Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, represents families who lose loved ones in heartbreaking drowning accidents. A drowning at a lake can often leave a property owner or a state or federal agency liable after a tragedy. Families can contact our Kentucky wrongful death lawyers to schedule a free, confidential consultation. It’s a no-risk way to find out about every benefit available to those family members at such a difficult time.
Lake Drowning Dangers in Kentucky
Many Kentucky residents like to enjoy the beauty of the bluegrass state by heading down to the lake shore or heading out on the water. On bodies of water like Barren River Lake or Taylorsville Lake, people can be having so much fun, that they forget about the hazards that could cause a drowning tragedy.
The owners and operators of these lakes owe boaters, swimmers, and all visitors a “duty of care” expressed under Kentucky’s premises liability laws. It means those responsible must act to warn visitors of the dangers around the lake. They must remove hazards that can be removed. They must also provide safety measures and devices to prevent drownings and near drownings.
When these legal duties are ignored, a property owner, a parks department, or others might be held financially responsible if someone drowns or is injured in a near-drowning.
Natural features and weather conditions make lakes more dangerous than a day at the pool. These are just some of the hazards that lake owners, business owners, and government agencies should be warning visitors about and keeping them safe from:
- Reckless or drunk boaters
- Fast-moving currents and boat wakes
- Sudden changes in weather
- Sudden drop-offs in the water
- Underwater rocks and debris
- Cold water temperatures
- Steep banks and muddy, slippery conditions
Those who maintain docks around lakes must see that there are no tripping hazards that could send someone into the water unexpectedly. Operators must provide lifeguards where necessary and make sure they are trained and certified.
Mistakes that lead to drownings mean that families are empowered to seek support for their many losses, both emotional and financial, after the death of a loved one. Your Kentucky drowning accident lawyer gets aggressive with liability insurance companies to see that families receive what they need to protect themselves from financial harm in the future.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Kentucky Lake Drowning?
Identifying who may be responsible for the death of a loved one can be a challenge. In some cases, more than one party could bear financial responsibility. Your attorney fully investigates what happened and includes everyone liable in an accident in a lawsuit. Your lawyer then uses all the evidence gathered to make sure your family receives the most support possible.
These and other parties will all be investigated after a drowning and could be fully liable for a tragic death:
- Property owners who maintain private lakes or fun parks
- Landlords and property management firms who have lakes on residential properties
- A Homeowner’s Association that maintains a lake for a residential community
- Resort owners
- Business owners that use the lake, like a boat rental company
- Boaters who strike swimmers
- City or County departments that operate lakes and lake beaches
- Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR)
- Federal agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
These are just a few of the other lakes where tragic drowning accidents occur:
Barren River Lake
Green River Lake
Laurel River Lake
Rough River Lake
Falling Rock Park Quarry
Suing a Government Agency After a Drowning
Some lakes, like Taylorsville Lake are operated by the KDFWR. Other lakes, like Lake Cumberland are operated by federal officials. These departments can be held liable by families who have lost a loved one at a lake.
In Kentucky, families generally have up to one year to file a drowning accident wrongful death claim from the date of someone’s death. But cases involving a government department can have much shorter deadlines.
State and federal government entities enjoy protection from lawsuits. You may have to file a claim within months to avoid having your case rejected. You could also have to seek permission from the city simply to be allowed to file a lawsuit. Your Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, representative will make sure you meet all deadlines and earn justice for your tragedy.
Compensation Available for Families After a Kentucky Lake Drowning
Families may seek full support as they attempt to rebuild their lives after a tragedy. They may need immediate help with burial costs and future assistance meeting financial needs without the support a loved one used to provide. Families can lose their homes and spouses can struggle to support children after a loved one’s income is lost.
These are just a few of the factors that should decide how much in support a family will receive through a wrongful death settlement:
- Support for funeral expenses.
- Support for leftover medical bills, ambulance fees, and search and rescue fees.
- Replacement of the income the deceased may have supported family members with.
- The guidance and love that family members will no longer be able to draw from in the future.
- Support for parents who have had a child taken from them in a drowning accident.
Contact a Kentucky Lake Drowning 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 Kentucky Lake Drowning Lawyers can help earn your family more in support for the years ahead, you won’t need any money to hire us. 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, PLLC, 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.