Last Update: 01/27/16
Welcome to Florida! Visitors to the Sunshine State are welcomed with open arms by Florida residents as well as Florida businesses – the tourism industry is a big part of the Florida economy.
Florida wouldn’t be the same without those visitors who live in sunny Florida for part of the year (our “snowbirds”), or those vacationing families and tourists from around the country and around the world – they come to visit Florida’s many attractions: places like Disney World theme parks; internationally known Florida hotels like the Biltmore in Coral Gables; festivals, conventions, and trade shows; and sporting events like Miami Heat basketball games.
Tourists Get Hurt: Tourist Injuries in Florida
Unfortunately, some tourists and visitors to Florida will suffer some kind of personal injury, and Florida injury lawyers recognize that there are specific situations where “tourist injury” claims occur. Examples of where most Florida tourist injury claims occur include:
- Slip and fall injuries near Florida hotel swimming pools
- Slip and fall injuries during a Florida fishing excursion or trip
- Trip and fall injuries while having fun at a Florida theme park
- Car crashes on a Florida highway or Miami street
- Injuries sustained on Florida amusement park rides
- Rape or assault in a parking lot, parking garage, or common area due to negligent security at a shopping mall, casino, cruise ship, airport, etc.
What is a Tourist Injury Claim?
Under Florida law, a tourist injury claim runs the gamut: it is any kind of injury to someone (slip and fall; car crash; sporting accident; boating incident; etc.) where someone who is not a legal resident of the State of Florida is injured within Florida’s state jurisdiction as the result of another party’s negligence, gross negligence, or bad act. Florida tourist claims can be filed by people who have been hurt while in Florida on a fun vacation as well as the business traveler who has been injured here during a business trip.
Injuries that happen on Florida’s soil (or within Florida’s navigational waters) will be controlled by Florida negligence law.
What Happens to the Florida Tourist Who Needs Legal Help After They Go Home?
Florida visitors are protected under Florida law and they can file claims for relief against those persons or companies who are responsible for their injuries. However, there will be a geographical challenge for those Florida tourists (vacationers, business persons, snowbirds, etc.) who have returned home to recover.
They may try to seek the help of a lawyer or attorney in their neighborhood or community but no matter if that lawyer is in Idaho or Canada, or any other state or nation, the claim most likely will have to proceed in Florida and in accordance with Florida law. Specifically, the claim — should a lawsuit need to be filed — will be required to be filed in the county of Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, etc.) where the injury occurred and the accident happened. (Caveat: in some parts of Florida, that Florida injury may be controlled by tribal law, as for example an injury at the Hard Rock casino.)
In many situations, the injured tourist’s hometown lawyer or attorney will have to work with a Florida injury lawyer to pursue the claim and obtain justice for the out-of-state or foreign Florida injury victim.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been hurt as a tourist in florida, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.