When I look up hapless in the dictionary,¹ the definition is basically "unfortunate" (hap from Old Norse for good luck, -less from Old English leas meaning "without").
That's fine as a very basic definition, but as a native speaker, to me hapless carries a connotation of being a bit helpless about one's lack of luck, a bit ineffective. So not just unlucky, but also failing to be proactive doing anything about it.
Is it just me? Or is this connotation well-established in literature, etc.?