The Harm Associated with Near DrowningEveryone knows that drowning can be fatal. However, many people disregard near-drowning incidents. Drowning can lead to death, but near-drowning could cause a number of complications can could severely affect the victim and his or her entire family for a very long time. Some of the common harm associated with near drowning includes pneumonia, hypothermia, brain edema, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, for example. Depending on the specific circumstances of the harm suffered, these complications could even be fatal. In most cases, the near-drowning injuries significantly decrease the victim’s quality of life. If you or a member of your family suffered any sort of harm after a near-drowning incident, do not hesitate to take legal action. You might have grounds to file a claim and be compensated for the harm that you suffered.
The Causes of Near-Drowning IncidentsNear-drowning incidents can happen anywhere – at pools, beaches, spas, water parks, hot tubs, and many other places. When we consider someone having a near-drowning experience, we assume that they simply did not know how to swim. However, every situation is different, and we cannot make such an assumption. Some of the common causes behind near-drowning incidents include the following:
- No appropriate supervision – a lack of supervision is a significant cause of near-drowning incidents involving young children. Parents, babysitters, day care workers, and anyone that is responsible for the care of a child could contribute to a near-drowning incident after failing to appropriately supervise the child. Pools (including shallow kiddie pools), bathtubs, and even buckets of water being used for cleaning could all prove to be dangerous due to a lack of supervision. Parents, babysitters, and day care workers all have the duty to ensure that children are safe while under their care. By failing to properly supervise children around any form of water, they are creating a significant risk of harm for the innocent children.
- On-duty lifeguards are negligent – there are usually lifeguards in pools, beaches, and water parks for example. Lifeguards have to ensure that all parties in the water remain safe. Whenever lifeguards see a potentially dangerous activity (anything that breaks the rules, such as running or diving, for example), they must address the situation promptly to prevent it from escalating. Lifeguards must always be observant, as soon as they notice someone struggling in the water, they must take immediate action. When lifeguards are distracted or simply not performing their duties, rescue attempts could be delayed, which could result in near-drowning.
- Premises are generally unsafe – based on premise liability, property owners are responsible for ensuring that their entire premises are safe for any visitors/guests. In homes, pools must be surrounded by pool fences and equipped with pool gates, for example. Pool drains must have the appropriate covers to ensure that swimmers do not get stuck (possibly under water). Considering that even a slipping incident could cause someone to fall, lose consciousness, and end up in a pool, property owners have to be extra cautious at all times. Property owners must constantly inspect their premises to identify and address any hazards that could potentially harm their visitors.
- Products are defective – there are many products that could contribute to near-drowning. Defective drain covers, for example, could cause unsuspecting swimmers to get stuck (usually by a hand/arm) underwater. Defective life jackets, floating devices, and even snorkeling devices could all contribute to near-drowning incidents. Unfortunately, many companies negligently make effective products available for consumers – this puts consumers at risk of suffering harm.
Do You Have the Right to Sue?Do you have the right to take legal action against the party that contributed to the harm that you or a member of your family suffered in a near-drowning incident? Your right to sue is based on one thing – negligence. If the harm that you or your child suffered was a direct result of the negligent actions of a party that owed a duty of care, you might have grounds to pursue a claim.
Negligence consists of four elements – duty of care, breach of duty, cause, and harm. A party owes a duty of care to exercise caution and ensure that innocent parties are not harmed in any way. A party breaches their duty of care towards another party, causing an incident. The incident (the near-drowning incident) results in harm. If all four elements of negligence are present, the affected parties (the victim or family members) could pursue a claim. Without a doubt, sometimes it could be difficult for some people to fully understand whether they have the right to sue. If you are unsure about your right to sue, it is important that you speak with an expert on near-drowning incidents as soon as possible.
– Private pool accidents
– Jet ski accidents lawyer
– Hotel Liability Swimming Pool Accidental Drowning
– Swimming Pool Drowning Lawyer
– How do drowning accidents occur?
– Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act
– Lifeguard Negligence
– Boating accidents
– Hotel Liability for Accidents and Injuries
– River drowning lawyers
– Hotel drowning accidents
– Who can be held responsible for a beach accident?
– Amusement Park Sexual Assault Attorney
– Amusement Park Accident lawsuit
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.
Could You Recover Compensation?If you file a claim that reaches a successful outcome, could you be eligible to recover compensation? Depending on the specific details of your claim, like the way that you were affected by the incident, you could be eligible to recover at least some sort of compensation. Some of the different categories of compensation that might be available for recovery could include the following:
- Medical costs (includes future medical bills)
- Lost earnings (back pay and front pay)
- Pain and suffering (for the physical pain as well and mental and emotional distress caused by the incident)
- Funeral and burial costs (if complications from the near-drowning eventually leads to death)
- Loss of consortium (awarded to family members for the lost ability to have a normal relationship with the victim)
- Punitive damages (to punish the defendant)
The Statute of LimitationsCould you really pursue a claim if you or your child suffered a near-drowning incident that resulted in significant harm? Although you have the right to sue, you could lose your right to sue if you fail to file your claim within the appropriate length of time. All claims are subject to strict deadlines, or statutes of limitations. A statute of limitations establishes the specific length of time that claimants have to file their claims. These deadlines are designed to ensure that claims are filed promptly and to protect defendants from facing unjust claims (from incidents that occurred too long ago). What is the statute of limitations that applies to your claim? Injury claims in California are typically subjected to a two-year statute of limitations; this means that claimants can have up to two years to file their claims. However, exceptions could apply. For example, if the harm that the victim suffered left him or her in a coma (mentally incompetent), the statute of limitations would be tolled until mental competency was regained. Likewise, if the victim was a minor, the statute of limitations would be tolled until the victim became of age (unless the parents file on the minor’s behalf). Do any exceptions apply to your claim? To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the statute of limitations that applies to your near-drowning incident claim, do not hesitate to contact our law firm as soon as possible. Our experts will evaluate your claim and ensure that you have a thorough understanding of all the deadlines that apply to your claim.
What Should You Do?After such a traumatic incident, such as a near-drowning incident, victims and their families simply enter a state of shock where they do not know what to do next. For many people, the primary focus is ensuring that the victim recovers – and to simply move on from the experience. However, there are a number of things that victims and their families should do to ensure that they preserve their right to sue. Consider the following recommendations:
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Gather all medical records associated with the near-drowning experience
- Gather witness information
- Report the near-drowning to someone in charge (a property owner, a manager, a supervisor, etc.
- Take photos of the scene of the incident
- Look for any surveillance or security cameras that might have captured the incident
- Collect insurance information (if available)
- Seek legal assistance