A pool owner or entity that operates a pool is liable for someone drowning in their pool if it is entirely or in part due to their negligence in maintaining and operating the pool or due to their failure to adequately supervise those using the pool. In fact, the negligent pool owner or operator can be responsible for any other accidents that occur around the pool area including slip and trip and fall accidents. If your loved one has drowned or was injured or killed because of a pool-related accident, then you may be able to collect compensation for their passing.
The Scope of the Drowning Problem
Drowning is a problem that spans those of all ages. It can be the result of a pool owner who has not taken steps to protect those who enter their property. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paints the picture of drowning in the United States. It reports that:
- Approximately 3,536 people died each year in the United States because of drowning from 2005 to 2014
- Approximately one-fifth of drownings involve children as victims
- Non-fatal drowning can result in severe brain damage and require extensive medical care beyond emergency services
With only one-fifth of drowning deaths being attributed to young teens and children, it becomes clear that drowning can occur among even seemingly capable adults.
Age, gender, and access to water may be among the risk factors associated with drowning. Because of the well-documented risk of drowning, homeowners and others responsible for pools must take proactive steps to prevent drowning accidents. Pool owners must also and maintain around the pool in a safe condition and supervise those in and around the pool to prevent any unsafe behavior or activities.
Responsibilities of Pool Owners
Pool owners must view their pool as the potential hazard that it is, taking steps to prevent foreseeable instances and the possibility of drowning. The National Safety Council (NSC) provides a few recommendations for decreasing the risk of drowning. Those with pools could be liable if they fail to take preventative measures.
NSC-recommended safety measures include:
- Always being present when individuals—especially young people or those who struggle to swim—are in the pool
- Ensuring that children and other at-risk individuals are not in parts of the pool where suction devices are present
- Keeping emergency aid kits stocked and easily-accessible
- Hiring a designated lifeguard for an event where there are many people in the pool
- Ensuring that at least one CPR-trained individual is present, when appropriate
- Discouraging those who have been consuming alcohol from swimming
- Discouraging swimmers from jumping on or dangerously wrestling with others
Pool owners must also install a fence or other barrier around the pool or around the property that houses the pool to prevent people, especially children, from inadvertently falling into the pool and possibly drowning.
For a free legal consultation, call (212) 732-2929
The “Costs” of Drowning and Near-Drowning
A lawyer will review how the drowning incident occurred and take appropriate action to seek compensation. This may mean bringing either a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
In the case that a drowning incident is not fatal, it may be referred to as “near-drowning,” according to Healthline. Someone who nearly drowns may experience short and long term problems and injuries, including:
- Brain damage
- Being in a vegetative state
- Respiratory damage
- Swelling of the abdomen
You or your loved one may experience significant harm from a near-drowning Consequences of near-drowning may include:
- Experiencing pain and suffering
- Losing cognitive function
- Requiring around-the-clock care if your loved one is in a vegetative state
- Being unable to work at all
- Being unable to work as you once did
- Being financially dependent
A Lawyer Will Fight for You or Your Loved One
Whether you were injured in a near-drowning or you lost a loved one you should seek a consultation with an experienced law firm to discuss your rights. A lawyer will zealously advocate on your behalf and pursue a claim or lawsuit to seek monetary damages on behalf of you or your loved one.
Some services that your lawyer will provide include:
- Collecting evidence of your drowning incident
- Determining liability for your incident
- Determining the extent of your injuries and resulting pain and suffering
- Determining the value of your losses
- Filing a lawsuit
- Handling the trial of your case
You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, psychological trauma, costs of medical care including future care, lost earnings and other losses that resulted from you or your loved one drowning or nearly drowning. A lawyer will fight to obtain the award that you deserve.
Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates Today
Those who oversee and operate pools, as well as, pool owners can be held financially responsible when a drowning, near-drowning or other accident occurs. Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates today at (212) 732-2929 to learn about how we will fight for you.