Accidental drowning cases represent a significant issue in the United States. An average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings not related to a boating accident occur each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, an additional 330-plus people are drowned as the result of boating accidents or incidents of one type or another.
About 20 percent of all accidental drowning cases in the United States involve children under the age of 14. Thousands more individuals of all ages are involved in nonfatal drowning incidents annually. Of this number, about 50 percent of nonfatal drowning victims require additional hospitalization beyond treatment in an emergency department.
Establishing Negligence in a Drowning Case
The reality is that not all drowning cases result in someone being held legally liable for an injury or a death. In order for a person, or some other legal entity, to be deemed responsible for causing a drowning, that individual or entity must have what is known as a duty of care to the victim injured or killed by drowning. This holds true for both a personal injury as well as wrongful death or lawsuit.
The first element that must be proven to demonstrate negligence in a drowning case is what legally is known as a duty of care. An illustration can assist to explain a duty of care in a drowning case.
Assume that a homeowner with a residential pool permits children to swim. In the alterative, consider a public pool at which community residents can swim. In both cases, the person or entity that opened the pool to the public, or a segment of the public, has a duty of care. Specifically, person in either situation as a duty of care to ensure that the pool and its environs is reasonable safe.
The next element that must be demonstrated is a breach of the duty of care. Considering both scenarios, assume that the person responsible for the pool failed to keep a property safety cover on the pool's primary drain. Further assume that a child swims down to the drain to investigate and ends up with his or her foot trapped in it.
The person responsible for the pool breached the duty of care by failing to keep the pool drain cover in place. Failing to keep the drain secure left swimmers, including children, exposed to what could be a major potential risk.
Another element that must be demonstrated is that the breach of the duty is the proximate cause of the accident. In the case of the unprotected pool drain, a child getting his or her foot caught in the drain and then drowning helps to illustrate proximate cause. The breach of the duty by leaving the drain unprotected is the reason a child caught his or her foot caught in the drain. The child's drowning is a foreseeable result of that breach of duty.
Finally, the individual in question must experience an actual injury, damage, or loss. The end result of the open drain and drowning scenario delineates an actual injury.
A person with questions about the elements of a negligence case can obtain more information from a drowning accident attorney at The Doan Law Firm by calling 800-349-0000. The telephone hotline maintained by The Doan Law Firm operates 24 hours a day.
Drowning and Wrongful Death
In the aftermath of a drowning death caused by someone else's negligence, certain surviving family members can pursue what is known as wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit permits certain surviving family members to obtain compensation for:
- loss of companionship
- loss of consortium
- funeral expenses
- medical bills
- lost income
- emotional distress
The laws in each state establish which family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members who oftentimes can bring this type of lawsuit include:
Drowning and Personal Injury
A drowning incident does not always result in a victim of someone else's negligence dying. In some cases, a person can suffer injuries and losses of different types. These can include:
- medical bills
- pain and suffering
- lost wages
- emotional distress
Drowning and Brain Damage
Sadly, a significant number of drowning accident cases result in the victim of someone else's negligence suffering permanent brain damage. In the case of a person suffering brain damage because of someone else's negligence, the losses are significant.
A person with brain damage requires specialized medical and other types of care for the rest of his or her life. In addition, that individual suffers other damages that can include lost income, lost opportunities, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, to name some of the more obvious losses.
A drowning accident lawyer from The Doan Law Firm is available by calling 800-349-0000 to discuss the essential elements of pursuing a case for compensation when a person endures brain damage because of a drowning incident caused by someone else.
Retain a Drowning Accident Lawyer
A person injured because of a drowning accident, or the family members of a person killed because of drowning incident, best protests is or her rights and interests by engaging the services of a skilled, experienced drowning accident lawyer. The legal team at The Doan Law Firm includes skilled drowning accident attorneys.
An initial consultation can be scheduled immediately with a drowning accident attorney at The Doan Law Firm. An appointment can be made by calling 800-349-0000. The telephone at the firm is answered around the clock, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, including on all major holidays.
During an initial consultation, a drowning accident lawyer provides a general evaluation of a drowning case. In addition, an attorney answers any questions of a person seeking legal assistance. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a drowning accident lawyer from The Doan Law Firm.