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What Can Tourists Do When They Are Hurt In Florida?


Florida has the good fortune to be a state surrounded by sun, sand, sea, and warm weather all year round. As a result, it’s veritable “pleasure park” for residents that take advantage of the weather and environment. However, it’s also no surprise that the sea, mild climate and entertainment options in the many towns and cities also make Florida a huge tourist attraction for both out of state and international visitors.

This also means, however, that with such a huge population of tourists visiting the state at all times of the year, not every accident that happens in the state is going to be one involving locals. Whether it’s a crime, an injury at an amusement park, or even just a vehicular accident on the road, tourist can get injured in incidents that are not their fault. However, they then face much bigger challenges in getting a proper resolution.

The Out Of Town Dilemma

Of course, most people know that if you are injured, and it’s due to the negligence of someone else, that someone else is legally and financially responsible for helping you recover. The costs of medical treatment, or other expenses if an injury is permanent—or has even resulted in death—are all the burdens of the person or organization responsible for letting that injury take place.

However, the biggest issue that tourists face is one of jurisdiction. Any incident that requires legal resolution in the form of a trial, such as a lawsuit, must be conducted in the state in which the incident occurred. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the victims must be present, but it does mean that the case stays “close to home.” It’s bad enough for tourist from New York to try to participate in a case when, inevitably, there must be a return to New York. But if someone from Japan or the United Kingdom is seeking legal resolution, it becomes even more challenging.

Getting Professional Help

Different types of injury situations will have different consequences and legal requirements to get a successful resolution. If tourists are injured in a car accident, in some cases, it may be very easy to determine from eyewitnesses and accident reconstruction that the victims are not at fault. In other cases more investigation may be required to furnish the proof what would satisfy a court of law.

In premises liability, which are injuries sustained on someone else’s property due to negligence of the property owner, it must be proven that the injury is a direct result of a hazard the managers of a property were aware of but failed to address for the safety of visitors. This often requires careful investigation and negotiation to determine fault and then seek appropriate compensation or, if denials are made, go to court for a lawsuit.

All of this requires time that a visitor cannot commit to. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for tourists to get justice. By seeking out good legal counsel from attorneys experienced in tourist accidents, even if you can’t remain in Florida, you can get help from people that can continue to act on your behalf in Florida’s legal system.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

What Can Tourists Do When They Are Hurt In Florida?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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