Gathering evidence directly following a swimming pool drowning accident is vital if the incident in question was caused by the fault or negligence of someone else. The aftermath of this type of incident is emotionally and otherwise challenging because odds are significant a person lost their life or was injured severely. Nonetheless, as an experienced swimming pool drowning accident lawyer will tell you, gathering as much evidence regarding the incident as soon as possible can result in a stronger claim for justice, accountability, and compensation.
There are seven important steps to take to document properly a swimming pool drowning accident:
- Seek a Medical Examination
- Notify Authorities
- Interview Witnesses
- Photograph or Video the Scene
- Examine Circumstances Surrounding Incident
- Preserve Any Physical Evidence
- Collect Insurance Paperwork and Related Documents
- Obtain Legal Assistance
If the incident involved a nonfatal drowning, the individual who suffered this type of water emergency must seek medical attention. First of all, the drowning accident victim needs to be examined to make certain that he or she will not fall victim to secondary drowning. Secondary drowning occurs when an individual has taken on some water as a result of the accident but does not immediately exhibit any symptoms of injury. There are plenty of grim situations in which people who thought they were uninjured following an incident of this nature end up suffering secondary drowning and end up losing their lives. In addition, if a claim is to be pursued following a negligently caused drowning accident, an initial medical examination will be vital to that process.
Contact local law enforcement and emergency services right away to report any injuries or fatalities related to the drowning incident. The police will also likely conduct an investigation into what happened and obtain statements from witnesses in order to determine liability.
If there were any witnesses present at the time of the incident it is important to interview them in order to get their account of what happened before, during, and after the incident itself. Witnesses should be asked detailed questions about events leading up to and after they noticed something was wrong with the victim, if possible. In this day and age, thanks to technology, statements from witnesses can be videoed on mobile devices.
Speaking of mobile devices, when gathering evidence following a swimming pool drowning accident, photograph or video the entirety of the scene. Ideally, obtain images or video the area from different vantage points.
Any other relevant factors that may have contributed directly or indirectly towards an individual's accidental drowning should be examined as thoroughly as possible. This can include whether or not proper safety measures were followed prior, during, or after the drowning accident.
Take steps to preserve any evidence related to the incident such as clothing worn by the victim or debris found in or around the pool area that could provide clues as to what happened. If possible, store these items in a safe place until further investigation can be done by law enforcement agencies or other professionals.
Collect insurance paperwork: Make sure you obtain copies of all relevant insurance documents such as homeowner's policies. Obtain lifeguard certification, if applicable, before leaving the scene.
Finally, in the aftermath of a swimming pool drowning accident in which you were injured or a loved one was injured or died, you are wise to make prompt contact with an experienced lawyer. You can connect with a dedicated swimming pool drowning accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm any time by calling us at (800) 349-0000. We keep our swimming pool accident telephone line staffed 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, including all major holidays.
When a loved one is involved in a pool accident, a drowning attorney from the firm works closely alongside the family to help them through this emotional time. Attorney Jimmy Doan and his team of legal professionals review each case, gathering evidence to hold the right individuals responsible and recover the maximum monetary compensation possible. The firm is dedicated to helping pool accident victims and their families and is available 24/7 to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.