Florida is a common spring break destination for college and high school students across the country setting their sights on warmer weather. While spring breakers may come to Florida for the sunshine and beaches, the fun and sense of freedom can result in accidental injuries. This is especially true when spring breakers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A study conducted by the University of Miami cited a significant spike in automobile accidents during spring break in 14 popular spring break destinations. The study showed that traffic fatalities rose 9.1 percent during spring break compared to the rest of the year. These studies also showed that more of the fatalities involved out-of-state drivers than drivers residing in-state. Another alarming finding was that fatal automobile accidents involved drivers younger than 25 years of age more often than older drivers.
Other accidents can also occur when spring break fun is fueled by alcohol or illegal substances. While spring break means an economic boom for hotels and bars, Florida communities struggle with how to deal with rowdy crowds of spring breakers. College students may attend or throw hotel parties and the hotel owner may be legally responsible for providing alcohol to underage guests or failing to take steps necessary to protect their guests. The same goes for owners of private homes where spring break parties may also occur. Bar fights can also result in spring breakers becoming hurt or even killed. Even if a patron provokes another or attacked first, bar owners may be at least partially responsible for the fight or preventing injuries. Additionally, over-serving adults or serving minors could also result in liability.
Despite how fun and carefree a spring break in Florida is, crime still exists. Some criminals specifically target tourists, including those visiting Florida spring break destinations. A person under the influence of alcohol or drugs can make an attractive target for opportunistic criminals. Should an injury occur on someone else’s property during spring break, however, vacationers may be able to pursue compensation for the injuries suffered.
Many spring breakers also come to Florida with the prospect of visiting an amusement park. Unfortunately, injuries can happen anywhere, including places designed to be fun. Typically, patrons of amusement parks will find a disclaimer on their tickets stating that the property owner is not liable for injuries. This, however, does not completely bar injured patrons from pursuing a legal claim against the owners and operators of amusement parks. Lawsuits against amusement parks typically deal with negligence and product liability issues.
Wittmer|Linehan understands the importance of tourism on Florida’s economy and wants to make sure that all tourists, including spring breakers, remain safe while on vacation. If you or a loved one were injured while on spring break, the attorneys at Wittmer|Linehan can evaluate your case and explain options available to you to pursue compensation for the injuries suffered.