Swimming pools, beaches, water parks and boats can be dangerous areas for children as well as adults. Commercial dive boats and fishing charter boats also pose similar risks. In 2003, there were 381 accidental drowning deaths in Florida and 3,306 nationwide according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death of children between the ages of 1 – 4 in Florida every year according to the Florida Department of Health.
Our Miami, Florida accidental drowning lawyers know that drownings can happen very quickly and with little or no warning. Children lose consciousness after approximately two minutes under water and brain injury occurs between four and six minutes. Most children who survive a near drowning without neurological damage are found within two minutes after submersion. Most drowning fatalities occur after the victim had been submerged for over 10 minutes.
People who survive a near-drowning can suffer lifelong consequences including severe, permanent hypoxic or anoxic brain damage. After four to six minutes under water, the damage is usually irreversible.
Drownings and near drowning incidents are almost always preventable. Public pool operators have a duty to protect against foreseeable hazards by taking such measures as inspecting and maintaining pool fences, gates and locks in good working order to prevent unauthorized or unsupervised use of pools and spas. They must, in addition, inspect and properly maintain pool or hot tub drain covers to prevent suction entrapment, hiring qualified life guards, posting warning signs, as well as provide appropriate life saving equipment. Finally, pool operators must undertake such other safety measures as may be reasonable under the circumstances.
Owners of swimming pools or hot tubs on private property, including apartment complexes and condominium associations are likewise required to protect against foreseeable risks by taking appropriate safety measures to prevent accidental drowning and may be held liable for failing to do so.
Similarly, hotels and resorts with beach access have a duty to protect against foreseeable risks by implementing appropriate safety measures and a duty to warn guests of known hazards such as dangerous "rip currents" or "under-tows." These hotels can be held liable for their negligence when someone is injured or killed as a result. Operators of commercial dive boats and fishing charters can also be held liable for failing to take reasonable steps to protect their patrons from foreseeable harm such as accidental drowning.
Generally, hotels as well as the owners and operators of public pools, pools in private homes, apartment complex pools, condo association pools and charter boats have liability insurance which covers them for personal injury or wrongful death claims arising out of accidental drownings which were caused by their negligence.
At Hannon Legal Group, we handle accidental drowning and near drowning cases throughout the state of Florida where death or serious injury result from the failure of pool owners, charter boat operators or hotels with beach access to take reasonable safety precautions under the circumstances.
Hannon Legal Group, is committed to giving each client the time and attention he or she deserves. Our firm works as a team so that our clients get the benefit of the collective skill and effort of our experienced and highly trained attorneys, paralegals and investigators. Our legal team works relentlessly to obtain just compensation for our clients and their families.
Statistical data obtained from Safe Kids USA.