By:   Michael A. Winkleman

vacation-accident-lawyerIf you have been injured or harmed in an incident at a hotel or resort, you need an experienced and dedicated attorney on your side. The attorneys of Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. are award-winning and highly experienced in personal injury cases, as well as admiralty and maritime law, boasting over 100 years of combined experience.

The lawyers on our legal team are seasoned veterans and are the recipients of multiple coveted industry awards. We have four attorneys with over 25 years of experience each and were named “Lawyer of the Year”® in Admiralty and Maritime 2020 (Miami) by US News & World Report.

We Made Our Name Suing Cruise Lines – Hotel & Resort Accidents Are Surprisingly Similar

At Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., we’re famous for the results we achieve suing cruise lines, but that’s not all we do. In fact, foreign hotel and resort lawsuits are quite similar to cruise ship lawsuits in many ways. If you think about it, a cruise ship is much like a gigantic floating hotel. There are plenty of activities to partake in, thousands of strangers to mingle with, and the commensurate levels of crime and mischief that go along with a population the size of a small city.

Whether you’re at sea or on solid ground, being the victim of a crime or accident in a foreign country is scary and confusing, and many of the same complications and restrictions apply to these types of cases. Virtually any cruise ship you vacation on is going to be sailing under the flag of a foreign country, where different laws may apply, and the situation is similar whether you’re in a cruise ship at port, on a shore excursion, or staying at a foreign hotel or resort. Luckily, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is well-versed in these types of cases, and our cruise ship experience is invaluable when dealing with cases against foreign hotels and resorts as well.

Lawsuits Against Foreign Resorts

If you’ve been injured in an incident at a resort in a foreign country, your case may be challenging and present many complications. This is primarily due to the fact that different countries, naturally, have different laws and different legal systems. If you were to file a lawsuit in a foreign court, the country’s laws may dictate that you are only eligible to receive very little financial redress. As a consequence, you will almost certainly want to file a lawsuit in a U.S. court, but this may present jurisdictional challenges.

In order to give a U.S. court jurisdiction over your case, you must prove that the defendant is present in the jurisdiction in which you are filing, that the defendant lives or works in the jurisdiction, that the defendant maintains “minimum contact” with the jurisdiction, or that the defendant agrees to the chosen court being given jurisdiction. Minimum contact means that the defendant has some connection to the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit is being brought, such as doing business within the jurisdiction.


Hotel and Resort Cases We Handle

  • Rape and Sexual Assault – We have successfully represented numerous victims of rape and sexual assault at hotels and resorts. Our lawyers have handled over 150 cruise ship rape and sexual assault cases, so we are highly experienced in dealing with these kinds of cases. We have represented employees of a resort who were sexually assaulted by an intruder, and guests at a resort who were raped by a resort employee.
  • Drownings – We represent clients in pool drownings and near-drownings in private or public pools, neighborhood and community pools, hotel and motel pools, jacuzzis, amusement park and water park pools, and cruise ship pools. In fact, we are responsible for getting lifeguards stationed on cruise ship pools on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ships.
  • Parasailing Accidents – Parasailing is a common activity at the beach, but it can be very dangerous. Participants are usually not trained or familiar with the equipment, and even the operators of parasailing venues are not subject to any mandatory requirements or regulations for safety inspections or maintenance of their equipment. Parasailing has caused hundreds of serious injuries and dozens of deaths in the U.S. alone.Parasailing in foreign countries while on vacation can be even riskier, because laws are different and may limit a victim’s ability to receive fair compensation for an injury. Parasailing can lead to severe injury or death due to its nature of lifting participants to great heights. Equipment like harnesses, parachutes, and ropes can malfunction or break, letting a victim fall from the height of a building to the water, or even collide into trees, buildings, or other objects. Victims can also become entangled in the equipment and drown even if they survive the initial impact.
  • Excursions – Excursions can be some of the most exciting parts of a cruise ship vacation, but they can also lead to injury for unwitting participants. Many excursions feature activities that can easily lead to injury. Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. has represented victims of the White Island volcano eruption in New Zealand who suffered serious burns from a molten ash cloud after partaking in an excursion to the island from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, despite the volcano being recently active and known to be in danger of erupting again.
  • Boating, Yacht, Sailing and Jet Ski Accidents – Jet skis seem fun and exciting, but they can quickly turn dangerous in the hands of inexperienced operators. High speed and water make for a dangerous mix, and personal watercraft injuries can be as severe as automobile injuries, particularly since jet skis have far fewer safety features like a seat belt to protect riders from being thrown from the vehicle and impacting terrain or other objects at high speed. Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. successfully obtained an $828,524 verdict for a client who was involved in a jet ski accident and suffered serious injuries.Similarly, boats, sailboats, and yachts can be just as dangerous as they are exhilarating. When you take a trip on a boat, sailboat, or yacht, you are putting your life in the hands of the crew members on board and trusting that the crew and owners have taken all the necessary steps to ensure a safe voyage. Negligence on the part of crew members or vessel owners may lead to accidents and injuries to either passengers or crew.
  • Wrongful Death – Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. has represented the families of numerous victims who have lost a loved one in wrongful death cases against cruise lines, hotels, and resorts. We represent both passengers’ and crew members’ families in wrongful death cases. We have secured a $1.5 million settlement for a yacht crew member who died after being struck in the head by malfunctioning equipment, and a $776,000 jury verdict for a crew member who died due to inadequate medical treatment onboard a vessel.
  • Slip and Fall & Trip and Fall Accidents – Hotels and resorts nearly always feature a pool as one of the amenities on offer. Pools are a great way to cool off in hot weather and have fun, but they do introduce the possibility of slip and fall danger around the pool area if water is allowed to collect on walking areas and pathways. Uncontrolled leaks or spills in hotels and resorts can also lead to slip and fall injuries.

Likewise, many potential hazards exist in hotels and resorts that can cause trip and fall accidents. Rugs that are not flat against the floor or various obstacles in hallways or stairwells may cause guests to trip and fall, potentially leading to serious injury. If the staff at a hotel or resort allows obstacles or dangerous conditions such as bunched-up rugs in walking areas that should be safe and free of hazards that may cause a guest to trip and fall, the hotel or resort may be liable for resultant injuries.

Pre-Ride Release and Waiver Forms


In some cases, guests are asked or required to sign a waiver releasing the hotel, resort, or activity operators from liability for injuries caused on their property. You may think this means that if you signed something similar, you have given up your right to sue in case of an accident, but luckily, that is not necessarily the case.

Waivers and releases may impose some restrictions on what you can sue for, but you are still permitted to sue a company for negligence even after signing a waiver. This is because a liability clause does not protect a company from all lawsuits or enable it to operate with impunity. Companies still must follow the same laws that everyone else is subject to and make an effort to keep guests on their property reasonably safe.

The company makes use of forms such as these because they want you to think that signing away your rights via a waiver prohibits you from suing them if you suffer an injury, but such clauses are not universally enforceable. Even if you’ve signed a waiver before participating in a potentially dangerous activity, the company may still be held liable for your injuries if they acted negligently and did not take reasonable steps to protect your safety and prevent injury.

Hotels and Resorts that We’ve Successfully Sued

  1. Sandals

    Our lawyers have brought a class action lawsuit against Sandals Resorts, alleging that the company charged customers what was supposed to be a sales tax but was in fact never remitted to the government and was kept by Sandals as an additional profit, thus overcharging the customers fraudulently.

  2. Atlantis

    We’ve sued the Atlantis resort at Paradise Island, Bahamas for negligence relating to hygienic practices after a guest was given a room infested with bed bugs and suffered hundreds of bites.

  3. Marriott

    We’ve sued the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico after a client was injured in a parasailing accident due to the resort’s negligence.

View More Case Results


Here Are Some of the Hotel Chains We Can Help You With


    Hilton Hotel and Resorts, including:

  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy
  • Curio
  • DoubleTree
  • Embassy Suites
  • Garden Inn
  • Hampton
  • Homewood Suites
  • Home2 Suites

    Hyatt, including their brands:

  • Park Hyatt
  • Andaz
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt Place
  • Hyatt House
  • Hyatt Zilara & Ziva
  • Hyatt Residence Club

Marriott, and their brands:

  • Marriott Hotels
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Aloft
  • Bulgari
  • JW Marriott
  • Le Meridien
  • Edition
  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • AC Hotels by Marriott
  • Moxy Hotels
  • Courtyard
  • Springhill Suites
  • Fairfield Inn and Suites
  • Residence Inn
  • Towneplace Suites
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • Delta Hotels
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Westin
  • The Luxury Collection
  • W Hotels
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
  • St. Regis
  • Element

    Choice Hotels and their subsidiaries:

  • Ascend Hotel Collection
  • Cambria Hotels
  • Clarion Hotels
  • Comfort Inn & Suites
  • Econo Lodge
  • MainStay Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Rodeway Inn
  • Sleep Inn
  • Suburban Extended Stay
  • Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels
  • WoodSpring Suites

    Wyndham, and all of their brands:

  • Wyndham Grand Hotels and Resorts
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
  • Wyndham Garden Hotels
  • TRYP
  • Windgate by Wyndham
  • Hawthorn Suites
  • Microtel Inn and Suites
  • Ramada
  • Baymont Inn & Suites
  • Days Inn
  • Super 8
  • Howard Johnson
  • Travelodge
  • Dolce Hotel & Resorts

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG):

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Staybridge Suites Hotels
  • Candlewood Suites Hotels
  • EVEN Hotels
  • HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts

What You Should do if You’ve Been Injured or Assaulted at a Hotel or Resort In Miami, in the US, or Internationally

If you’ve been the victim of an accident at a hotel or resort, you need to know the proper steps to take to protect your health, safety, and rights.

First and foremost, it is essential to get medical care for your injury. Even if you think it is not severe, you may have suffered hidden or long-lasting damage that only a medical professional will be able to identify. In the event that you want to file a lawsuit due to negligence on the part of the hotel or resort, you will need to be able to prove the extent and cause of your injuries with contemporaneous medical records.

Second, you should document the conditions at the location where you suffered your injury and try to get the contact information of any witnesses to the incident. These can be helpful later. You should also make a formal report of your injury to the hotel manager or security, and ask for a copy. This proves that you suffered an injury at the hotel and that you made the hotel aware of it. Try to make note of any security cameras that may have caught your accident.

Finally, if you have suffered a hotel or resort accident, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to discuss the incident and explore your legal options. The attorneys of Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. are highly experienced and award-winning. Call them today at 877-233-1238 or use the contact form on the website for a free consultation.


Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel & Resort Accidents

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International Hotel Accident Attorneys With a Winning Record

If you have been injured in a hotel or resort accident, you need experienced and dedicated attorneys who will fight for your rights and fair compensation for your injuries. Call the attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. today at 877-233-1238. We represent clients all over the world for incidents that occurred in any country. We have recovered over $300 million on behalf of our clients in more than 3,000 successful cases. Let us put our 165 years of combined experience to work for you. No matter where you’re from or where your accident happened, we can help you fight to get the compensation you deserve.