Drownings in the Intracoastal Waterway in Miami can be devastating. If the drowning happened because of a boating accident or a fall from a dock or other waterside area, there might be someone to hold responsible for the accident. The victim of a near-drowning or the family of a deceased drowning victim might be entitled to file a lawsuit against these responsible parties to get compensation for the injuries or death.
For help with your potential case, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. Our Intracoastal Waterway drowning attorneys represent near-drowning victims and the families of deceased drowning victims who fell into the intracoastal waters of Miami. To set up your free legal consultation, call us today at (866) 386-1762.
Who is Responsible for Drownings in the Intracoastal Waters of Miami?
When someone falls into the Miami River or the Intracoastal Waterway in the city, there might be various parties you could hold responsible. The facts of your case and how the victim fell into the water will change who is responsible.
Drownings from Boating Accidents
If you or a loved one fell into the water and began drowning because of a boat accident, the person who caused the crash is likely responsible. Boat operators are required to use reasonable care and follow boating regulations. When a crash happens because a boater did not follow these rules, they can be held liable for any injuries or deaths that result.
Sometimes in a boat crash, the boater who caused the crash will primarily be at fault, but the owner of the boat you were on might share liability for the extent of the injuries. If problems with upkeep or maintenance on the vessel made it unsafe in the crash, then the owner could be liable for injuries and drownings. Likewise, if a boat owner fails to have life vests or flotation devices, they might be responsible for the drowning even if they did not cause the crash.
In single-vessel crashes, the person who caused the crash and the owner or operator of the vessel are likely the same person, and they could be solely liable.
Falls from Unsafe Property
If the victim of the drowning accident fell into the water because the property around the water was dangerous, the owner of the property could be held liable. This includes dangers from unsafe or uneven surfaces, loose handrails, or other dangerous conditions on the property. Property owners in many situations have a duty to keep the property safe for guests and even passers-by. When they fail to do this, they can be liable for foreseeable results. That could include a fall into the water that ends in a drowning death.
Lack of Supervision
When someone is responsible for someone else’s safety, such as teachers who take students on a field trip or a friend who takes your children boating, the responsible person has a duty to take reasonable precautions to keep the other people safe. If they fail to supervise the victim, and the victim ends up in the water, the supervisor may have violated their duty and could be held accountable. This is a common accusation made in cases of drowning deaths involving children under another adult’s supervision.
Although accidental drownings are more likely, some people do drown under suspicious circumstances. If you have reason to believe that your loved one was killed or pushed into the water instead of dying from an accident, the person who killed them can be held liable in civil court. This is possible even if there are criminal charges filed or if they are acquitted and cleared in criminal court. Because the burden of proof is lower in civil cases, these kinds of claims might succeed where murder or manslaughter charges fail.
Can You Sue the City of Miami for Drownings in the Intracoastal Waterway?
The intracoastal waters throughout Miami are very similar to the roads and highways in the city. While the City of Miami or various other government agencies and entities might be responsible for their upkeep, they are not usually responsible for deaths and accidents that happen there. Unless the government did something dangerous that violates its legal duty to the victim, the government cannot usually be held liable for accidents like this.
In cases where the government is partly responsible, there may be additional rules about how to sue the City of Miami for drownings in the Intracoastal Waterway and what damages can be claimed. Instead, most lawsuits for drowning deaths are filed against boat owners and property owners or other people directly responsible for the drowning.
Damages for Drowning Deaths in Miami’s Intracoastal Waterways
If a loved one was killed by drowning in the Intracoastal Waterway in Miami, you might be entitled to claim compensation from the responsible parties. These damages can include damages that the victim would have claimed in an injury case if they survived, such as compensation for their medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Victims can also claim additional damages for themselves and their families. A death in the family means lost investments, inheritances, and other financial damages. The cost of household services, lost spousal services, lost companionship, and other damages can also be claimed, as can damages for burial and funeral expenses.
Talk to a lawyer about what your case might be worth.
Call Our Miami Intracoastal Water Drowning Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you were injured in a drowning accident in Miami or if a loved one died in the Intracoastal Waterway in Miami, call our attorneys today. Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind’s Miami Intracoastal Waterway drowning attorneys offer free legal consultations. Call us today at (866) 386-1762 to discuss a drowning or near-drowning case with our attorneys.