Drowning or Near Drowning AccidentWhile pools and other types of water features can provide much-needed relief on a hot day, pools can be dangerous for some. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every day, 10 people in the U.S. die from unintentional drowning accidents.

In addition to drowning being the one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States, near drowning experiences are also responsible for severe and permanent injuries. If you lost a loved one in a drowning accident, or if you loved one has been severely injured, seek legal counsel to pursue compensation.

Risk Factors Involved in Drowning Accidents

Many people who die from drowning in the United States are children, and the majority of children affected by drowning are those ages 14 and younger, reports the CDC. Children ages one through four have the highest drowning rates, and in 2009, more than 30 percent of children involved in a fatal accident ages one through four were killed by drowning.

Many drowning accidents in the United States are preventable, and many of the factors that influence a person’s risk of drowning include the following.

  • lack of fencing or other barriers around pools or sources of water.
  • lack of swimming ability.
  • lack of adult supervision around any source of water.
  • consumption of alcohol.
  • failure to utilize life vests or other flotation devices.

Adult supervision is one of the most important components of the prevention of drowning accidents amongst children.

Near Drowning Injuries

Near drowning experiences can be devastating, even though they do not result in death. Some who survive a near drowning accident have long-term health consequences related to brain damage from lack of oxygen during the event. This may lead to near drowning complications like learning disabilities, loss of basic functioning, memory problems, and a myriad of others. For some, these injuries are permanent.

If your loved one suffered a fatal drowning accident, or a near-drowning experience that resulted in a disability or other type of injury, you may be eligible to recover damages.

Who’s liable for your loved one’s drowning or near drowning accident?

The majority of drowning accidents are preventable, and many occur as a result of another person’s negligence or irresponsible actions. When a person dies or is injured in a swimming pool, the pool owner may be liable.

In New York, premises liability law requires property owners to maintain their property to a reasonably safe standard, and to ensure that the property is free of hazards for those who may enter it. Therefore, if a person was involved in a drowning accident that was the result of a property owner’s failure to maintain a standard of care, then the property owner may be liable.

Examples of a pool owner’s negligence are as follows. 

  • no fence around the pool.
  • not posting warning signs.
  • and, neglecting to keep surfaces around the pool free from debris and other objects.

In order for the owner to be liable, you must prove that the property owner knew, or should have known, of the potential danger and risk, and failed to deal with or remedy the unsafe condition, e.g., didn’t repair an uneven surface, didn’t put up a barrier, etc. And you must prove that the owner’s lack of action was the cause of the accident.

Take Legal Action Now

If you lost a loved one in a drowning accident, or if a family member has sustained serious injuries as a result of a near-drowning experience, compensation for medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and more may be in order. An attorney can provide guidance throughout the process of filing your claim, and can provide you with more information about what types of compensation you may recover.

At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., we can provide free case consultation to help you get started filing your claim. Call us now at 800-550-0000 or set up a consultation via our contact form.