Houston Drowning Accident Lawyer
Standing Up for You & Your Family
Houston is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Texas. During the sweltering Texas heat, many vacationers and locals alike will head to the swimming pool or the bay. Unfortunately, when safety is not kept as the top priority, swimming pool and drowning accidents can and do happen.
At The Doan Law Firm, we are proud to be one of the state’s most trusted law firms for drowning accident and near-drowning accident claims. If you lost a loved one or were seriously injured while swimming on someone else’s property in or around Houston, then we want to hear from you.
Call our swimming pool accident hotline now: (800) 349-0000.
What is a Drowning Accident?
A drowning accident refers to an incident in which a person dies due to suffocation or asphyxiation caused by submersion in water. Drowning can occur in various aquatic environments, including swimming pools, lakes, rivers, oceans, and even in bathtubs. It is a significant cause of unintentional injury and death worldwide, and understanding its common causes is essential for prevention.
Here are some common causes of drowning accidents:
- Inadequate supervision: Lack of proper supervision is one of the leading causes of drowning accidents, especially in children. Children can quickly get into trouble in the water, so constant and attentive supervision by responsible adults is crucial.
- Lack of swimming ability: Inability to swim or inadequate swimming skills can put individuals at risk in the water. People who are not confident swimmers should avoid deep or fast-moving waters without proper flotation devices.
- Unfamiliar environments: Swimming in unfamiliar or unpredictable natural water settings can increase the risk of drowning, as individuals may not be aware of the hazards or currents in the area.
- Alcoholic or drug use: The use of alcohol and drugs impairs judgment and coordination, making individuals more susceptible to drowning. Intoxicated individuals may take unnecessary risks in the water and have reduced reaction times.
- Reckless behavior: Engaging in reckless activities, such as diving into shallow water, jumping from heights, or horseplay in the water, can lead to injuries or drowning. These behaviors should be avoided.
- Seizures or medical conditions: Individuals with a history of seizures or certain medical conditions may be at risk of drowning if an episode occurs while they are in the water. It is important for individuals with such conditions to take precautions and be supervised.
- Rip currents: In coastal areas, rip currents can pull swimmers away from the shore and exhaust them. Swimmers caught in a rip current should not fight it but swim parallel to the shore until they are out of the current.
- Inadequate safety measures: Pools, lakes, and other recreational water facilities should have safety measures in place, such as lifeguards, fencing, and life-saving equipment. The absence of these precautions can increase the risk of drowning.
- Boating accidents: Drowning accidents can also occur in boating mishaps. This includes capsizing, falling overboard, or collisions. Proper boating safety practices are essential to reduce the risk of drowning in these situations.
- Hypothermia: In cold water, hypothermia can set in quickly, impairing an individual's ability to swim and think clearly, which can lead to drowning.
Child Drowning Deaths in Texas
Year after year, Texas has more child drowning deaths than any other state in the country. Many of these accidental drownings happen in swimming pools, rivers, bays, or the ocean during recreational get-togethers. With better care and property security, though, nearly all these deaths should be entirely preventable.
Quick facts about Texas child drowning deaths:
- Most child drowning deaths in Texas are suffered by small children aged between 1 and 4.
- Drowning deaths are the leading cause of fatalities suffered by children aged between 1 and 4.
- Home swimming pools are the sites of the most child drowning deaths in Texas.
The risk of a swimming injury or drowning death increases when there is poor supervision of children near pools. Improper pool gates and barriers also make it extremely dangerous for children to be near the body of water. A lack of lifesaving equipment near swimming pools has also been directly linked to a higher chance of swimming pool fatalities.
Where Swimming Pool Accidents Happen
As mentioned, the largest number of swimming pool accidents happen in residential swimming pools, like those in privately owned backyards. At these pools, there is no lifeguard posted to look for trouble. Also, there are rarely any gates and floatation devices.
Other drowning accidents in Houston happen at:
- Apartment complex swimming pools
- Hotel swimming pools
- Public swimming pools
- Open water like a bay or river
Don’t Assume Hotel Swimming Pools are Safe
It is surprising to learn that many resorts and hotels do not hire lifeguards to watch their pools when visitors are present. Instead of taking the time and resources to train a lifeguard, such resorts will just hang up a sign that says there is no lifeguard on duty, so guests must swim at their own risk. For many people who are staying at the hotel on vacation, seeing a professionally maintained swimming pool makes them assume that it must have a lifeguard or at least staff members nearby to help in an emergency. This illusion of safety can contribute to a significant risk of accidental drownings there.
Residential Swimming Pool Dangers
Children who are allowed to go near a swimming pool on private properties must always be supervised by an adult. When a child goes into a residential swimming pool, an adult must go into the pool with them, too. If these basic safety rules are not followed, then the risk of a child drowning in a residential swimming pool can be steep. Homeowners who don’t do enough to make sure that children in or near their pools can be held liable for any swimming pool accidents or drownings there.
Who is Liable for a Drowning Accident in Houston?
In Texas, liability for a drowning accident, like in many other jurisdictions, can be a complex legal matter. Liability depends on the specific circumstances of the incident, the parties involved, and the applicable laws.
Here are some potential parties who may be held liable for a drowning accident in Texas:
- Property Owners: Property owners, such as homeowners or businesses that own and operate swimming pools, lakes, or other aquatic facilities, may be held liable if they fail to maintain a safe environment. This includes maintaining proper fencing, warning signs, and safety measures to prevent unauthorized access to the water.
- Operators and Managers of Aquatic Facilities: Those responsible for managing and operating swimming pools, water parks, or other aquatic facilities have a duty to ensure the safety of visitors. If they neglect their responsibilities or fail to implement appropriate safety measures, they may be held liable.
- Lifeguards and Supervisors: Lifeguards and supervisors at swimming pools or aquatic facilities are expected to monitor swimmers and provide assistance in emergencies. If they are negligent in their duties, their actions or inactions could result in liability.
- Product Manufacturers: In some cases, if a drowning accident is caused by a defect in a product, such as a faulty life jacket or safety equipment, the manufacturer or distributor of the product may be held liable for producing a defective or unsafe product.
- Individuals: In cases of negligence or recklessness, individuals who cause or contribute to a drowning accident may be held liable. For example, if someone engages in dangerous horseplay, pushes another person into the water, or fails to provide assistance when needed, they may be held legally responsible.
- Parents or Guardians: In cases involving minors, parents or guardians may be held liable for the actions of their children if they were negligent in supervising their children or allowing them to engage in unsafe activities near water.
- Government Entities: If a drowning accident occurs in a public pool or another facility owned and operated by a government entity, such as a city or county, the government may be held liable if it is determined that they were negligent in maintaining the facility or providing proper supervision.
- Event Organizers: If the drowning accident occurs during a public event, such as a water sports competition or a recreational event near water, the event organizers may be held liable if they failed to implement safety measures or if the event was poorly organized.
It's important to note that the specific circumstances of each drowning accident will determine who may be held liable, and liability cases can be complex. To establish liability, it must generally be shown that the responsible party owed a duty of care to the victim, that they breached that duty through negligence or wrongful conduct, and that this breach of duty was a proximate cause of the drowning accident.
We Want to Fight for You – Call Now
The Doan Law Firm and our Houston swimming pool accident attorney are here to help you use your rights and honor your loved one’s memory if you lost them to a swimming pool accident. You can schedule an appointment at our law office, or you can plan a meeting at your home or office if that fits your schedule better. We also can use the best modern technology to conduct virtual consultations that let you speak with our legal team from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.
When we are working on your case, you will have peace of mind in knowing that we are focused on your best interests, first and foremost. To this end, we don’t charge any attorney fees unless we end your case in a favorable settlement or award, which makes our legal services highly affordable for everyone.
Take the first step. Call our Houston drowning death lawyer at (800) 349-0000 now.