Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, represents families who lose loved ones in heartbreaking drowning accidents. There are often property owners, businesses, or government agencies at fault for these tragedies and they can be held financially responsible. Contact our Kentucky wrongful death lawyers to schedule a free, confidential consultation for your family. It’s a no-risk way to find out about every benefit available to your family members and how to seek justice against those responsible for the loss of a loved one.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Drowning Accident?
After a drowning caused by someone’s negligence, at-fault property and business owners and government officials will be able to afford teams of lawyers. These lawyers will be tasked with helping their clients avoid having to accept blame. Families may need the help of their own legal representative to make sure at-fault parties are held fully accountable.
Nothing can bring back the precious life of a loved one after a drowning, but families should seek justice for what happened. They should also think about the financial security of family members in the future when they can no longer rely on the guidance and the income the deceased would have provided. A Kentucky drowning accident lawyer protects the interests of families and makes sure they earn the support they need. These families must earn enough to rebuild their lives and avoid financial hardships caused by a tragic accident.
Drowning Hazards in Kentucky
There are plenty of places in Kentucky where people can seek out a day on the water and enjoy a refreshing swim. There are numerous public pools provided in larger cities like Louisville and Lexington. There are also waterparks and fun parks offering water adventures.
Unfortunately, there are drowning risks at each of these spots, even when a lifeguard is present. And there are even more drowning risks along Kentucky’s many natural bodies of water. The beaches along Barkley Lake and the clear water at Falling Rock Park’s quarry provide amazing recreation. Yet, lakes and rivers are very different than pools. The depths can change quickly and underwater obstacles can create additional drowning risk.
It’s a real danger that costs families and communities across our state every year. The Kentucky Injury and Prevention Center (KIPRIC) reports that 329 Kentucky residents died due to unintentional drownings between 2016 and 2021. 37% of those fatalities occurred in natural bodies of water, 8% in pools.
The most affected age groups were 45 to 54 year olds and those 65 and up. 53 people died from both age groups over those six years. Sadly, young child victims weren’t far behind. 43 children ages 5 years and under drowned from 2016 to 2021.
The number of drowning victims pulled from the water each year has remained shockingly high across the state.
Who Is Responsible for Drownings?
After a drowning, it’s not hard to examine the circumstances and see ways that property owners, landlords, and others could have acted to prevent such a tragedy.
Property and business owners, such as landlords and waterpark owners, must show all residents and visitors a “duty of care” when they enter pools. When they don’t repair or warn people of hazards and someone is injured in a near drowning or loses their life, these property owners can be held financially responsible.
Even city, county, and state parks departments owe citizens this duty of care. They must act to remove hazards in public pools and along lake shores that could leave victims in danger of drowning. They must provide safety precautions such as life jackets and even post lifeguards where needed.
Victims can file personal injury lawsuits and families who lose loved ones can seek justice through wrongful death claims.
Your Kentucky drowning accident attorney helps you identify every party that might be held responsible for your loved one’s death.
These are just a few of the parties that could have to offer support to your family:
- Property owners and homeowners with pools
- Landlords and property management firms at apartment complexes
- Resort or hotel owner
- Corporate owners responsible for the actions of a recreation company or a waterpark
- A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) liable for keeping community pools and lakes safe
- City or County departments that operate public pools and beaches
- Kentucky Parks Department
Proving Negligence in a Drowning
To hold these and other parties responsible for a tragic death on the water, you’ll need to show that owners and operators failed in their duty to keep a loved one safe.
There are many tiny details that pool owners may miss or ignore that can one day lead to a devastating accident.
- Lack of warning signs around natural bodies of water. Depth change warnings, underwater obstacles warnings, swift current warnings.
- Lack of protection for swimmers from careless boaters.
- Failure to provide lifeguards.
- Failure to train and certify lifeguards properly.
- Failure to provide proper safety devices around pools and lakes and at waterparks.
- Failure to provide proper maintenance of pools and docks to prevent accidents.
- Failure to fix trip-and-all hazards that might send someone into the water. Lack of warning signs for steep banks.
- Failure to prevent overcrowding that leads to drowning.
- Failure to post fencing and security guards to prevent unattended people from entering a dangerous swimming spot.
Your Kentucky personal injury lawyer would fully investigate your case and collect evidence of any negligence that factored into what happened. When your case has strong evidence in place, your lawyer submits it to the appropriate insurance provider and demands the most possible in a wrongful death settlement. If an insurance company wants to deny blame or leave your family with too little support, you Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, attorney would be ready to file a lawsuit and take the at-fault party to court to earn what’s fair for your family.
Families can lose loved ones in drowning accidents involving many different types of pools and natural features. You can find out more about these types of cases below…
Support Available for Families After a Tragic Kentucky Drowning
Families may seek full support as they attempt to rebuild their lives after a tragedy. A Kentucky wrongful death drowning lawyer could help the family seek support for everything they’d been through and for every hardship to come in the future.
Families often require protection from financial issues right after a drowning and in the years ahead. Close relatives may be financially devastated if the family relied on the income the victim had always provided. The family must seek support for the emotional trauma they’ve been through as well.
These are just a few of the factors that should decide how much in support a family will receive:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- The weekly income the deceased can no longer provide to the family in the years to come.
- The guidance and love that family members will no longer be able to draw from in the future.
- Personal injury damages from before death. These damages would include medical bills and the pain and suffering the victim experienced.
- The deprivation of the benefit of the relationship between a parent and a child.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does my family have to file a wrongful death claim after a drowning?
One year. Families have up to one year to file a wrongful death claim after a drowning. However, the time could be extended depending on how long it takes to assign a representative for the victim’s estate.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Drowning Claim in Kentucky?
The court must assign a representative of the deceased’s estate to represent the rest of the family. But this representative would usually be a spouse or a child of the victim.
Who Is Eligible for Support in a Wrongful Death Drowning Claim?
The spouse and children would usually receive the award in a wrongful death claim. But if the victim had no spouse or children, the parents of the victim could receive the award.
Can I sue a city, county, or Kentucky over a drowning?
You can sue a parks and rec department if it was responsible for a drowning. But be aware, suing a government agency will usually mean you have a shorter deadline to file your claim. You may also have to face off against government lawyers.
Contact a Kentucky Drowning Accident Attorney
Contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation on your case. At such a difficult time, we want families to know about every benefit available to them and how to force insurance companies to provide fair support for a death that could have been prevented.
If you decide our wrongful death lawyers can help protect your family and earn them more in support for the years ahead, you won’t need any money. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you. Then our fee comes out of the settlement you and your family are awarded.
Kaufman & Stigger would like the opportunity to handle the most frustrating parts of a wrongful death claim so that your family can focus on grieving and celebrating a loved one’s life. We fight to get the most for your family while providing as little disruption as possible.