Swimming pool drowning accidents are one of the more common types of premises liability cases that can result in filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries. On average, 10 people lose their lives every single day as a result.
Those who do survive oftentimes require hospitalization or additional medical care. The consequences of surviving a near drowning accident may be brain damage. Depending on the severity, victims may be left with permanent learning disabilities or difficulty with memory.
If it’s found that a property owner or someone else was responsible for the swimming pool drowning accident, it could lead to compensation in a premises liability claim or wrongful death lawsuit filed with help from a Long Island injury lawyer.
When Negligence is the Cause of a Swimming Pool Drowning Accident
One type of negligence that could be the cause of an accident in a pool is a lack of supervision. For instance, a pool in a hotel or recreational center where lifeguards are expected to be. Understaffing, lack of training and a failure to supervise are ways in which an owner could be held liable.
Another type of negligence is when a homeowner fails to put in place safety mechanisms that would prevent a child from falling into the pool:
- gate; and
- pool alarm.
While there will always be the potential for someone to fall into a pool, there should be tools that can help retrieve the person, such as a rope or metal pole. And if the pool is used by the public, lifeguards who are trained in CPR may be present. If no lifeguard is present, signs should indicate as much.
Broken or malfunctioning equipment that causes injuries could also be considered negligence. Failing to inspect or maintain a pool may result in missing critical things such as a faulty drain or broken diving board.
If the water depth levels aren’t clearly marked or they are inaccurate, this could cause someone to dive into water that is shallow or enter deeper waters unintentionally. Families of victims of swimming pool drowning accidents can consult a Long Island injury lawyer about establishing negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Establishing Liability in a Swimming Pool Drowning Accident
In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit or premises liability claim, it first needs to be proven that a duty of care was owed to the injured person. If someone illegally entered someone’s premises and as a result suffered injuries, it would be hard to hold the owner liable.
But if the person was a patron of the hotel or another type of public pool, the owner would owe a duty of care. The same can be said for homeowners. They owe a duty of care to others who might be attracted to a pool (such as children), which could fall under the legal doctrine of attractive nuisance.
The second thing that would need to be established in a premises liability claim is that the duty of care that was owed was breached. Owners who act in some of the aforementioned examples of negligence may be found to have breached the duty of care and were, therefore, negligent.
The third thing is connecting the breach in the duty of care to the injuries sustained, and that they were serious enough that it warrants the pursuit of a claim or wrongful death lawsuit. This will require showing evidence of the severity of the injuries, with which a Long Island injury attorney can assist.
A Long Island Injury Lawyer Can Help with Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Premises liability or wrongful death cases can be very complicated. It helps to have legal counsel with a Long Island injury lawyer. An attorney can evaluate the details of the circumstances to determine if there is a viable claim worth pursuing following a swimming pool drowning accident.