Drowning accidents take the lives of nearly a dozen Americans each day. When these incidents happen, victims often ask themselves questions such as:
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, otherwise known as the CDC, is one of the federal agencies responsible for reporting on drowning accidents in the United States. Their reports have identified some clear causes of many aquatic accidents, including those that end in a drowning death; we cover the most prominent ones below.
According to the CDC, lack of experience in the water is one of the most common causes of drowning. This risk factor is not only present in children but also in adults.
Children, namely those in the 1-4 age range, are the most likely to become drowning victims. With younger children, the settings where drowning can occur include bathtubs, buckets, and swimming pools. The smaller size of these swimmers can also make them less visible even to trained lifeguards.
The consumption of alcohol and other drugs near the water can significantly increase the risk of drowning. Swimmers who are intoxicated can become disoriented or even lose consciousness, both circumstances which may prevent them from resurfacing after going under.
When conditions are treacherous, even experienced swimmers can become drowning victims. The use of a personal floatation device, or PFD, can truly make the difference between life and death.
PFDs are particularly vital when participating in water sports or while boating. If the driver or passenger of a watercraft is ejected, regardless of other injuries they may suffer, they will be guaranteed to remain above the surface.
Health disorders are yet another common cause of drowning incidents. Seizures, for example, can cause an individual to drown. In fact, per the CDC, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with a large number of these occurring in bathtubs.
While a drowning death is the worst result imaginable for a day at the pool, there are many other types of personal injury that can result. The most commonly encountered ones are:
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common types of swimming pool injuries. In many cases, this type of personal injury results from an individual diving head-first into a pool, not realizing it is much more shallow than they expect.
Since many are accustomed to diving head-first into pools or other bodies of water, it is often the head and brain which take the brunt of the hit when an impact with the bottom occurs.
Bone fractures, as well as ligament tears and sprains, are yet another type of personal injury often encountered in a pool.
Many of these accidents take place outside of the pool itself; this is because the surface surrounding a swimming pool can become quite slippery when water splashes and pools, leaving slick puddles. Slip and fall incidents occur regularly and often result in fractures and ligament damage.
There are valid reasons why electrical devices should be present inside of and around a pool. Namely, lighting is quite important when it comes to avoiding a swimming pool accident.
However, faulty wiring as a result of poor installation or a lack of maintenance can lead to deadly electrical shocks. What makes these instances much more dangerous is the fact that victims have little to no warning of the risk. They may simply jump into a pool or step in a puddle barefoot and suffer a deadly electrical shock.
It's safe to say that any drowning accident is an unintentional drowning. However, with how serious the repercussions can be when we've lost a loved one in a drowning death, it's only normal for surviving family members to seek justice.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, there are a number of legal actions you may take. Filing a personal injury lawsuit is one option that can help victims seek compensation for the damages they suffered. A wrongful death claim can also be effective in drowning deaths.
What may cause confusion is establishing who a legal claim may be filed against. In fact, depending on the nature of a case, a lawsuit may be filed against the owner of the pool, the manufacturer of a faulty swimming pool gate, a pool construction or designing company, or perhaps even a real estate developer.
It may also be the case that more than one of these individuals or entities may be deemed responsible in drowning cases. The legal code surrounding drowning deaths can be extremely complex which is why individuals researching drowning cases are widely encouraged to seek the help of personal injury attorneys.
A personal injury law firm experienced in drowning cases will be intimately familiar with the relevant legal code for drownings in your state. Such a law firm will also be staffed with dedicated drowning lawyers who can discuss your case previous to you retaining them.
It's not realistic to expect a "dollar amount" estimate for your case before it is actually litigated. This is because there are many factors that influence the final settlement amount or compensation awarded by a court. For example, the victim's age, the extent of physical and emotional damages, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of consortium and other aspects may be considered as damages in a case.
Our drowning accident lawyers are fully prepared to analyze your case and explain your legal options in a free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys have been fighting for the rights of accident victims throughout New Jersey for years; they want to help you, too.