Chicago Drowning Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one injured in a drowning accident? If so, you may have many questions about what to do next.
An expert drowning accident lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve for your near-drowning injuries.
A premises liability attorney will help you navigate the legal system and safeguard your rights. They can also assist you in obtaining the medical care you require to bounce back from your injuries.
Contact a personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, at (888) 424-5757 now. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our drowning accident lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What Is the Drowning Accident Injury?
A drowning accident can refer to various water-related accidents, most notably those occurring while swimming. It can also include boating accidents and slip and fall accidents near a pool or other bodies of water.
World Health Organization (WHO) data indicates drowning kills 372,000 people each year, making it one of the world’s leading causes of unintentional injury deaths.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States for people aged 1-14 years old. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning kills more children aged 1-4 years old than any other cause except congenital disabilities.
Drowning mishaps can cause serious pool drowning injuries, including:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowning accident, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
According to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, more than two-thirds of all drowning patients seen in emergency departments require hospitalization, and more than 20% of those patients require intensive care.
Who Is Most Susceptible to Drowning?
Anyone can be susceptible to a drowning disaster, but some individuals are at a higher risk than others.
Unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1-4 years old in the United States.
Seniors account for almost one-third of all fatal drowning mishaps. It may be due, in part, to their increased susceptibility to slips and falls, which results in serious injury.
People With Physical Disabilities
People with physical disabilities are more likely to experience a drowning incident, as they may have difficulty moving or swimming in water.
People Who Cannot Swim
Nearly 80% of all fatal drowning disasters occur in people who cannot swim.
If you fit into any of these categories, it is important to take extra precautions when swimming or engaging in other water activities. Always swim with a buddy, wear a life jacket, and be aware of your surroundings.
There Are Three Main Types of Drowning Victims
Distressed swimmers in private and public pools, hot tubs, open water, or water parks at recreational centers can drown quickly. In addition, the distressed swimmer shows signs of physical or emotional harm, causing them to panic and drown.
Active Drowning Victim
Active drowning victims suffer severe anxiety While still able to breathe and often scream for help while trying to stay afloat.
Deadly Drowning Victim
A deadly drowning victim is someone who has already drowned and is no longer conscious or breathing.
The instinctive drowning response is a survival mechanism brought on by fear when a person begins drowning. These panicked, injured victims instinctively try to hold their breath and keep their heads above water.
This response can lead people to mistakenly believe they are safe and swim out of the situation. But it sometimes leads to even death.
In many cases, secondary drowning can occur when the swimmer experiences complications minutes or hours after their drowning accident.
For example, problems can arise when the Injured victim has inhaled water, irritating the lungs, which can hinder their ability to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream.
Data shows that approximately half of all drowning victims treated after their near-drowning accident are hospitalized for additional care and treatment. However, most of these injury victims survive.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Drowning Accidents?
Many factors can contribute to watercraft accidents. However, the most common causes of near-drowning accidents include:
- Swimming in an unsupervised area is the leading cause of drowning cases for children.
- Not following posted swimming regulations, Swimmers can get into trouble if they ignore warning signs or swim in off-limits areas.
- Swimmers can be caught off guard by sudden weather changes, such as storms or high winds, not paying attention to weather conditions.
- Drinking alcohol can impair judgment and increase the risk of drowning.
- People with epilepsy are at an increased risk for drowning disasters with a seizure.
- Fatigued swimmers are more likely to drown as they may have difficulty staying afloat.
If you are swimming or engaging in other water activities, it is important to be aware of the risks and take precautions to stay safe. Always swim with a buddy, never swim alone, and be aware of your surroundings.
What Are the Risks of a Drowning Accident?
There are several risks associated with drowning mishaps, including:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Head injuries
What Can I Do If I Have Been Injured in a Drowning Accident?
If you have been injured in drowning incidents, there are a few steps you can take to protect your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Drowning incidents can cause serious injuries, and it is important to receive treatment for any injuries you may have sustained.
- Contact an experienced drowning accident attorney at our law firm. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and can assist you in filing a compensation claim.
- Keep all documentation related to the accident, including medical records, bills, police reports, and other documents related to the accident.
- Do not speak to the insurance company. The insurance company may contact you to get a statement or settlement offer. Do not speak to them without an attorney.
- Preserve the accident scene. If possible, do not disturb the accident scene and do not remove any evidence from the area.
Do Drowning Accidents Cause Long-Term Injuries?
This question is difficult to answer as each drowning mishap is unique, and the severity of the injuries will vary.
A journalist with The Columbus Dispatch, Julie Carr Smyth, provides a good answer to this question. In general, drowning accidents can cause some long-term injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Permanent neurological disability
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent disabilities
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
The survey also found that four in 10 nonfatal drowning survivors have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after their drowning misfortune.
Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention and legal help for injured victims of drowning. An experienced attorney can help you get the compensation injury claim you deserve for your injuries.
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
Since the tragic death of Virginia Graeme Baker in 2002, pool and spa safety has been a top priority for families with young children.
In response to Baker's death, Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, setting safety standards for public pools and spas.
While the law has undoubtedly saved lives, family members must understand how it works and stay vigilant about pool and spa safety.
Seeking Justice for a Drowning Wrongful Death
If you lost a loved one by drowning complications on someone else's property, family members might have the legal right to file a premises liability case or a compensation claim.
The following are a few examples of legal claims in drowning cases:
Surviving family members may file a claim against the property owner to prove that the property possessor was under negligent supervision and that this negligence led to the drowning death.
For example, if the owner did not post adequate signage or warnings about the dangers of swimming in the area, or if they did not take proper precautions to ensure the safety of swimmers, then they may be liable for compensation.
If the property owner was aware of a danger on their property and failed to take corrective action against personal injury cases, or if they knew of a hazardous condition and did not warn guests or tenants, they may be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If someone else's negligence caused the drowning death, the family might file wrongful accident claims. A wrongful death claim can provide compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and other damages related to the death.
Drowning accident attorneys are knowledgeable in all these legal areas and will guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Remember, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible after a drowning tragedy. The sooner the accident lawyers can begin investigating the case, the better chance they have of securing evidence and building a strong case on your behalf.
Drowning Risk – Location Matters
Drowning can happen almost anywhere there is water, whether a pool, the ocean, a river, or a lake. However, some locations pose a greater risk of drowning than others.
Cruise ships, for example, are notorious for their high number of drowning accidents. A study by voyagereport.com found more than 100 drownings on cruise ships between 2000 and 2014.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the following as high-risk locations for drowning:
If you plan to visit any of these locations, be aware of the dangers and take the necessary precautions to stay safe. For example, never enter a swimming pool or wade in water above your head, and always obey all safety signage and warnings to avoid any personal injury.
Who Is Liable for Preventable Drowning Deaths?
It is difficult to determine who is liable for preventable death in many cases. Multiple parties can be involved, including the landlord, lifeguard or swimming pool staff, and even the victim's surviving family members.
Drowning on Private Property
If a death occurs due to drowning on private property, such as someone's home or yard, the property owners may be liable. This liability is because the owner must ensure that their guests are safe and aware of any dangers on the property.
Drowning in Public Pools
If a death occurs in public pools, such as at a hotel or water park, the lifeguard or public pool staff may be liable for drowning victims’ death. However, owners of public and private swimming pools are responsible for ensuring the safety of guests and providing adequate supervision.
Boating / Watercraft Accident Drowning
The watercraft operator may be liable if a drowning incident occurs due to a boating or watercraft accident. It is because they are responsible for ensuring the safety of their passengers and taking all necessary precautions to avoid accidents.
If the boat owner or operator involved in a non-fatal drowning accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident or failed to provide life jackets, they may be held responsible.
Who Is Entitled to Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most cases, the victim's family can hire wrongful death attorneys. The family includes the victim's spouse, children, and parents.
If the victim was unmarried and had no children, then the victim's parents may be the only ones eligible to bring a lawsuit.
If the victim was a minor child, both the victim's parents and guardians may bring a lawsuit.
Families of drowning victims can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit depending on the state and the specific case. However, some of the most common injuries include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and consortium
What Needs to Be Done in an Emergency?
Drowning is a very real danger, and it's important to know what to do if you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is drowning.
A drowning accident law firm can help you with the process of filing a claim and getting the evidence and support you need to deal with your injury.
If you see someone drowning, follow these steps:
- Call for help.
- Throw a life preserver, ring, or another flotation device to the victim.
- If you can swim to the victim, do so, and keep their head above water.
- If the victim is not breathing, administer CPR.
- Stay with the victim until help arrives.
It is important to remember that you should never enter the water to try and save someone who is drowning. It can be extremely dangerous, and you may not be able to save the victim's life. Leave the rescue efforts to the professionals.
If you have been injured in a drowning disaster, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Benefits of Hiring Drowning Accident Lawyers
Speaking with knowledgeable personal injury attorneys is important if you have lost a loved one in a water-related accident.
A lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC law firm can help you understand your rights and may be able to help you file drowning lawsuits.
Our drowning attorney will also help you negotiate with insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.
The process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and challenging. That is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
Please contact our law firm for a free, no-obligation free consultation if you consider hiring a lawyer. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and answer any questions.