Any family with children that lives near a body of water knows that drowning can happen in an instant. Children in beach areas are often taught how to swim and identify dangerous ocean conditions by the time that they’re toddlers, but that doesn’t guarantee safety.
Did you know that there are some circumstances in which you may have the right to sue for a drowning accident? While not all tragic accidental drownings are the fault of an outside party, some may be.
Keep reading to learn all about the conditions under which an accidental drowning may be pursued by the law.
How Can People Drown?
People can drown in an inch of water when under the right circumstances (though this is mostly true for children and people who are immobile or have certain medical conditions). This means that you don’t have to be near a body of water to drown.
Children can drown in toilet bowls, shallow bathtubs, kiddie pools, and even large buckets of water.
It’s most common to drown in a swimming pool or large body of water (like an ocean, lake, or river), but anywhere that there’s water drowning is a possibility, no matter how slim.
When someone drowns, it means that their lungs fill with water until they’re no longer able to breathe. Drowning is a silent killer, and sometimes onlookers (even professionals) can’t notice the signs until it’s too late.
What Makes an Accidental Drowning a Legal Issue?
Drowning is almost always accidental, but when we talk about accidental drowning we mean circumstances in which the drowning death could have been the result of negligence.
Most of the time, if the drowning happens at the family’s residence, it’s considered a tragedy but not a legal case (unless one family member chooses to sue another). With that in mind, if a child drowns when not under the care of a family member, or when they’re in public, it’s more complicated.
If a child drowns under the care of a babysitter or daycare, parents may have the right to sue. Caregivers should be given adequate training, so if a child drowns, it may be a sign that this didn’t happen.
This is also true for pools. Lifeguards, while often teenagers themselves, should be trained to recognize drowning and attempt to save the victim. If they don’t, you may have an accidental drowning case.
If your child falls into a neighbor’s pool, consider whether or not they had some kind of appropriate gate or covering around it. If they didn’t, they may be responsible for a child’s death.
There are many circumstances under which an accidental drowning becomes a legal issue. The only way to know for sure is by consulting with an attorney.
Drowning: A Tragedy and a Legal Issue
Just because the drowning was an accident, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the result of negligence. When someone is guilty of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you experience the death of a family member as a result of a drowning accident, contact a personal injury lawyer for advice.
If you need an attorney in Brandon, Florida, we want to hear about your case. Contact us so we can start working together to get the compensation that you deserve.