Chicago Drowning Lawyer
Swimming pools provide an excellent source of recreation for children and adults in the summer heat. However, if a pool is maintained improperly or lack adequate staffing, it can create the ideal environment for submersion injuries or drowning accidents.
Injuries can result from a poorly designed indoor and outdoor pool or defective public and private pool equipment. These dangerous conditions create the perfect environment for submersion injuries or a drowning accident.
Hiring a Chicago Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent families with pool injuries and drownings in Chicago. Our Illinois swimming pool accident lawyers have experience working on all types of cases involving negligent supervision, design, and maintenance.
Our law firm will do what it takes to thoroughly investigate and prosecute your case to ensure all parties are fully accountable for their acts under Illinois law. Call us, or complete the online contact form, for a free case review.
Our swimming pool accident attorneys represent individuals and families who have been injured or killed in dangerous condition accidents throughout Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan.
If the water hazard creates a life-threatening situation, young children and adults might require CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). The severity of injuries sustained in pool accidents ranges from bumps and scrapes to spinal cord injuries, disembowelment, brain injury, and drowning deaths.
Overcrowded Facilities and Poorly Trained Staff Contribute to Swimming Pool Accidents & Drownings
Overcrowded conditions and poorly trained staff are common causes of pool accidents, dangerous conditions, and drowning accidents. Small children in a crowded pool area can quickly drown or suffer serious injuries, head trauma, and brain damage.
Deadly accidents occur with a lack of supervision in deep and shallow water at:
- Public pools
- Amusement Parks
- Water parks
- Lakeside resorts
- Backyard pools
- Commercial pool
- Hotel pools
- Private club pool
Not all tragic accidents occur when others are around open water. Property owners, public pool and water park managers, and other pool owners in the United States can be held legally accountable by the attractive nuisance doctrine.
The doctrine requires pool owners to deny small children and young adults access to a water area to prevent a drowning accident that could lead to a serious injury, including brain damage, broken bones, drowning, or wrongful death.
Lifeguards monitoring lots of swimmers can quickly get distracted, missing a critical clue that something might be wrong. People continually getting in and out of a pool spread water over walking areas.
Wet areas around the pool can lead to fall accidents if the slippery pool surround is poorly constructed or out of compliance with applicable building code. Poorly trained lifeguards may become quickly distracted, putting you or your loved ones at risk.
If a child is injured and unable to come to the surface for air, the extra time that it can take to notice may make the difference between a successful rescue and the loss of the child's life.
Nobody can be sure what kind of training the lifeguards at their local pool received. It is hard to guess whether the lifeguard in charge of their children's well-being is qualified.
Improperly Maintained Pools
If a pool is not cleaned regularly, the water may become murky, leading to accidents that result from people not seeing others when they jump in the pool. Contaminated water could also make people sick.
If a pool is not properly chlorinated, it is easy to pass diseases between children. If you take your child swimming and the water appears to be dirty, it is best to find another source of water or activity rather than take a risk with your child's health or well-being.
Defective Drains and Equipment at Swimming Pools
Public pools may have defective gates and fences, improperly marked shallow and deep ends and poorly designed diving boards. Diving board accidents can cause severe injuries to the head or spine and leave the person paralyzed.
These accidents can also lead to drowning if the child is not rescued in time.
Defective pool drains have been known to trap people at the bottom of a pool, and if the person goes unnoticed, they may drown. Rare instances of disembowelment have occurred as well because of defective drains, leaving both the drainpipe manufacturer and the pool operator legally liable for any unintentional injury or death that resulted from defective equipment.
Backyard Swimming Pool Accidents in Illinois
A serious incident is far more likely to occur at the home of a friend or neighbor than a similar event at a public facility. Most homeowners lack the training that is required to help when an adult or child begins to struggle in the water.
Moreover, most backyard pools lack warning signs or safety equipment compared to larger facilities. Consequently, accessible water areas at home, camps, apartment complexes, and private clubs are the most dangerous recreational options.
Because many of these incidents involve homeowner negligence, financial compensation coverage is likely available under the homeowner's policy. This type of claim protects the financial interest of the homeowner, who might be a friend of the victim.
Taking Legal Action Against the Property Owner
When a drowning accident occurs on the property of another individual or entity, the incident is covered under premises liability law. A premises liability claim allows the individual or family to file a claim against the property owner to recover compensation for their injuries or fatalities.
In the case of a private pool drowning, the incident is usually covered under the property owner's homeowners insurance coverage. When the incident involves a business or municipality, the drowning may likely be covered under a general liability insurance policy.
An example of a recent drowning accident lawsuit was reported by the Chicago Tribune. In December 2018, a Chicago area jury awarded $21.5 million to the family members of a young boy who drowned in a Bridgeview pool four years earlier. That same year, local law enforcement investigated a drowning death involving a small child found lifeless in a pool in Park Forest.
The cases were handled by pool accident attorneys who filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family member survivors.
Legal Assistance Following a Drowning at Illinois Swimming Pools and Lake
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the last decade, there were over 3,200 fatal unintentional drownings in the U.S.
Approximately 20% of children age fourteen years and younger are involved in a drowning death. Five times that number of near-drowning accident victims required emergency department care to treat their submersion injuries.
Was someone you love an injured drowning victim or killed in a commercial/private pool or accessible lake?
If so, it is vital that you know your rights and take legal action now. You may be entitled to damages that include the cost of medical treatment, pain and suffering, and potentially punitive damages due to negligence on behalf of the pool owner or staff.
Contact our law firm for a free consultation with a Chicago swimming pool accident attorney.
Swimming Pool Drowning FAQs
How Do Most Drownings Occur?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), numerous factors lead to drowning injuries in the United States, including fatal and non-fatal drownings. Most tragic drownings involve:
- A lack of swimming training
- Pool owner’s failure to barricade the pool
- No supervision by parents or lifeguards with swimming experience
- Not wearing life jackets while boating, skiing, and swimming
- Alcohol or drug impairment
Product liability were pool equipment and drain covers are not professionally installed causing entrapment and electrocution
Failure to follow water safety regulations when boating, skiing, or jet skiing.
Many accidental drowning victims require immediate medical attention in an emergency room setting Followed by hospitalization to deal with life-altering problems.
How many pool drownings happen each year?
Swimming pool drowning statistics maintained by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission show that many swimmers have drowned in shallow waters within minutes in residential swimming pools when a swimming pool owner failed to provide supervision.
Nearly 400 individuals die every year in hot tub and swimming pool drownings in the U.S. Most swimming pool drowning victims are males fourteen years old and younger. Nearly ten percent of all child drowning fatalities happen in portable pools.
What Happens to the Body After Drowning?
The bodies of drowning victims will decompose while underwater when bacterial enzymes begin breaking down soft tissue and blood vessels. If the water is cold, it can slow the decomposition process down while the body bloats, purges, and begins to decay.
Bodies submerged in extremely cold water often do not decompose because bacterial enzymes are not active in near icy waters.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for an Illinois drowning accident?
In Illinois, the family of a drowning victim generally has two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the property owner or other responsible parties. However, there may be exceptions to this law depending on the ownership of the facility.
A legal claim against a municipality might be shortened and have other procedural requirements that must be complied with in order to proceed. Consequently, you should consult with an experienced attorney who has experience with drowning accidents.
How do you prove negligence in a drowning lawsuit?
In order to obtain a financial recovery in a personal injury claim involving a drowning, you have the burden of establishing the individual or entity that you are suing was negligent. Because most drowning cases involve failure to supervise or staff inattention, our lawyers may retain expert witnesses in the areas of pool safety and lifeguarding to establish the standard of care and explain to a judge or jury where errors were made.
How much is a drowning case worth?
The value of a drowning accident case is comprised of economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses for past and future medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
In the case of a drowning fatality, the family of the deceased can recover damages for their loss by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Get a Free Consultation With a Chicago, IL Pool Drowning Accident Lawyer
The Chicago, Illinois swimming pool accident and drowning attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have built a reputation as successful lawyers that protect both the interests of clients. The personal injury attorneys give every case the respect and attention that it deserves.
To learn more about your rights, call our premises liability lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or contact us through the online form to set up a risk-free consultation to discuss your rights to file a lawsuit or claim. All contact and discussions with our personal injury lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
All necessary documentation and paperwork must be filed in the appropriate county courthouse before the statute of limitations expires.
Attorney Jonathan Rosenfeld has taken numerous lifesaving Red Cross classes and is experienced in successful swimming pool accident litigation. In addition to being a successful accident lawyer, Rosenfeld is an experienced lifelong age-group, high school, and college swimmer at Lehigh University.