So Much to Do in Southwest Florida – and So Many Potential Dangers
If you’re looking for something fun to do in Southwest Florida between now and Easter, just throw a dart at the calendar. This time of year begins the seasonal launch of shows, outdoor food and music festivals and a festival for just about any personal interest under the sun.
Personal injury attorney Scot Goldberg is a Lee County native, and there probably isn’t any local event or venue he and his family haven’t attended over their lifetime here. Just this coming weekend alone, you can head out and enjoy any of these events locally:
- Fort Myers Boat Show
- 30th annual American Sand Sculpting Championship
- Music Walk Downtown Fort Myers
- Fair at Fenway South
- Estero Fine Art Show
- Old Florida Festival
We love this time of year – there’s never a shortage of things to do, the weather is almost always perfect and you can really enjoy getting out there and experiencing Southwest Florida’s arts and culture with family and friends from up north.
But, as a personal injury law firm, Goldberg Noone Abraham attorneys see situations involving these types of events and large gatherings of people in which serious injuries can occur. We’re not saying any specific event venue is unsafe or dangerous; we’re saying accidents do happen, and you need to know some things to watch out for, and what you should do if you’ve been hurt.
There are so many different things going around here now, all with varying degrees of circumstances. If you attend a hard rock or heavy metal concert, an electronic music festival or hip hop concert, you may anticipate that there may be a rowdy crowd and drugs or alcohol on the premises. In settings like those, it is not uncommon for attendees to be injured as the result of intoxication, or that of someone nearby, who gets out of control. In some cases though, the venue or event organizer may be at least partially responsible for an injury to an attendee because of inadequate security or first aid stations, poor lighting or site maintenance or allowing too many people onto the property or into a building.
But what about all the quieter, more family-oriented events here in Southwest Florida? Clearly, just like in a serious car accident, no one expects to suffer an injury when attending something like the Naples Wine & Food Festival or Taste of the Town. But the fact remains; you just never know what may happen to you, unfortunately.
Potential for Pain – Things to Look For
Here are some things to consider regarding what could happen at any event or large gathering…
Slip / Trip and Fall Accidents
- If you’re trying to board a boat at the boat show and the steps are not anchored properly or are perhaps wet or slick, there is the potential you could fall and injure yourself.
- At an outdoor event, there may be areas where the ground has not been properly prepared to accommodate pedestrians, and is uneven or filled with low or high spots.
- Many area food and other festivals have those small plastic folding chairs for attendees. We’re not sure about you, but for some of us, they can be less than adequate to hold up under a little too much ‘load’. It is not inconceivable that a folding chair could collapse and cause an injury when the person hits the floor.
- Steps or stairs – you may have to watch out for loose steps or bad stairs at an event venue. If an organizer has been using the same wooden stairs to get up onto a platform stage for years and they’re worn and unstable, you could fall.
Car vs Pedestrian Accidents
- At many area festivals and events, you’re required to park in a big field or lot. If a car is driving so near to pedestrians, there is a potential for an accident.
- At something being held in an area like Downtown Fort Myers, you’ll be walking around amidst a bunch of vehicular traffic. Everyone is looking for the ‘best’ parking spot, talking with their spouse or looking at their Google Maps on their phone – often all three at once – and not watching out for pedestrians.
Improper or Inadequate Security
Our law firm represents a victim who was shot at Zombicon, a night-time event previously held on the streets of Downtown Fort Myers. There are several victims, along with the surviving family members of the young man who was tragically killed, who are seeking damages from the event organizer, as well as the hired security firm.
There are several ways in which an event’s organizer can be found to have not adequately prepared for all potential security and safety concerns:
- Not having an adequate ratio of security personnel per attendees
- Failing to have adequate control or oversight of all entry and exit points
- Failing to adequately check all bags or backpacks of entrants
- Providing adequate crown control
- Limiting the overall number of attendees at an event
Have Fun, Be Aware, Be Safe
As we’ve said, we love attending a lot of the great events that take place locally during season. We understand that things can happen that are beyond your control – but, they may well be within the control of some other person or entity. In the event that you or someone you care about are ever hurt at a concert, food festival, car or motorcycle show or some other gathering, you will have a lot of questions about your situation. Goldberg Noone Abraham is always available to answer your questions at no cost to you. Simply call 239-461-5508 or complete this form and one of our personal injury attorneys will contact you immediately.