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Do I have a case?

Houston, TX |

On May 25, 2013 I was staying at the Marriott on this morning there was huge storm that hit the city which caused power to go out in some businesses, including the hotel. I had to use the stairway in order to go down to the lobby - there was no lighting whatsoever, not even emergency lights. Unfortunately, I fell and sprained my ankle and was taken to a medical facility. The hotel manager said he would pay for my medical bill but come to find out he never did, so now the medical facility is billing me. Due to the injury, I've missed almost four weeks of work due to the swelling and pain(torn ligaments). My question is - should I file a lawsuit? In order to be compensated for the days I've missed from work and also for my medical expenses?

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Attorney answers 11


These types of cases have resulted in substantial verdicts and settlements in Texas. However, much of this will depend on whether it not you have signed a release in exchange for the hotel paying your medical bills. I would suggest you speak with a local personal injury lawyer.

Did you sign anything in exchange for their promise to pay your medical bills?


I would retain a local personal injury attorney. Liability sound pretty good, and with torn ligaments, you will better hiring an attorney, than trying to deal with Marriott. Marriott is good if you are just trying to get a complaint resolved. This is more serious. Do not discuss this anymore with Marriott. Hire an attorney. Good Luck


You need a personal injury lawyer to more fully review the facts of your case. I suggest you seek a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer and avoid any further direct communications with Marriott or its representatives.

John Zgourides
Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
(713) 876-7001

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


Why not. Consult with a personal injury attorney


Without a lawyer, you won't get much compensation. You know what to do.


The question: "should I file a lawsuit" is a tricky one no matter the facts of a case. Abraham Lincoln once wrote:

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser---in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Notes for a Law Lecture" (July 1, 1850), p. 81.

I mention this quote only to emphasize that, as lawyers, our province is only to advise you as to whether you "have" a case; not whether you "should" file one.

Had you asked instead whether you "have" a case, I would have replied: yes, it sounds like you do. But without knowing additional facts, it is difficult to assess the overall strength of the case.

For that reason, my fellow lawyers who have already responded to this question by encouraging you to consult a personal injury attorney have given you the best guidance possible.


Marriott may be liable for your injuries and lost time at work. Although the manager said the medical bills would be paid, most of the time, companies refuse to pay the bills. That is why it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can review your case. Based on the limited facts in your question, I think there is a potential case.


Certainly Marriott can't control when storms occur, and they can't control a storm knocking out the main power supply, but they could provide back up/emergency lighting in the event of a power failure, particularly for exit routes. Ultimately the question is whether Marriott was negligent (which essentially means careless) in failing to do that. You can anticipate that Marriott or their claims department will probably tell you they can't be sure if you fell because of inadequate lighting or if you fell because you tripped over your own feet. I think it is a tricky case, but certainly not an impossible case. I've handled tougher liability cases as I am sure have many of the attorneys who have responded.

Here's my web page on fall injuries, which may help:


Immediately consult with an attorney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Premises cases are difficult cases and you will not obtain maximum compensation if you attempt to resolve this claim on your own. Good luck.

By providing this legal analysis of the issue presented, no attorney/client relationship is being formed. Additionally, attorney is not agreeing to represent the individual who presented the question concerning the legal issue. A signed retainer agreement is required before an attorney /client relationship is established. The analysis provided is meant solely to provide general guidance about the legal issue presented.


Sounds pretty good to me...


This case really hinges on having a floor expert inspect the floor and determine whether or not the floor was dangerous. Normally, they are high gloss floors and the probability of slipping is very high. If you need a floor expert or just want to know your rights as a victim please do not hesitate to call or add a comment. Good luck to you.

Know YOUR Rights. Take Action Now. CALL 855-648-4695. Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. Mr. Crockett is licensed in Texas in Illinois only.