Vacationers Beware: Common Accidents in Florida That Can Ruin Your Trip
Many people will flock to Florida this summer to visit Disneyworld in Orlando, Panama City Beach, the Florida Keys, and many other popular tourist attractions in the state. Many accidents that take place during vacation season in Florida are related to water sports (boating, jet-skiing, parasailing, etc.), hotel negligence (cleaning, safety, food issues, etc.), and swimming, as well as accidents on the road. What can seem like a fun way to experience the beautiful blue ocean can turn into a nightmare if something goes wrong with equipment, particularly when your life entirely depends on whether your parasailing harness, for example, has been well-maintained and doesn’t break. In these kinds of accidents, someone’s carelessness or negligence could result in a need for legal representation.
Probably the biggest risk to vacationers in Florida will be while they are on the roads: not only are families sometimes in a rush to get where they are going, but some are also traveling many miles from out of state and risk falling asleep at the wheel if they fail to take the proper breaks on their long road trips.
If you get into a car accident, first ensure that you and others are safe. It is also a good idea to involve law enforcement and obtain an official report and take down as much information about other parties involved as possible. Be careful about the information you give to the other driver. Take pictures of the accident scene, any traffic controls (such as stop signs or lights) and other relevant things. All of this is necessary in discussing the accident details with your insurance company and an experienced auto accident attorney.
According to the Parasail Safety Council, 95 percent of all parasail fatalities result from the parasailer’s inability to escape from a harness passenger support system following an unplanned water landing.
Unfortunately, the parasailing industry is notoriously unregulated in Florida, and legislation aimed at regulating it has failed to make it past committee meetings in the state legislature. In Florida, the only requirements for a parasailing business are a boat, some equipment, insurance and a licensed boat captain. There are still no federal regulations governing parasailing operations, equipment inspection and replacement of standards.
Other types of watersport accidents that typically occur while on vacation in Florida include water and theme park injuries, scuba diving and snorkeling accidents, commercial boating accidents, jet ski accidents, and others. Even at theme parks, slip and fall accidents are very common.
You may Need a Local Attorney
In these cases, victims can receive compensation as they would in other personal injury cases based on negligence – compensation related to medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, etc. However, keep in mind that Florida is a comparative negligence state, thus any negligence on the part of the person injured that is a proximate cause of that injury reduces the liability of the business owner or person who is responsible for the injury by the percent that the injured person’s negligence attributed to the incident.
If you are involved in an accident while on vacation, it is crucial to speak with a local attorney because you may need to file suit where the accident occurred. An attorney experienced in injuries arising from accidents can help speed the process of compensation for your injuries. Attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies, and they know what a fair settlement would be for your injuries. Most injury attorneys have a free consultation, and work on a contingency basis.
Michael Walker is an experienced litigator with extensive state and federal trial experience. He has practiced law for over 25 years, and is board certified in civil trial. Consultations with Mike Walker are free and confidential. Contact the office by calling 727-797-2020 or completing the online contact form.