Ft. Lauderdale Canal Drowning Lawyer

Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers represents families after tragic drowning incidents in canals and other waterways in the Fort Lauderdale area. Families need to know about the support that’s available if a property owner, a business, or the City of Fort Lauderdale contributed to the danger that caused the loss of life. Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyers offer free consultations to grieving families. Please contact our offices to talk about your options in a confidential case review.

Do I Need a Lawyer After Losing Someone in a Canal Drowning?

If the actions of canal owners or operators lead to the loss of a loved one to drowning, families have the right to seek support through a wrongful death claim. However, insurance companies won’t make it easy to collect the support the family may need to pay funeral costs and other damages. A large business, the City of Fort Lauderdale, or even federal officials will also have the money to pay teams of lawyers to avoid having to accept blame.

Grieving families can seek help from a Fort Lauderdale Drowning Accident Lawyer to protect their interests. A skilled lawyer at Cowen Edwards investigates what happened and gathers the evidence necessary to hold an at-fault party fully responsible. Our lawyers also fight to get the most support possible for families who will need to protect themselves financially, now and in the years ahead.

Canal Drowning Dangers in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is home to thousands of miles of canals, rivers, and inlets. It’s actually known as the “Venice of America.” Venice is an Italian City famous for its waterways, and Fort Lauderdale fits the description.

The Intracoastal Waterway is one such highway on the water that carries boaters and other adventure seekers up and down our coastline. The Middle River Canal is used by residents and visitors for paddle boarding and boating, and some people can wade in on hot days.

There are also plenty of farms and orchards that utilize canals and ponds for irrigation in Broward County. Farmers may neglect to secure these bodies of water, allowing curious children to wander into dangerous pools to drown.

These waterways are a handy feature, but they also carry plenty of risk. They may look more shallow than a normal river, but they can be deep and have strong currents at times.

Property owners and agencies over these bodies of water must act to keep people safe around canals and warn potential swimmers of the dangers.

When these and other duties are ignored, victims and their families can file lawsuits. These are just a few of the acts of negligence that might lead to a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • A lack of warning signs around canals noting slick banks, and underwater obstructions
  • A lack of “no swimming” signs
  • No warnings about strong currents in narrow channels
  • No warnings about potential depth changes as water is let out
  • A lack of barriers around a hazardous stretch of water
  • Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall hazards on docks and piers that might send someone into a canal
  • Improper supervision that allows impaired and reckless boaters on canal waterways to harm swimmers
  • A lack of safety equipment or inadequate equipment provided by rental companies
  • Dangers around drains and spillways

These dangers and more leave property owners and governmental departments liable for drowning incidents. However, those at fault will usually try to blame victims or limit the support that injured victims or mourning families receive.
Your Fort Lauderdale Canal Drowning Accident Attorney would have evidence ready to show who was truly at fault if a property owner or government official attempted to wiggle out of accepting responsibility.

Who Can Families Sue After a Tragic Canal Drowning?

Property owners and operators and government agencies of canals owe visitors and even unauthorized guests a “duty of care.” Everything possible must be done to protect swimmers and waders venturing out on natural bodies of water.

Everything possible must be done to keep swimmers, especially unpredictable children, out of canals and aqueducts that are dangerous and off-limits for swimming.

When they are negligent in this duty and a tragic drowning occurs, many potential circumstances leave owners financially responsible for near-drowning injuries and fatal accidents.

These and other parties may share blame in a tragic drowning:

  • Property owners and homeowners along canals
  • Resort and hotel owners
  • HOAs for Communities along canals
  • Businesses like boat and paddleboard rental companies relying on canal tourism
  • The City of Fort Lauderdale
  • Army Corps of Engineers (in charge of the Intracoastal Waterway)
  • United States Geological Survey USGS (overseeing the Middle River Canal)

The Army Corps of Engineers and the USGS are of course federal entities. Cases against any government agency can be complex. In many cases, you’d have to seek permission to file a claim against a county government agency or a federal department.

In most cases, families filing drowning wrongful death claims would also face a much shorter statute of limitations than in normal personal injury cases. Families usually have up to two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but a case filed against a government agency may only have a deadline of a few months.

Your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer gathers the evidence necessary to force a government department to accept responsibility for its mistake. Your attorney would also make sure you didn’t miss deadlines to file.

Support Available for Families After a Drowning

Florida requires an executor, also known as a “personal representative,” who represents the estate of the victim to file a wrongful death claim. The executor is usually named in the drowning victim’s will. If an executor is not named, the court will usually name a close family member as a representative.

Usually, the executor or the appointee would be a spouse or child of the victim or a parent. This person would represent the rest of the family in the wrongful death claim.

A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can also represent your family and make sure that property owners and government officials aren’t left off the hook. Your Cowen Edwards representative would handle all of the frustrating communications with insurance companies while providing as little disruption to a grieving family as possible.

Your lawyer demands full support to protect the family now and in the future:

  • Leftover medical bills and ambulance fees.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • The lost income the victim can no longer provide for a spouse and children to support them in the future.
  • Support for the loss of care and guidance the deceased would have provided to family members in the years to come.
  • The loss of parental companionship and instruction for the children of the victim.
  • All emotional trauma suffered by family members.
  • The “loss of consortium”, intimacy, for a spouse.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Canal Drowning Lawyer

Losing a loved one in a drowning will leave you and your family devastated and very vulnerable. At a time when you should be allowed to grieve a loved one, you may have to take action to hold an at-fault party responsible to protect the future of the family.

When individuals or businesses contribute to the factors that lead to a drowning in a canal, a wrongful death claim may be necessary. To find out the level of support your family should seek, contact the Fort Lauderdale Drowning Accident Lawyers at Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers. We offer a free, confidential case review for all families who have lost a loved one. There’s no obligation for this initial consultation.