The canals and waterways throughout Miami are an intrinsic part of the city. However, these waterways also pose a danger for many people in the city. Boat accidents, like car accidents, could claim the lives of passengers and operators, and there is always the potential that someone could fall into the water and drown.
The Miami canal drowning attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. represent the families of people who lost their lives in drowning accidents in Miami canals. In many cases, we can hold boat owners and operators responsible, or we might be able to hold other parties liable for deaths or serious injuries from near drownings. For a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (866) 386-1762.
Can You Sue for Drowning Deaths in the Miami Canal?
If you lost a loved one to a drowning in the Miami canal or any other waterways or waters in the Miami area, you might be entitled to seek compensation from any at-fault parties. In many cases like this, the legal issues involve determining who was responsible and how to hold them accountable for the drowning death.
Who is Responsible for Miami Canal Drownings?
In most cases, you cannot sue the government of the City of Miami or any other municipality simply because the water where a loved one died is within their borders. In some cases where serious dangers are left unrepaired, the City might share some blame and could be taken to court. However, lawsuits against the government have a lot of limitations on damages and restrictions on how you can file your case.
In many cases where someone drowns, it happens because they were on a boat first. Many boaters fail to properly check if their passengers can swim, and they fail to have the necessary life rafts, life vests, and other flotation and rescue devices. If someone falls off a boat and hits their head, they could be unable to surface even if they are a strong swimmer. In many cases of drowning deaths, the boater or ship owner could be liable.
Additionally, property owners around the canal could be liable for slip and falls into the water. If they do not have railings along the side of the canal or their property is unsafe and causes someone to fall in, they could be liable. That could include private property or publicly accessible marinas. Lastly, if the victim was under someone else’s watch – such a child under a babysitter or teacher’s supervision – a lack of reasonable supervision could lead to drowning, and the supervisor could be liable.
Drowning accidents can also be caused by boating crashes where someone falls overboard. The party responsible for the crash would be liable in these cases.
Proving Liability in Drowning Accidents
For someone to be liable for a drowning death, there must be something that they did wrong. People generally do not have a duty to risk their own safety trying to pull someone out of the water. Instead, the law can only hold people liable for drownings when they had some legal duty related to the accident and failed to act reasonably, causing the accident or the drowning.
For example, boat owners have a duty to drive reasonably to prevent overboard accidents. If a passenger falls off a friend’s boat because the friend was showing off, the boat operator could be liable if the passenger falls into the water and drowns. Other legal duties exist, such as the duty to upkeep your boat and your property or the legal duty to care for those in your charge.
If the at-fault party failed to act reasonably or otherwise violated the law and that mistake led to your loved one’s drowning death, the at-fault party could be found liable in court.
Suing for Drowning Accidents in the Miami Canal
To get damages for a loved one’s injury or death in a drowning accident, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, boaters carry insurance that could help pay for some of the costs of injury or death, but many drowning cases are far too expensive for insurance companies to cover the accident voluntarily.
When you file a lawsuit, you will have to prove your case to the judge and jury. After you do, you could be entitled to claim any damages related to the drowning accident.
Damages in Miami Canal Drowning Accidents and Wrongful Death Cases
Not every drowning accident is fatal. Many people can be rescued and resuscitated, but that does not mean they don’t still face distress, injury, and potentially long-term consequences. Many drowning accidents result in brain damage because of the lack of oxygen. Even if there is no brain damage, the accident can be very scary and cause other injuries, leading to clear emotional distress and physical pain.
In many injury cases, you can claim damages for the physical and mental effects of the injury, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. You can also claim any damages for medical treatment, lost wages, or other economic damages.
In a wrongful death case for drowning in Miami canal waters, you can claim the same damages that your loved one would have claimed if this were an injury case instead of a wrongful death claim. You will also be able to claim damages that you and your other surviving family face, such as lost companionship, burial and funeral costs, lost household services, and other damages.
Talk to an attorney about what your case might be worth.
Call Our Miami Canal Drowning Death and Injury Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If your loved one died in a drowning accident in the Miami canals or you faced serious injuries in a drowning accident, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today. Our Miami canal drowning attorneys represent victims of drownings and their families in lawsuits to collect compensation for the harm they face and help them move forward after a death in the family. For a free legal consultation, call us at (866) 386-1762.