Mardi Gras: it’s an incredible time of feasting, indulgence, and excitement through New Orleans, making it the perfect opportunity to celebrate. Mardi Gras means parades, incredible food, and events designed to bring in tourists from across the United States and even around the world. An average of 1.4 million visitors fill the city during this incredible time of year.
Along with the Mardi Gras excitement, however, comes a substantial increase in hotel and restaurant injuries.
Increased Injury Risk During Mardi Gras Season
During Mardi Gras, hotels, bars, and restaurants face a substantially increased risk of accidents on a variety of fronts. This includes:
More inebriated guests. Fat Tuesday is all about indulgence. Many people visit New Orleans for an opportunity to cut loose and enjoy the season, including indulging heavily in alcohol. Inebriated guests to the city may have an increased risk of slip and fall accidents, poor judgment, and a higher risk of injury no matter where they go in the city. Not only that, inebriated guests may have a higher likelihood of starting fights or attacking other guests, which can create risk for everyone in the area.
More people in the area. During Mardi Gras, the extreme increase in people throughout New Orleans not only means a higher risk of accidents in general, it means a higher danger from other people. The increase in tourist traffic provides immense opportunity for theft or assault.
Quick turnaround in hotels. During this busy tourist season, rooms may get turned over faster, which means maids and other employees may struggle to keep up with safety inspections. Rooms may need to be cleaned and prepared for a new guest at lighting speed, which means some hazards can fall through the cracks.
Restaurants must produce higher quantities of food to accommodate guests. As a result, some restaurants may miss a few essential food safety practices along the way. Unfortunately, failure to follow appropriate food safety practices can substantially increase the risk of food poisoning.
The substantial increase of tourist traffic during Mardi Gras naturally leads to a higher quantity of injuries overall. Add in the extra risks associated with the Mardi Gras season, and it’s little wonder that EMS calls double as the parades roll out. Injuries can include:
- Slip and fall accidents outside local businesses due to uneven or broken concrete or pressure from crowds
- Slip and fall accidents inside local businesses, including falling down stairs
- Food poisoning
- Bar fights
- Premises liability accidents, from broken furniture to pool accidents
- Increased risk of unsanitary hotel conditions
Injuries can range from broken bones to traumatic brain injury, leaving victims struggling to return to their normal lives after what was supposed to be a few short days of indulgence.
The Duty of Hotels, Bars, and Restaurants
The hotels, bars, and restaurants across New Orleans recognize the increased risks that come along with the season. Many of them take action to help protect the safety of guests.
Increased security. Many facilities used by visitors to New Orleans respond to the increased tourist traffic around Mardi Gras by increasing security. When drunken visitors cause problems, security can then take steps to escort them out–and to protect visitors from assailants and thieves.
Clear signs. Drunken guests may be more likely to miss signs warning them about potential hazards. Clear signs and barricades can help prevent inebriated guests–or even those who simply wander off the beaten path–from ending up in areas where they shouldn’t be.
Taking care of repairs both ahead of and through the season. During Mardi Gras, it’s more important than ever that business owners take care of repairs. Luckily, the increased revenue during the season makes it easier to keep up with the inevitable wear and tear on business property.
When in public businesses throughout New Orleans, from the hotel where they sleep at night to the restaurants and bars where they eat, drink, and join in the merriment of the Mardi Gras season, visitors to the city can legally expect a high level of safety and commitment to keeping them from harm. While business owners cannot predict or prevent everything patrons can do to injure themselves, they can make sure that their business does not contribute to or increase the risk of those injuries. Not only do business owners bear liability for maintaining their facilities to keep them safe for guests, they bear liability for what employees do while on the clock. When they fail in that duty, guests may have the right to legal compensation for any injuries suffered due to that violation.
What Can You Do If You Suffer an Injury During Mardi Gras?
If you suffer an injury during Mardi Gras, make seeking medical attention your first priority, especially if you are drunk at the time of the accident. Alcohol consumption and endorphins often hide the full extent of injuries, and continuing to walk around the city could increase the severity of your injuries. Then, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can:
- Help identify who bears liability for your accident. If your injuries occurred on the grounds of a business, due to the negligence of that business owner or staff, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim.
- Help you discover how much compensation you deserve for your injuries. Severe injuries can leave you with substantial medical bills and difficulty returning to work following your accident. An attorney can help you develop a better picture of exactly how much compensation you deserve.
- Assist in filing your claim and negotiating for the compensation you deserve.
If you suffer severe injuries in New Orleans due to the negligence of another party during Mardi Gras this year, you may need a personal injury attorney to help you seek the compensation you deserve for those injuries. Contact the Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal rights following your Mardi Gras injuries.