Florida is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. From the gorgeous beaches to the many theme parks sponsored by famous franchises, there are plenty of things to keep any happy traveler occupied.
Unfortunately, even vacations aren’t always rainbows and sunshine. In fact, it is just as likely, if not more, that you get injured in an accident on vacation as during your normal life.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a Florida vacation, you have options. Often, these injuries are the result of others’ negligence or recklessness.
Common Florida Vacation Injuries
Some kinds of injuries are more likely on vacation, and some can happen wherever you are. Here are some of the most common injuries Florida vacationers endure.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Most people are stable on their feet. If you slip or trip on something and hurt yourself on vacation, there’s a possibility it was due to someone else’s negligence.
An experienced Florida personal injury attorney can review your case and advise whether your injury and circumstances support a personal injury lawsuit.
When food safety laws aren’t a priority or they simply aren’t followed, the risk for for restaurants to spread food poisoning skyrockets.
For food poisoning scenarios on your vacation, record everything — dates, times, restaurant locations, etc. — and then go to the doctor. The restaurant may be liable.
Faulty Rental Accidents
Most people go to Florida with the intention of enjoying the waterfront. When you’re on vacation there, you’re more likely to rent items like bikes and jet skis.
Some rental companies skimp on repairs and maintenance costs. Poor maintenance and inspection can lead to faulty equipment. A faulty rental can cause an injury. When this happens, the rental company is liable.
When you’re at the beach or pool, there’s always the risk of drowning. You may not be aware that there are situations in which you are implicitly accepting that risk.
If you know you’re at an unsupervised swimming location, for instance, your case for wrongful drowning will be weak. However, when an accident occurs in a location with lifeguards and you can prove you took safety measures, you have grounds for a wrongful death suit.
Vacationer Rights in Florida
If you don’t live in Florida, don’t worry. You have the right to press charges against Florida entities no matter what state you call home.
You Have the Right to Seek Damages
Every state has different laws, so it is important to find someone who is familiar with state liability statutes. Just like at home, hiring a Florida-based personal injury attorney makes the most sense in order to seek damages for a Florida-based incident.
You Have a Designated Period of Time to File Suit
The biggest factor in whether you have a case for a Florida vacation injury suit is the statute of limitations. Moving quickly can make the difference in whether your case has any legal standing. In Florida, the statute of limitations for various claims are as follows:
- Four years for a personal injury suit (ex: food poisoning at a restaurant)
- Three years to file suit against the government (ex: a slip and fall on a city sidewalk)
- Two years to claim wrongful death (ex: drowning at a waterpark)
Five Steps to Filing a Florida Personal Injury Claim
Especially after dealing with an injury itself, filing a Florida personal injury claim can feel complicated and intimidating. So we’ve summarized here the steps you’ll need to take:
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
Get medical attention as soon as you get into an accident. Often the physical effects of an incident are fairly immediate, but whiplash, for example, may take a few days to present. So regardless of whether you are aware of an injury, go get yourself checked out.
Step 2: Reach Out to Your Professional Support Team
This means notifying your insurance carrier about any accidents. It also means researching (and calling) your Florida personal injury attorney to let them know what happened.
Step 3: Gather and Keep Track of All Injury-Related Expenses
You should ask for a copy of every medical bill, payment receipt, exam and report. Take note of your lost wages or productivity from work. Keep them in a safe place, and make sure you hand over a copy to your Florida lawyer.
Step 4: Work with Your FL Attorney on Filing Your Claim
Your attorney will review your case and determine best course of action. It may involve filing a claim with the government or court system. You may help draft a demand letter outlining your difficulties and the subsequent damages.
Step 5: Allow Your FL Attorney to Advise and Negotiate a Settlement
Part of every claims process involves asking for a calculated compensation amount. Sometimes there are several stages to this process including negotiation. Your attorney will be your guide every step of the way.
With the right attorney, you should be able to come to an agreement and the liable party will issue your settlement compensation.
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.