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What To Know if You are Injured at a Concert in South Florida

While the tragedy at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in 2021 brought the risks associated with packed concert venues into sharp focus, the reality is that accidents and injuries at concerts are common. Concertgoers regularly suffer injuries due to various causes, with consequences ranging from minor first aid needs to lifelong physical disabilities and emotional trauma.

South Florida is home to numerous concert venues, and there are multiple concerts each week in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and the surrounding areas. If you get injured at a concert in South Florida, you could have a claim against the performer or the venue, but you will need to be careful to protect your legal rights. Here is an overview of what you need to know.

South Florida Concert Venues

South Florida’s concert venues range from bars and nightclubs to theaters, amphitheaters, and stadiums. While all venues present certain health and safety risks, each type of venue presents its own unique set of risks as well.

As South Florida’s population and music scene continue to grow, the area’s list of concert venues continues to expand. Currently, some of the most well-known venues in the area include:

  • Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall in Boca Raton, FL
  • CityPlace Live Entertainment in West Palm Beach, FL
  • Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Hard Rock Live (Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood) in Hollywood, FL
  • Hollywood Beach Theater in Hollywood, FL
  • iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, FL
  • James L. Knight Center in Miami, FL
  • Lake Park Black Box Theater in Lake Park, FL
  • Miniaci Theater in Davie, FL
  • Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL
  • New World Center in Miami Beach, FL
  • Pompano Beach Amphitheater in Pompano Beach, FL
  • Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • The Fillmore Miami Beach in Miami Beach, FL
  • The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL
  • The Pavilion at Old School Square in Delray Beach, FL

This list is in addition to dozens of local bars and nightclubs, as well as the major stadiums that host tens of thousands of concertgoers for big-name performers. For example, Hard Rock Stadium and LoanDepot Park both host multiple concerts each year.

Regardless of where you are attending a concert, it is important to keep the risk of injury in mind. While it isn’t feasible to completely insulate yourself from all possible injury risks, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself as much as possible.

One step you can take is to read reviews about the venue. While most of South Florida’s most well-known concert venues actually have pretty good reviews, this is not universally the case. Depending on where you are planning to see your favorite band or performer, you may see complaints about things like overcrowding, inadequate security or poorly maintained facilities. All of these present risks for injuries; and, if a venue seems too unsafe, you might consider waiting until you can see a concert somewhere else. Many bands and performers make several stops in South Florida during their tours, so there is a good chance that you won’t have to drive far to see a show.

10 Common Causes of Injury at South Florida Concert Venues

When hosting concerts, all venues need to take adequate measures to protect ticketholders’ safety. Florida law holds all property owners to certain standards of care, and property owners owe the highest duty when they invite members of the public onto their premises for commercial purposes.  

Performers owe certain duties as well. Unfortunately, many concert venues and performers fail to meet the standards Florida law imposes. For example, many concert injuries are due to failures such as:

1. Encouraging or Facilitating Mosh Pits or Aggressive Behavior

Many concert injuries result from physical contact with other concertgoers. Mosh pits are particularly dangerous; but, if a performer encourages or a venue facilitates other forms of aggressive behavior, this can trigger liability as well. Even if you got hurt by someone else who was attending the concert, it is still possible that the venue or performer could hold legal responsibility for the encounter or altercation.

2. Overserving Alcohol to Concertgoers

It is no secret that many concertgoers drink to excess during live performances. When concert venues serve alcohol, they must be careful not to overserve individuals who appear to present risks to themselves or others. While Florida’s “dram shop” law isn’t as protective as the laws of many other states, it is still possible to hold venues for overserving drunk patrons in some cases.

3. Failure to Remove Dangerous Individuals

Even if a venue cannot be held liable under Florida’s “dram shop” law, it may still be possible to hold the venue liable for failing to remove a dangerous individual from a concert. In fact, venues can be held liable for failing to remove dangerous individuals regardless of whether they are drunk. If concert personnel are aware—or should be aware—that someone at the concert is behaving aggressively, recklessly or violently, this can trigger liability in the event that the individual causes harm to someone else before being removed.

4. Inadequate Lighting

Many concert halls, nightclubs and other venues are dark by design. But, venues cannot be so dark that concertgoers are unable to navigate the grounds or facility safely. Inadequate lighting is a common cause of falls, collisions, and other accidents for which venues can be held liable under Florida law.

5. Inadequate Security

Inadequate security is also a common issue at concerts. Not only must venues promptly remove dangerous individuals, but they must take other steps to protect concertgoers’ security as well. Depending on the circumstances of a particular concert, this may involve checking for weapons at the gate, having security personnel stationed throughout the venue and implementing various other security measures.

6. Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards

Slip, trip, and fall hazards are to blame for numerous concert injuries each year. Venues have a duty to ensure that their premises are in a safe condition—and this includes inspecting the premises for possible hazards and addressing known issues before concertgoers start to arrive. Puddles, loose railings, cracked steps and sidewalks, and other similar types of issues are all common causes of slip and fall accidents at concerts.

7. Other Property Hazards

Along with slip, trip, and fall hazards, various other property hazards can also present risks for minor and serious injuries. This includes everything from inadequate emergency exits to unstable merchandise displays and faulty pyrotechnics.

8. Safety Violations

The Florida Building Code and various other laws and regulations establish safety requirements for concert halls, theaters, bars, stadiums, and other venues. When a venue fails to meet these safety requirements, it can be held liable in the event that the failure leads to a ticketholder’s injuries.

9. Staffing Violations

Staffing violations include issues like failing to conduct adequate background checks and failing to hire adequate staff for concerts. When concert venues are short-staffed, this can significantly increase the risk of safety issues going overlooked or crowds getting out of control.

10. No Medical Access or Services  

Another common issue at concert venues of all sizes is inadequate access to medical care. Large concert venues may need to have medical personnel on-site, while smaller venues may need to ensure that ambulances have direct access to provide emergency care if necessary. Failure to have medical personnel on-site and preventing access from becoming blocked are both issues for which concert venues can potentially face liability under Florida law.

What To Do If You Are Injured at a Concert in South Florida

In the event that you get injured at a concert, there are some steps you should take promptly. These steps will help ensure that you are able to recover as quickly as possible, and they will also help protect your legal rights:

  • Report Your Injury to the Venue – If possible, you should report your injury to the venue. Security personnel or staff members at the ticket counter should be able to direct you to the appropriate office.
  • Document the Accident or Incident – Try to take as many photos and videos as possible (assuming the venue allows you to keep your phone). Once you leave the venue, you should write down as many details as possible.
  • Get Medical Treatment – Even if it means leaving the concert early, you should get medical treatment right away. Any unnecessary delays could both increase your risk of complications and reduce your chances of recovering just compensation.
  • Follow Your Doctor’s Advice – Once you receive a diagnosis and treatment plan, you should follow your doctor’s advice (or seek a second opinion, if necessary). If you ignore your treatment needs, this could also create challenges for asserting your legal rights.
  • Talk to a Premises Liability Lawyer – Most cases involving concert injuries are governed by premises liability law. A local premises liability lawyer will be able to assess your legal rights, calculate your current and future losses, and pursue all available claims against the venue or performer (or both) on your behalf.

 

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