At Hannon Legal Group, we are aware of the risks of drowning in South Florida, not to mention the pain of losing a loved one to such a sudden, tragic, and often preventable event. In this article, we discuss the issue of drowning accidents and what constitutes liability, with respect to public pools and areas with lifeguards, to help others understand whether a drowning accident may be due compensation.
Drowning: Risks to Children
Children more than any other group are at risk of drowning. In 2014, 800 children died by drowning, one of the leading causes of youth mortality in the United States. The highest risk group are children under 5 years old, who are three times more likely to die in this manner than children 5-17.
Children can often black out after around two to three minutes while underwater; most brain injury can happen after 4 to 6. (Safe Kids USA).
Negligence in Drowning Cases
Among those accidents that befall children, drownings are among the most preventable. Open pool administrators have an obligation to secure against predictable perils by accepting such measures as reviewing and keeping up pool fences, doors, and secures great working request to anticipate unapproved or solo utilization of pools and spas. Those found negligent can be liable for damages under the area of the law known as tort law.
They should, what's more:
- Examine and appropriately keep up pool or hot tub channel spreads to anticipate suction entanglement
- Contract qualified lifeguards
- Post cautioning signs
- Give fitting life-sparing hardware, (for example, lifelines).
- Other security measures as might be sensible considering the present situation.
Proprietors of pools or hot tubs on private property, including high rises and apartment suite affiliations, are moreover required to ensure against predictable dangers by taking fitting security measures to counteract incidental suffocating and might be held obligated for neglecting to do as such.
Hotel and Resort Negligence
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 "undertows."
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.
Many drowning can be the result of negligence in the operation of a boat or other water vessel. For more on this subject visit our boating accidents page.
Types of Damages
If you believe that negligence is at the root of the accident in question, there are various types of damages that one can pursue. As in any wrongful death suit, surviving victims can claim the loss of the deceased’s expected earnings and/or inheritance lost. In addition, there are potential punitive damages that may be claimed by the family, including:
- Loss of consortium (a legal term for the rights of partners in a marriage)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a parent/guardian
For any questions about whether legal guidance in the case of drowning negligence is right for you, contact us today.