One of the most exciting things about fall – besides temperatures finally cooling off in the Valley – is all the fun events and festivals that pop up throughout the Phoenix area. With more than 70 large-scale events to choose from, there are entertaining things happening every weekend that residents and visitors can attend. From food truck festivals, to art fairs, to the massive Arizona State Fair, the Valley in the fall becomes a destination for snowbirds looking for pure weather paradise and for locals who come out of air-conditioned summer shelters to experience the natural beauty the Grand Canyon State has to offer.
You deserve to have a blast when you go out to these events, but it also is worth being aware of risks you might face so that you can stay safe. Depending on the type of fair or festival you go to, you may face dangers including:
- Malfunctioning ride equipment
- Food poisoning from items that are not properly handled, stored or monitored
- Trips and falls from a premises that is not properly maintained
- Injury from a crowd stampede during a concert because of inadequate security
Sometimes injuries that are experienced at a fair or festival are not simple accidents. They are due to gross negligence on behalf of the event organizer or a vendor that is participating in the event. If you experience a serious injury at a public event, take these steps to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
One reassuring aspect to most big events you’ll go to in the Valley is that they are staffed with security and also feature first aid, and may even include whole sections dedicated to helping festivalgoers, with trained medical personnel. If you are immobile, ask a friend or bystander to get you help. If you think you may need emergency services or they are offered to you, take them, since you may have sustained injuries that are not immediately apparent or that may be more severe than they appear while you are on the event grounds.
Determine the Cause
Alert event staff to the suspected cause of the injury, so that others won’t be hurt by it, as well. If you tripped because of hazardous cords or a hole in the ground that wasn’t patched up, make sure that the event professionals know about it and work on fixing it immediately.
Document the Scene
Before leaving the venue to go to a hospital or emergency room, snap photos or take video of the scene of the accident if you can. Ask any friends you’re with to do the same. Ask for the contact information of any potential witnesses, including their full name, phone number and email address, or ask for the assistance of a friend to do so if you’re unable to. Make sure to obtain contact information for the organizer of the event, as well as their insurance information.
If you can after you receive medical treatment, return to the scene as soon as possible to survey it again and re-document it. If you have alerted staff to a problem, and it’s still a hazard when you return, that helps to make a possible claim more compelling. You may also notice other details upon returning that are also dangerous that you didn’t before.
Events are busy, high-traffic situations where thousands of people may be milling about. The details of your situation may become complicated quickly because of the high-stress environment, which is why it is crucial to make a written record of what exactly happened as soon as you can after the accident. You should also create a binder where you can store medical records from the event and statements you gather from witnesses, as well as to create a journal of how your injury progresses and any actions that are taken after the accident.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
The organizers of the event you attended didn’t want your accident to happen, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get fair compensation for the pain and suffering you endure because of potential negligence. You may receive a settlement offer on behalf of the event’s insurance carrier, but this may be far lower than what you deserve, especially if organizers put many others at risk and/or didn’t take the proper actions after the accident to eliminate the cause or prevent it from happening again.
A personal injury attorney can help you to determine whether or not you have a claim that should be pursued. An attorney will be able to gather the proper evidence from witnesses and the event condition to help you secure the compensation you deserve. There may be several parties at fault for an accident that occurs at a large fair or festival, ranging from the city that sponsors the event, to a private organizer, to a manufacturer of equipment that is used at an event.
With help from consulting an attorney, you can focus on healing, the well-being of others can be improved through protective action, and you have the chance to secure just compensation so you can move on with your life.