College spring break is a time to kick back and unwind from the stress of exams and papers. Especially in Florida, spring break is in full force – and for many young, college-age adults, this means taking a vacation to our beautiful beaches to enjoy festivals and parties with friends.
The relaxation and fun is good for you but it’s important to make sure you’re coming home from college spring break in the same condition you left. Accidents and injuries are common enough on vacations that involve slippery surfaces, alcohol, and crowds of people. You don’t want to ruin this fun week with an avoidable accident.
Keep reading to see the five most common spring break injuries and how you can avoid them.
1. Alcohol-Related Injuries
There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks during or after a day at the beach. However, drinking irresponsibly can lead to serious injuries for you and others.
Alcohol poisoning, drunk driving accidents, and other drunken altercations can ruin a vacation. Alcohol poisoning will land you in a hospital while drunk driving or other alcohol-fuel altercations such as a bar fight can lead to harming yourself and others or land you in the local jail.
The best way to avoid these situations is to drink responsibly. Consider these tips:
- Pace yourself
- Eat before you start drinking
- Never leave your drink unattended
- Don’t get in a car with an impaired driver
- Don’t drive intoxicated
- Don’t ride a motor scooter intoxicated – such as Lime or Byrd
2. Premises Liability
Whether you are grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant, walking in the hallway of your hotel, or enjoying a drink at a local bar, when you are on someone’s property while in Florida, you are owed a degree of protection by that property owner.
If you were injured by the negligence of the property owner due to an unsafe or defective condition on their property, you may have a premises liability case.
Common premises liability injuries-
- Slippery floors causing Slip and fall accidents
- Poor lighting in hallways or stairs causing trips or stumbles
- Trip hazards on sidewalks
- Food poisoning
- Negligent Security
Just because you are injured on someone’s property doesn’t mean the property owner is to blame – in order to prove the property owner is at fault, one must prove the property owner’s negligence.
Florida Premises Liability covers both the inside and outside areas of a property as an obligation to be maintained in a safe manner by business operators and property owners.
What does proving the property owner’s negligence mean?
Simply put, it must be proven that the property owner knew of the unsafe conditions and failed to take proper precaution to prevent the accident resulting in an accident that injured someone on their premises.
There are four primary elements that must be proven in a negligence case. They are:
- Duty: The defendant owes a duty to the plaintiff. For example, a property owner has the duty to maintain their premises in a safe manner so that visitors are not injured by slipping on oily or greasy floors.
- Breach of duty: The injured party must prove that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and did not fulfill the duty.
- Proximate cause: The accident must have occurred as a result of the defendant’s actions or failure to act. For example, if a person tripped and fell on the slippery floor, it must be proven that this was the proximate cause of the resulting injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff must prove that they were actually harmed by the defendant’s negligent conduct. If the plaintiff fell and suffered head injuries, for example, damages exist in this case.
3. Cruise Ship Injuries
Florida is home to some of the largest cruise ship terminals in the world, taking millions of passengers on voyages during spring break season and throughout the year. Naturally, injuries can happen aboard a ship, but it is important to take note of who’s fault it was for the accident injury.
Common Causes of Cruise Ship Injuries
- Ship collisions
- Technical problems
- Passengers falling overboard
- Assaults by crew members
- Food poisoning
- and slip and fall incidents
These acts of negligence can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, and internal organ damage. In the event of injury or wrongful death, here’s how to bring a claim against Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, or Celebrity Cruise Lines. For more information about hiring a lawyer you can read our Miami cruise ship accident lawyer page or check out our blog highlighting how to file a claim against cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, or Norwegian Cruise Lines.
4. Accidental Drowning
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
Always be mindful of where you are swimming. Check with the locals about tides, currents and whether a lifeguard is on duty.
Avoid adding drugs or alcohol into the mix when you are swimming. These substances increase risk-taking behaviors and decrease your motor function and physical ability. Although Florida is known for beautiful, calm waters, the weather is quickly changing here, and the ocean can be very dangerous when powerful waves are present.
5. Robbery or Theft
When traveling for spring break with a group of friends, it’s easy for locals to notice tourists from up north. Unlike Floridians, most out of towners don’t have the luxury of enjoying year-round sunshine and head straight for the beach bars and well-known tourist spots during midday – a sure sign of being a tourist. This makes you an easy target for criminals and other con artists.
You can’t control being a tourist, but you can be cognizant of your surroundings and do your best to protect your belongings.
Tips to protect your belongings and avoid theft-
- Don’t leave your personal items around
- Make sure that your hotel room has a sturdy lock and vigilant staff
- Take turns going for a swim in the ocean so you have a delegated friend to stay behind and watch people’s towels and beach bags with wallets/jewelry
- Store your cash and passport in your hotel safe
- Wear crossbody bags or trendy fanny packs to bars
- Don’t get too intoxicated – it will hinder you from being fully aware of your surroundings well as make you an easy target for someone sniping your phone or wallet without you noticing
- Don’t leave your phone or wallet in Rideshares like Uber or Lyft – the next rider may take it without the driver noticing you left it
- Make a plan before you travel so you know you’re in a relatively safe neighborhood
- Avoid walking alone at night and always travel with a buddy
- Use caution and avoid iffy situations.
6. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning can really put a damper on a fun vacation. If serious enough, food poisoning can land you in the hospital for dehydration.
Always make sure your food is fully cooked. Don’t drink local tap water and avoid fruits and vegetables that you don’t peel the skin off prior to eating.
There’s nothing wrong with trying the local restaurants, but make sure you’re eating at places popular with the locals. That’s always a good indicator that the food is fresh and safe.
7. Infection or Other Accidents
Getting a tattoo on spring break is a time-honored tradition. So are a number of other thrill-seeking activities like bungee jumping, scuba diving, and parasailing.
An infected tattoo or injury from an activity could be life-threatening. Make sure you are hiring licensed and vetted companies for these activities. Do your research and go somewhere that has a reputable history and good reviews.
A company that uses poor quality or unhygienic equipment may be to blame for your injury.
Seek Help for College Spring Break Injuries
You don’t want your memories of spring break to be eclipsed by a trip to the hospital. Instead, follow these tips for a safe and fun spring break.
If you do suffer an injury during your college spring break, make sure you seek the right medical and legal help as soon as possible. Experienced legal help can make the difference between a successful resolution and losing in court.
Need legal advice about a spring break injury? Contact experienced spring break accident injury lawyers at SteinLaw for your free consultation.