Summer is now in full swing, and Florida vacation hotspots are a popular destination for both Floridians and tourists from all over the world. With abundant beaches, water sports, cruises, and amusement parks, Florida has something for everyone.
Although most vacations are a positive experience for the whole family, injuries and illnesses are more likely on vacation, and are much more difficult to deal with when you’re away from home. A single injury or illness can even cut the vacation short for the whole family.
Below we cover some common vacation accidents, how to prevent them, and what to do if you’re injured or become ill while on vacation.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of ER visits in the US, and can result in serious or even fatal injuries. On vacation, poorly maintained beaches, slick spills in shopping centers and uneven sidewalks are common sources of slip and fall injuries. In hotels, poorly maintained floors, wet floors, or uneven carpeting can lead to slips and falls.
It’s a letdown to cut your vacation short due to a trip and fall injury, not to mention the potential for permanently debilitating injury. Further, many trip and fall injuries could be prevented with appropriate facility maintenance.
Illness While Traveling
Getting sick while you’re traveling is not only a letdown, but can also be dangerous. Depending on your destination, it may be difficult to access quality medical attention, and serious and even deadly illnesses are endemic to exotic locales.
Cruise ship illness is another major concern. A cruise ship is like a small city, with people from all corners of the US or even the globe living in close quarters, meaning that illnesses are easily transmitted. Cruise ships are notorious for outbreaks of norovirus, which can sometimes be prevented with proper sanitation and food safety practices.
To help prevent illness while traveling, check traveler’s health reports for your destination when possible. If you’re traveling to an exotic destination, do some homework ahead of time on hazards unique to that destination and take the appropriate precautions, for example by getting appropriate vaccines or preventing insect bites.
One of the biggest risks to Florida vacationers is time spent on the road. Travelers are unfamiliar with the roads, and are often in a hurry to reach their destinations. Long road trips also present additional hazards such as falling asleep at the wheel.
To help prevent vacation car accidents, exercise safe driving practices. Also, consider alternative modes of transportation, for example ridesharing services. If you are involved in an accident, make sure to get pictures of the accident, and retain the contact information of other drivers involved, preferably by taking pictures of their license and registration.
Water Sport Injuries
Florida is legendary for watersports. Unfortunately, water sports are hazardous, especially for tourists who have little to no experience.
Parasailing in particular can result in serious or even fatal injury, and is notoriously unregulated in Florida – the only requirements to set up shop as a parasailing business are a boat, equipment, insurance, and a licensed boat captain. There are no standards for equipment inspection or instructor training, and no way for tourists to ensure the safety of a prospective parasailing operation.
Other common causes of water sport injuries are scuba diving and snorkeling, theme parks, jet skis, and commercial boating.
Theft and Negligent Security Accidents
Unfortunately, tourists are frequently targets for petty crimes such as scams, mugging, pickpocketing, robbery, and burglary. Tourists are often distracted and are unfamiliar with their surroundings, so make an easy target. To keep from becoming a victim of crime, be aware of your surroundings and exercise good personal safety practices.
It’s also important to know that property owners – especially business owners – owe their patrons a duty of care to provide reasonably safe properties and mitigate known security risks. If you fall victim to crime on a business’s property, for example a hotel or restaurant, the property owner may be held liable for failing to take the proper steps to protect you and your property.
What to Do if You’re Injured on Vacation
If you fall victim to an illness or injury on vacation that could have been prevented, it may be appropriate to seek damages for your losses. This can help you recover financial damages, and will hold the responsible parties accountable for their role in your accident.
If you are injured while on vacation in Florida, you will need to consult with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney, as the lawsuit will be filed where the accident occurred. A personal injury attorney will know how to deal with insurance companies, and can served as your guide through the process.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.