additional questions we did not answer here, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your concerns in further detail.

Are there questions I should ask the hotel to ensure my safety?

What is a hotel “panic button”?

How do hotels prevent sexual assault?

How common are sexual assaults in hotels?

What Is Considered Assault, Abuse, Harassment, or Rape?

How can I Tell if the Hotel is Secure?

What Is a Hotel Sexual Assault Lawyer?

Why Should I Hire a Hotel Sexual Assault Lawyer?

What Is Hotel Negligence?

What Is Negligent Security and How Is it Determined?

How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Assault Claim?

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

How Does an Attorney Prove Hotel Negligence?

Support and Resources for Survivors of Sex Crimes

Victims of sex crimes often face many challenges following their trauma, and will benefit from the many resources available to them as they work to heal. Here are just a few:

Medical Care

Seeking medical care immediately after an assault is important in order to gather evidence and begin treatment for any physical injuries, infections, or potential pregnancy.

Therapy

Talking with a professional who specializes in sexual trauma recovery can help victims process their experience and begin to move on with their life in a healthy way. They may also be able to refer victims to support groups where victims can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences.

Victim Advocacy Programs

Victims may find support through advocacy programs that can help them find therapy, emergency shelter, financial assistance, and more as they work to recover from their experiences with sexual violence.

Crisis Hotlines

The National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) provides immediate help 24/7, and is staffed by trained professionals who are there to help.

The Role of a Hotel Sexual Assault Attorney

A sexual assault attorney plays an important role in the legal process following an assault. Primarily, they function as a guide through the complicated world of tort law, and will be able to handle every step of this process while their client is able to remain focused on healing and moving forward from their traumatic experience.

Insurers and defense attorneys are focused on settling cases against their clients as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and will often resort to aggressive tactics in order to achieve this goal — often at a victim’s financial and emotional expense. When an experienced attorney is handling the case, the impact on the victim is greatly reduced.

The team at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. understands how difficult the aftermath of a sexual assault can be, and we are proud to take on these cases and fight for the compensation and justice that our clients truly deserve.

Our Top-Rated and Dedicated Hotel Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers Can Make Your Abuser Pay

Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. are here to help you get through some of the most difficult times in your life. We have, for nearly a decade, been named as one of the “Best Law Firms” ® by US News & World Report, and have had four of our personal injury lawyers selected as “Best Lawyers” 2016-2024 ® in America. The trauma you experienced in your hotel rape or sexual assault should not go on answered. The liable party should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Our extensive experience in handling cases such as these makes us uniquely equipped to help you maximize your financial compensation and ensure the at-fault party is brought to justice. Fill out our online contact form or call our office at (877) 233-1238 to schedule a confidential and free consultation with one of our compassionate and empathetic attorneys.