Resorts are extremely popular in Florida, one of the country’s prime vacation destinations. In fact, the American Resort Development Association reports Florida has more resorts than anywhere else in the country – 23 percent of the national total, drawing in more than $2 billion in revenue annually, with sales volumes steadily increasing. Beach resorts are the most common, but urban resorts have some of the highest occupancy rates.
Resorts benefit greatly from the influx of visitors from around the state and the globe. With this comes a substantial responsibility to ensure guests are reasonably safe on site. Resort accidents can have unexpected and devastating consequences for vacationers, which may be compensable with a claim or litigation.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, work with those injured in Florida resort accidents to help them recover damages.
Many such claims will be rooted in a theory of negligence called premises liability. Florida property owners and operators have a responsibility to keep their site safe and secure. Businesses that invite customers onto the property for the benefit of the business must check for possible hazards – particularly those that might not be obvious to guests – and either address those dangers or adequately warn about them. When a property owner or operator is negligent in maintaining the property or warning of dangers and a visitor is injured as a result of this, it’s a form of premises liability.
Some examples of Florida resort injuries that have been reported in recent years include:
- Swimming pool accidents, such as slip-and-fall injuries or drowning, stemming from either poor construction or maintenance or inadequate supervision or security.
- Frayed carpet or uneven walking surfaces resulting in a trip-and-fall accident.
- Bathroom and shower slip-and-falls due to unsafe conditions.
- Poorly-maintained elevators and escalators, leaving patrons at undue risk of injury.
- Rugs that are poorly-placed or non-existent.
- Falls on poorly-maintained concrete or sidewalks.
- Bed bugs or insect infestations.
- Faulty furniture or other defective products causing injury or illness.
- A tour/ recreation activity goes awry, causing injury.
- Spills or other transient foreign substances that create slip-and-fall hazards.
- Improperly-installed or repaired windows or unsafe balconies, risking falls from heights.
- Poorly-lit parking lot, lack of locks on rooms or not hiring enough security, leaving guests vulnerable to criminal attacks or assaults.
- Inaction following repeated incidents of violence, making future crimes foreseeable.
When you invest your money in staying at a Florida resort, you have an expectation that – at minimum – accommodations will be reasonably safe. When this does not happen, our Fort Myers injury lawyers will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our out-of-town clientele (those injured on vacation) can trust we remain committed to the case in their absence, ensuring everything is properly and timely filed.Resorts Vs. Hotels
While the terms “hotel” and “resort” are sometimes used interchangeably, resorts provide more amenities and activities than the hotel, which may be contained therein. The hotel is merely the lodging quarters. Resorts have not only lodging but also numerous recreational offerings, such as:
- Restaurants/ bars;
- Relaxation (pool, spa, etc.);
- On-site shopping;
- On-site entertainment;
- On-site sports/ gaming.
Some of these facilities are completely self-contained, and allow individuals an opportunity to enjoy relaxation and sunshine without having to travel very far. In Florida, many resorts offer the beach or other waterfront as the main attraction. Others offer proximity to nearby amusement parks (i.e., Disney, Universal Studios, etc.). A number will contract with third-party providers to give tours or opportunities to engage in certain local activities, such as boating, scuba diving, parasailing or kayaking.
While hotels may be situated in popular areas, resorts may be somewhat out-of-the-way, offering quiet, privacy and more expansive space.
More than 110 million people flock to Florida to visit each year, and a significant number of those choose to stay in resorts. Owners and operators have a legal duty to keep these sites reasonably safe.Florida Resort Lawsuits
Natives and vacationers alike have prevailed in numerous resort accident lawsuits in Florida.
In one recent case out of Key West, a tourist from Massachusetts secured a $10.75 million settlement after he dove into shallow water surrounding a resort and was left paralyzed from the neck down. He was visiting the island in April 2015 for his 40th birthday when he dove from the tiki bar deck into the water, striking his head hard on the bottom. He filed a lawsuit against the resort for failure to post signs warning against diving due to shallow water. There were also no barriers or guardrails to prevent patrons or guests of visitors from diving off the deck into the shallow water. His spinal cord injuries are so severe, he is unable to breathe without a ventilator.
In another case out of St. Petersburg, a tourist visiting TradeWinds Island Resorts (one of several in that region of Southwest Florida), a tourist jumped from an inflatable into the water feet first in low tide. Not realizing the water was so shallow, the woman suffered a fractured heel. Her ensuing lawsuit alleged the injury was preventable had the resort taken certain precautions, such as warning guests of the dangerously low tide or shutting down access during those times.
Because visitors to resorts are paying customers, they are owed the highest duty of care by the business under Florida premises liability laws. If you are injured at a Florida resort, our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys can help you determine your best course of legal action.
1-800-283-2900 – Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner – Focused on Justice