With more than 1 million attendees each year, the Annual Calle Ocho Festival in Miami is a block party celebration for residents and visitors from across the globe to attend. This free, one-day fiesta is widely known as the largest hispanic street festival in the Southeastern United States and will be held for the 40th time on Sunday, March 12, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The festival will be located along SW 8th Street (from 12th to 27th Avenue) and will feature lively Latin music, street performances, international food and beverage kiosks, eating competitions and more.
Unfortunately, however, largely attended events like Calle Ocho can sometimes result in a surge of slip-and-fall incidents, crime, serious car accidents, and other personal injuries in Miami. In order to have the safest, most enjoyable day possible on the streets of Little Havana, here are a few tips to help avoid personal injury and other dangerous situations at this popular Miami event.
1. Get familiar with your surroundings.
When you arrive, make a mental note of the emergency exits and medical service tents around 8th Street. While hopefully unnecessary during the event, knowing where these are can be crucial in a time of need.
Be careful in areas that are designated to watch musical performances, as barriers may not be correctly placed. These barriers could give way and cause injury. It’s important to be aware of potentially dangerous structures in these public areas and to not assume they are weight-bearing by sitting, standing or leaning on them.
2. Drive with caution and know which areas/times of day to avoid.
When arriving at the festival, traffic may be congested and drivers may be distracted. Stay aware of surrounding drivers’ actions, particularly those using their GPS applications to navigate the area and those searching for parking spots that may distract them from be the safest drivers possible.
With roads being blocked from SW 8th Street to 27th Street, only locals will be able to drive through the surrounding 7th and 9th streets. If not attending the festival, be sure to navigate alternate routes around these streets, especially in the early morning and late evening. If you are attending, we recommend leaving the event before the end rush. This will help limit potential accident areas.
Alternatively, if you do choose to stay at the event until the end, it’s recommended that you wait until the crowds let up before departing, as well as take the least-crowded routes home.
3. Practice the “safety in numbers” rule.
While this event is family-friendly with activities for many ages, it’s important to keep your children close to you throughout the day, as there are plenty of ways for children to get lost or injured throughout the event. Toddler harnesses are recommended over pushing a stroller because of dense crowds, wet floors and other potentially dangerous situations. It’s recommended that you stick with your group for the duration of the event and use a buddy system if splitting up.
4. Avoid dangerous walking situations.
To best avoid slip-and-fall incidents, we recommend staying in well-lit areas as dusk approaches. Outdoor events preparing to accommodate pedestrians often neglect to check the ground for holes or hidden dips. Always watch where you step as it gets darker, especially with an abundance of spilled alcohol, litter and food scraps along the ground as the festival commences.
But although educating yourself on how to prevent personal injury during events like Calle Ocho Festival is important, sometimes accidents are just unavoidable. Here’s some advice if an accident does occur.
If Unforeseen Injury Occurs:
Gather evidence. Photographic or video evidence is helpful, as well as gathering the contact information of witnesses in the surrounding area.
Seek medical attention. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Miami following the event, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention right away. In fact, it must be within 14 days. Learn more about personal injury protection (or PIP) in Florida now.
Keep your receipts. If you or your loved one have to undergo any medical treatments or ambulance rides after the accident, keep track of your expenditures throughout the process, as they may be needed for your personal injury case if you decide to seek legal representation.
Hire a personal injury lawyer. Contact Cohen and Cohen Law, a trusted Miami personal injury law firm, to help reduce your stress during this hard time. We’ll provide a free case evaluation and assist you with any questions you may have in the time following your accident, helping you get as close to a state of normalcy again as possible.
Learn more about how an attorney can help with your personal injury case in Miami by contacting us today, or taking a look at our complimentary case study.