Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers represents families after tragic drowning incidents at pools in the Fort Lauderdale area. Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyers offer free consultations to grieving families. It’s important for families to know about the support that’s available if someone’s negligence contributed to a drowning. Please contact our offices to talk about your options in a confidential case review.
Should My Family Hire a Lawyer After a Loved One Drowns in a Pool?
After a tragic drowning, a wrongful death lawyer will be an important safeguard for you and your family. If someone’s carelessness led to the deadly incident, you’ll need to prove where the fault lies. You may also need help dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance adjusters who will attempt to blame the victim for what happened. They’ll do everything they can to limit the support they provide you and your family.
Your Fort Lauderdale drowning accident lawyer fully investigates the drowning and collects all evidence to demonstrate the liability of the at-fault party. Your lawyer also handles the frustrating wrongful death claims process, allowing you and your family to focus on mourning the loss of a loved one.
In some cases, the blame for a pool drowning may lay at the feet of a hotel chain, a waterpark, or a city rec department. These corporations and entities will have the money to pay a team of lawyers to help them wiggle out of the responsibility for what happened. Your Cowen Edwards representative won’t back down from businesses and major corporations. Your lawyer will demand full support for your family and reject any settlement offers meant to rob you of a fair settlement.
Compensation Available for Families After a Pool Drowning
Families suddenly forced to say goodbye to a loved one will almost immediately be hit with the financial burden that follows a death in the family. That can include the cost of a burial and other damages, affecting the future financial security of a wife and children.
When pool owners and operators fail to provide the proper safety equipment and ensure the proper supervision of swimmers, and other acts of negligence, they can be held accountable for tragic deaths.
Your family is encouraged to ask for help with these factors and more through a wrongful death claim:
- 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.
Liability for Pool Owners and Operators in Florida
Florida is the “Sunshine State” and that explains why there are so many pools in backyards across Fort Lauderdale. Sparkling pools are an amazing recreational feature for many homeowners, but they come with a lot of responsibility and risk.
The owners and operators of pools are required to show their visitors a “duty of care” to keep anyone they invite to use their pools safe from harm. Homeowners with pools must monitor for hazards that might lead to drowning. They must also act to keep those who shouldn’t have unattended access to the pool, such as children, out of dangerous situations.
In 2023 the Florida Legislature further defined the responsibility of pool owners by passing the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act. The Act cites how children and older residents are most at risk. Lawmakers went on to say:
“…constant adult supervision is the key to accomplishing the objective of reducing the number of submersion incidents, and that when lapses in supervision occur a pool safety feature designed to deny, delay, or detect unsupervised entry to the swimming pool, spa, or hot tub will reduce drowning and near-drowning incidents.”
The law requires all residential pools to have at least one of the following safety precautions:
- Pool surrounded by an approved enclosure
- Pool is secured by an approved safety pool cover
- Doors and windows providing access to the pool equipped with exit alarms
- Doors and windows providing access to the pool equipped with self-closing, self-locking devices
- Swimming pool alarm that sounds when unauthorized people enter the pool
Homeowners must make sure they have at least one of these security measures present or face fines and be forced to attend a pool safety course.
Who Is Responsible for Drowning Deaths?
The owners and operators of public pools and pools at hotels and waterparks have a “duty of care” that goes even further. This legal duty applies to residential properties like apartment complexes that provide community pools and neighborhood associations maintaining pools inside housing developments.
These entities are liable for their negligence when customers, tenants, and parkgoers are allowed to drown. These are just some of the requirements they are fully responsible for:
- A lack of lifeguards
- A lack of proper training for lifeguards
- A lack of proper safety devices
- Mechanical and structural hazards in and around the pool
- Dangerous filter and drain issues that might suck a victim underwater
- Admitting too many people until overcrowding causes a drowning
- A lack of fencing and security gates
Who Can I Sue After a Drowning at a Fort Lauderdale City Pool?
Public pools operated by the City of Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Department, such as the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center, could also be found liable for a drowning due to the reasons above and other acts of negligence.
If a government agency is liable in your case, it’s important to speak with a skilled Fort Lauderdale pool drowning lawyer immediately. Suing city government can be challenging to handle by yourself because city departments have certain legal protections. They also provide victims and their families with a shorter statute of limitations on how long you can wait to file. An attorney on your side can help you meet deadlines and secure the proof you need to hold The City of Fort Lauderdale completely liable.
Fort Lauderdale Child Pool Drowning Accidents
Unfortunately, children are most at risk when pools aren’t secured by barriers and aren’t monitored properly.
A 2022 CBS news report featured the shocking statistic that over 400 people had drowned in Florida over the past three years and nearly half of the victims were children.
Cowen Edwards Child Accident Lawyers strive to offer compassionate legal care to families after a heartbreaking drowning. Families who have lost a child should be allowed time to mourn. We want to handle the fight to earn justice from negligent parties with as little disruption to grieving family members as possible. Our lawyers demand the support families need to rebuild their lives.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Drowning Claim?
Florida requires an executor, also known as a “personal representative,” to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of eligible family members. 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.
The executor represents the rest of the family. This person is usually the spouse of the victim or a child of the victim. Those who have the first right to seek support are:
- Spouse of the victim
- Children of the victim
- Parents of the victim
Others who can show they were financially reliant on the victim could also seek compensation, but only after the primary beneficiaries had filed a claim.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Pool Drowning Lawyer
Losing a loved one in a pool drowning will leave you and your family devastated and feeling very vulnerable. At a time when your family should be allowed to grieve a loved one, they may have to take action to hold an at-fault party responsible and to protect their futures.
When individuals or businesses contribute to the factors that lead to a drowning in a public or residential pool, 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 Florida families who have lost a loved one. There’s no obligation for this initial consultation.
If you trust your case to us, our law firm will directly handle the behind-the-scenes investigation and legal work, from start to finish, while you and your family focus on what’s most important, each other. You also won’t need any upfront money to hire us. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for your family. Then our fee comes out of the support an at-fault party is forced to provide.