The legal team at Flaxman Law Group were saddened to hear about crushing injuries and other harm that occurred at the University of Florida, where students were holding a vigil. We hope everyone who was hurt will make a full and speedy recovery.
The incident also got our father-son lawyer team talking about the dangers of crowds and events. Whenever you have lots of people together, there is a risk of crushing injuries and even violence. Today, we wanted to share some tips for staying safe.
- Plan and evaluate before the event. Check map locations and read up about the event before you go. This can help you understand where you can safely park and how you can navigate the event ground safely.
- Tell someone where you’ll be. Make arrangements to check in after the event. This way, someone will know if you run into problems.
- Wear clothes that allow plenty of movement. Sturdy shoes and clothes that allow full mobility allow you to freely move around and to get out of the event if things go awry.
- Try to go with friends. With a group, you can look out for each other. If you do go with friends, agree where you will meet in case you’re separated.
- Stay hydrated. Pack a snack and water. Staying hydrated in the Florida heat can help you prevent heat-related illnesses and weaknesses. Also bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. If you do drink alcohol at the event, try to switch between water and alcohol and limit your drinking. In case of a problem, staying sober can help you make better decisions.
- Protect your valuables. Leave as many valuables as you can at home. Large crowds make easy targets for pickpockets. You’ll also want to keep your wallet and phone secure on your person, so they can’t easily be stolen. There are special anti-theft bags and purses you can use to keep these secure.
- Stay aware of the situation. Crowd dynamics can change fast, so stay aware of who is around you and what is happening. Have a plan for getting out of the situation in case of danger.
- Follow event rules. They’re there to protect you.
- Stay in well-lit area. Avoid isolated area and also areas where there are crushes of people. Both can be dangerous.
- Know what to do in the event of a problem. Know where the medic station is and where security is located. If the crowd surges or starts to run, one of the biggest risks include tripping and falling and then being crushed by others who are fleeing. In this situation, try to find higher ground and try to get to the edges of the crowd, where you can escape. Try to move with the flow and do everything you can to remain upright so you can escape.
Despite these precautions, the reality is that big crowds of people simply pose a risk. The team at Flaxman Law Group have seen serious injuries caused when people attended large public or private events.
If you’re injured, please try to get to safety and get evaluated by a medical professional. Many events have medics on staff who can help. We also encourage you to contact Flaxman Law Group anytime at 866-352-9626 if you’ve been injured. we can schedule a free consultation with a premises liability lawyer so you can evaluate your potential next steps.