How CCTV Surveillance Protects Hotels and HospitalityProviders from Lawsuits
Any time a business opens its doors to patrons, it is taking a risk. All that has to happen is for a customer to slip and fall on the premises and the business could be in for a world of frustration and lengthy litigation. Few businesses carry such a high level of risk for being involved in such a case as hotels and hospitality providers.
The hospitality industry serves millions of people every single day. With hundreds, if not thousands of people walking through your doors every week, the odds of an accident occurring onsite is pretty high. In fact, these odds are exactly why liability insurance in the hospitality industry is so expensive.
Most Common Causes of Hotel Injuries
Hotels are huge buildings that typically contain a wide range of environments, like a dining area, a swimming or spa area, a fitness area, a common area, and of course, individual rooms. Each area of the hotel has its own potential for injury risks. For instance, guests can fall rather easily in the swimming pool area if proper maintenance and routine care around the pool isn’t provided. The following represent a few more of the most common injuries that occur in hotels:
Slip and Falls – Because of the different environments within a hotel, the flooring will usually change from one setting to another. If the flooring doesn’t match in height exactly, then trip and falls will occur. Other causes of slip and falls in hotels involve worn or distressed carpeting, cracked flooring, wet floors, and bunched rubber matting.
Assaults – By all considerations, hotels tend to be safe environments. However, that’s not to say that an assault can’t take place in a hotel. In heavy tourist areas, criminals can assault vacationers for their money. This is especially a risk in hotels with known poor reputations for providing its guests with adequate security.
Why CCTV Recording is so Important for the Hospitality Industry
In 2012, a Newport Beach Inn hotel in California was sued by a hotel guest who suffered catastrophic injuries (including brain damage) after he fell over a second story walkway railing onto the parking lot below. The jury awarded the victim an incredible $38 million because the evidence showed that the walkway railing was too short, making it unsafe.
But, hypothetically, what if the accident wasn’t caused by the short railing? What if the accident was caused by the guest’s own negligent behavior? Tests showed that the victim had a blood alcohol level of more than three times higher the legal limit, so there is a good chance that the guest might have been acting negligently. In this case, however, that version of the truth would never come to light because the hotel had no evidence of its own to back up its defense. The final verdict in the case determined that the victim’s alcohol level put him at 15% fault for his accident and the hotel’s short railing put it at 85% fault.
This case could have gone a lot differently had the hotel had a CCTV recording system installed. The video could have shown that the height of the railing had no bearing on the accident and that the guest’s unfortunate fall was the result of his own misbehavior. While the railing’s height may have still been an issue in the final determination, the hotel’s degree of fault could have been drastically reduced, saving it millions of dollars in damages.
Protect Your Investment – Install SMART CCTV Today!
As if authentic onsite injuries and accident claims weren’t already prevalent enough in the hospitality industry, there is also a growing risk of fraudulent accident claims that hotel owners have to worry about. In a recent report aired on Good Morning America, NICB’s Senior VP/COO Jim Schweitzer did an investigative expose on the tremendous rise in fraudulent claims. In the report, captured video footage of the fake falls ultimately served as proof of the frauds and helped put several scammers behind bars.
Think of what would have happened had these crimes not been captured on video. The criminals would have continued making money from illegitimate injury claims. This is why installing a CCTV video recording system throughout a hotel is so important.
SMART CCTV video recording offers the very best protection a hotel can ask for. SMART, which is an acronym for System Monitoring Alert Response Technology, provides hotels with three full years of onsite video storage. This is important because in New York, personal injury victims have three years from the date of the accident to file their claim. Standard surveillance systems only store 30 to 120 days worth of video before the data is overwritten. Therefore, to be fully protected in New York, you need a video surveillance system that keeps the video as long as the state’s statute of limitations.
In addition to providing a hotel with 24/7 video monitoring, SMART CCTV also features some of the most advanced innovations in the industry, including:
- Self-diagnosis of the surveillance system with periodic status reports delivered direct to you
- Automatic service requests when the DVR, NVR or cameras require service (it notifies you as well)
- Automatic back-up system that helps prevent loss of vital video data due to hard drive failure, theft, fire, flood or natural disaster
- Unlimited recording capability
Don’t fall victim to fraudulent accident claims; get the protection you need with an affordable SMART CCTV system.
To learn more about our SMART CCTV technology and how it can help your hotel or hospitality service mitigate its risk, feel free to contact us and one of our company owners will meet with you at your convenience. You will receive a verbal price after the assessment and a detailed proposal in writing no later than the following business day.