Swimming pools are a great source of fun. Floating around, relaxing, or exercising are great ways to spend the long hours and hot days of summer. On the surface, pools look both peaceful and inviting; however, pools can be dangerous and even deadly. A family that has suffered a drowning or near drowning can be devastated. The medical bills can be enormous and the mental anguish can last a lifetime if a loved one is involved. Therefore we believe that hiring a swimming pool accident attorney can be very helpful if there has been a serious injury or death in a swimming pool, hot tub or any other major source of water. Examples can be found at an apartment, beach, hotel, water park, country club, camp, private home or community pool. A proper Investigation of your case can make the difference between getting the justice you deserve or walking away with nothing.
Facts and causes of injuries or death.
According to the CDC, from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
Faulty lamp, pumps, equipment, wiring, grounding or bonding in a swimming pool has been known to cause serious injury and death. Inadequate warning signs (No diving, No lifeguards, dangerous water, etc.), improper safety equipment, inadequate fencing, gate, latches, or barrier around pools, spas, and whirlpools,
diving board malfunctions, slide defects, ladder defects, missing lifeguards or poorly trained lifeguards,
poorly enclosed pool drains, spas and whirlpools, electrical shock, toxic pool chemicals and burns, shallow water diving, water clarity, inadequate alarm or cover, attractive nuisance, unsafe drain – suction entrapment,
failure to provide life jackets, excessive alcohol, lack of supervision, unsafe pool design, boating accidents, lack of emergency equipment available, delay in proper emergency response, unsafe water ride, and many other causes. A drowning attorney can help you evaluate your case.
What types of swimming pool injuries or drowning justify our involvement?
We will look at drowning, near drowning, and spinal cord cases nationwide. We have the capacity to work with teams of experts in other states. However, as a swimming pool accident attorney team, we only focus and concentrate on cases involving serious injury and/or death. The reason being is that these types of cases can be very costly to pursue and costly to litigate. A drowning lawsuit may require several experts to present your case properly so it must be justified by selecting only serious injury or death cases. Therefore, even if there is a 3rd party at fault a drowning lawyer will require proof of severe permanent injury in the medical documentation (Discharge Summary or Medical Records) prior to sending a contract and medical authorization to evaluate the case any further.
A few common safety rules for around the pool.
First and foremost, you should never leave a child unsupervised in or near a pool. Even 20 seconds may be too long for a child to be alone in the water. Learning how to swim at an early age is the best defense against drowning. The National Safety Council recommends that children take swimming lessons at 3 years old. Even if your child knows how to swim, an adult should always be present. Non swimmers who use rafts or other personal flotation devices can become separated from them and drown.
Parents can help prevent drownings by preparing for an emergency. They can learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The American Red Cross recommends CPR training for any person in charge of a child. For extra safety, the Red Cross recommends a few extra precautions. Don’t leave objects, such as boxes or benches, outside a pool fence that could enable a child to climb over. Make sure fences have openings less than 4 inches wide. If your house borders one side of the pool, lock the doors that lead to the pool area.
Pool drains can also be hazardous. Pumps draw water from a pool drain through suction, and suction can increase if the drain is blocked. For that reason, children should never go near drains, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to avoid any possibility that they could become trapped underwater by the drain’s suction.
You should install multiple drains in pools to minimize the suction at any one location. Drain covers should be secure and have no cracks, and you should know where to locate the manual cut-off switch for the pool’s pumps in case of emergency.
Install a fence at least 5 feet high on all sides of the pool with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Keep rescue equipment such as a pole, kickboards, and life preservers close to the pool. Have a telephone near the pool and also resuscitation instructions nearby. Keep your eyes on all children at all times when they’re in the pool. Keep the area around the pool clean so you have a clear view of the bottom. If possible, use a pool cover when it’s not in use.
Dry drowning, also called secondary drowning, can occur after a child has experienced a near-drowning incident. It can lead to brain injury, respiratory problems and death. Symptoms can include coughing, vomiting, fever, and gasping. A child is at risk even if they ingest only a “few gasps” of water in a pool incident. Children can start showing symptoms of dry drowning 24 to 48 hours after inhaling water. A parent who notices symptoms should take the child to an emergency room. A doctor may need to drain the lungs.
What damages will your swimming pool accident lawyer ask for in an injury or drowning lawsuit?
Being a lawyer for over 30 years, I can say that a drowning attorney should make seeking money damages as compensation for those who are wrongfully injured or killed a top priority. Although my firm cannot absolutely guarantee a recovery in every case, money damages that are requested by a drowning lawyer for a drowning accident victim may possibly include money for a victims past and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical and mental impairment, medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pre-judgment and post judgment interest. In addition, compensation in select cases may also be awarded for loss of consortium, loss of household services, loss of services of a minor child, loss of part of the body, loss of mental and intellectual functioning, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of inheritance, bystander emotional and mental anguish, loss of chance, pecuniary loss, loss of love and affection, and funeral and burial expenses. Furthermore punitive damages may possibly be sought in drowning lawsuit cases where the responsible party was grossly negligent or acted intentionally. The damages requested will depend on which State laws apply. It may also depend on if State or Federal filing has occurred in addition to many other factors.
Drowning lawsuit preparation.
A swimming pool accident lawyer should rely on intensive case preparation which may involve one or all of the following:
Drowning lawsuit preparation involves accident scene investigation with photographs, all witnesses are interviewed, medical records are retrieved, experts in the medical, economic, reconstructive, and many other fields may be interviewed and/or retained. State of the art demonstrative evidence may also be compiled, including computer simulations or reenactments, medical illustrations, flow charts on damages, scaled models, and day in the life video projections may be produced. We have nationwide networking capabilities with the capacity of using national database exchanges. A swimming pool accident attorney should prepare your case with comprehensive legal and factual investigations. We have a reputation for being committed to the highest ethical standards. Our relationships with our clients are always privileged. Everything the law firm learns about you may remain confidential, and your swimming accident lawyer should honor and preserve the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship. Therefore, open disclosure of all the information by our clients is highly encouraged. We will also remain on call for you 24 hours for emergencies and home or hospital visits can be arranged, if requested. Transportation can be provided and arranged for you for all necessary visits.
Our overriding principle belief is the fact that we believe that drowning, near drowning and spinal cord victims deserve compensation. As a result, a swimming pool accident attorney should strive to recover maximum cash damages for victims that are injured through no fault of their own. A majority of these cases should settle before trial. However, if a fair cash settlement is not offered, we may proceed to file a lawsuit in an effort to force a fair payment in your case. Most importantly, we believe in fighting for you until you get the justice you deserve.