Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers represents families after tragic drowning incidents in rivers 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 fails to protect swimmers around a river. 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.
Drowning Dangers in Fort Lauderdale Rivers
Residents in Fort Lauderdale can take advantage of beautiful bodies of water in almost any direction. That includes some of the rivers, canals, and waterways that crisscross Broward County. That includes the New River and the Intracoastal Waterway. The slow and fast-moving waters are great for recreation like boating, and paddle boarding. But some parts aren’t great for swimming and visitors should be cautious.
But when people, especially children, get hurt after entering an unsafe section of a river, the responsibility shouldn’t all rest on the swimmer. Property owners and property management companies should also bear some responsibility for warning potential swimmers of dangers that exist. Owners and operators could also be liable for not keeping those who can’t be counted on to make good decisions, children, away from dangerous currents.
Property and business owners must be held accountable when their actions or inactions put people in life-threatening danger. This can be the case when victims are allowed access to dangerous stretches of water and in some tragic cases, end up drowning. A property owner or the City of Fort Lauderdale will have lawyers who will try to get them out of having to accept financial responsibility. That’s why your family might require the full protection of a skilled Fort Lauderdale Drowning Accident Lawyer.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a River Drowning?
Property owners and operators owe all people a legal “duty of care.” It means they must protect visitors, residents, and to some extent, even unauthorized guests. They must remove dangers both natural and manmade. It’s why a drowning could force a property owner to provide support for those left behind.
Those at-fault parties could include a homeowner, a housing association, or a business owner that maintains a section of a river. The liable party could be a resort or golf course, a landlord. The City of Fort Lauderdale might be liable if the city owns and maintains a park or wetlands along a river.
These owners must warn potential swimmers of the dangers. They might also have to act to keep curious people away from a river beach that could cause harm.
These are just a few of the ways a property owner can be negligent and liable for a drowning:
- A lack of warning signs around swimming holes and the banks of rivers
- A lack of barriers around a hazardous stretch of water
- A lack of warning about dangerous conditions such as sudden depth changes or extreme currents
- Improper supervision that allows impaired boaters on a river to endanger swimmers
- Failure to protect swimmers or warn swimmers about water sports activities like water skiers and jet skis
- A lack of safety equipment or inadequate equipment
Compensation Available for Families After a Drowning
Nothing can replace the love and care of a loved one after a tragic drowning. Despite this sad fact, families should still seek justice and hold those who contributed to a tragedy fully accountable. This might be a critical necessity for families who have been left to pay the consequences of the loss of life and are no longer able to depend on the financial support they used to rely on.
Your wrongful death attorney will be demanding full support for these hardships and more:
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if the drowning victim was partially to blame for what happened?
Victims may have been swimming in a restricted area, but that doesn’t mean the property owner is off the hook. In Florida, a victim and a property owner can each share a percentage of blame. The victim may be assigned some fault, but the family could still receive compensation based on the other party’s percentage of liability.
What if my family can’t afford a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Your family won’t need any upfront money to hire a skilled wrongful death lawyer. Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers doesn’t get paid unless we win your case for your family. Then our fee comes out of the settlement or judgment your family is awarded.
How long do I have to file a Florida wrongful death claim?
Two years. Family members are usually required to file a wrongful death claim within two years of the victim’s death. But be aware, that if your case involves the City of Fort Lauderdale, the statute of limitations may be much shorter. Check with your lawyer to make sure you don’t miss deadlines.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale River Drowning Lawyer
Losing a loved one in a 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 along a river, 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.