A hotel or motel is under a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep common areas, particularly steps and stairs, in a reasonably safe condition. This duty includes providing adequate lighting, keeping stairs and steps repaired, and keeping them dry and unobstructed.

Adequate Lighting

A guest who is injured due to inadequate lighting may be able to hold the hotel liable for their injuries. Often, inadequate lighting is a contributing cause to an accident and is used in conjunction with other facts to establish a hotel’s negligence. For example, a guest who slipped and fell in a stairway may be able to recover from the hotel where there was no elevator service, the stairway was not properly lit, and the stairs were slippery, worn, and slanted.


If a guest is injured because of the failure to keep the stairs or stair coverings in repair, and the hotel had knowledge of the defects, the hotel may be liable for the guest’s injuries. Similarly, the stairs must be constructed in a such a manner that a guest using them will not sustain injuries. Failure to reasonably construct the stairs may result in the hotel being liable for injuries.

For example, assume guest who is descending the stairs of a hotel caught her heel on a nail protruding from one of the steps falls and is injured. The hotel will likely be found liable for negligence since it had or should have had knowledge of the condition.

Obstructed and Slippery Steps

Guests may also be able to sue if stairs become slippery or obstructed, and because of the condition they are in, a guest falls and is injured. Whether the hotel has breached its duty to the guest largely depends on the particular circumstances of the case.

Should I Consult An Attorney?

If you have been injured on the stairs or steps of a hotel, a personal injury attorney can help. The hotel may have defenses to avoid liability, but an attorney can help assert your rights and put forth a case so that you can be made whole again after your injuries.