Drowning incidents are problematic no matter where they occur, whether they happen at the beach, in private residences, at gyms, or on frozen ponds and lakes. Frozen ponds and lakes are among some of the most dangerous bodies of water to be around, as their unpredictability causes many accidents per year. These ponds and lakes, as well as swimming pools in some areas, freeze over in the winter months and can be alluring locations for children. There is also the possibility that adults will try to traverse these frozen masses. If someone falls in a pond that is frozen, it can be very difficult to get out or escape, and equally as hard to save them. If a loved one has drowned in an ice drowning accident, it is important that you take appropriate legal action where you can. Our team of lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group will be able to secure you a settlement for your losses.
Causes of Ice Drowning Incidents
Ice drowning incidents generally only happen in areas where the water can freeze over. It is common in mountain areas and lands that get a fair amount of snow and sub-freezing temperatures. Many ponds are a part of private estates and must be taken care of by the landowners. Lakes are property of the county or state, and the local government has a responsibility to ensure that they are not dangerous. Private pools also commonly freeze over due to the small size and concentration of water, and homeowners must warn anyone else about the dangers of these pools.
Reasons that ice drowning occur can include the following reasons:
- Children found the frozen pond, lake, or pool to be enticing and started to play on it. They may have been jumping, sliding, skating, or else putting too much weight or pressure on the ice.
- Adults were walking across the pond as a shortcut and their heavy weight caused the ice to crack.
- Objects that were embedded or stuck in the ice caused an imbalance or caused there to be an area that did not fully freeze.
- The snow on top of the ice added extra weight and caused the ice to become unstable.
- The water temperature below the ice increased, leading to the ice melting at the bottom before the top. This could cause it to appear sturdy and fully frozen but actually be very loose and likely to break.
- The sun may be out for a prolonged period of time and melt the ice at various points.
One of the main points to remember is the fact that a pond or pool does not freeze evenly. Some of the areas may initially freeze and others may take much longer because they are in the shade or they are covered. They may even not fully freeze if they are near constantly moving parts of the environment, such as the bank.
The best way to stay safe near any frozen body of water is to assume the entire surface is dangerous. It is advised to not try to traverse it and you should let your children know that it is very dangerous to play on or near frozen ponds, lakes, and pools.
In the worst cases, drowning accidents can occur on frozen bodies of water. The small break or hole in the ice will be the only opening through which the person can be extracted. However, a sudden fall may cause the person to panic and try to swim back up, only to not be able to locate the hole they fell in through.
If a loved one or family member drowned in an accident at a frozen pond or frozen pool, you should contact our lawyers to file a lawsuit against the proper party.
Responsibility for an Ice Drowning Incident
It can be hard to pinpoint liability in drowning cases, especially in some areas. If a person drowned at the beach, for example, you may be able to blame a lack of lifeguards, but if the person went out to the beach at night when there was no one around and it was ill advised to do so, it would be nearly impossible to secure any compensation or assign any responsibility. In ice drowning incidents, you may be able to prove liability if the frozen body of water was on a private estate.
Premises liability claims can be filed if the property owner did not do his due diligence in protecting anyone on the property. You can file a premises liability lawsuit if any of these three points are proven true:
- The property owner caused the hazard or the danger
- The property owner knew about the hazard and did not issue any warnings to those entering the property or did not take any actions to fix the danger
- The property owner was unaware of the danger on his property but reasonably should have been, as any other property owner would have taken action or known
If a private pool freezes over, property owners should have signs or fences that aim to prevent children from going on their property and potentially drowning in an unstable body of water. They must take care to not purposely have dangerous areas on their property.
How to File an Ice Drowning Lawsuit
In order to file an ice drowning lawsuit, you will need evidence for your claim. You will have to show that the property owner was negligent in some way. Of course, it may be hard to collect some of this evidence.
For instance, medical bills can be difficult to use if someone’s body was never found. However, if a loved one was transported to the hospital after the incident and then passed away due to hypothermia or other injuries related to the drowning, you could get these reports and notes.
If there were any eyewitnesses who saw the drowning happen or who can attest to the hazard that was present, you could add them to your claim. Their statements and testimonies will be very useful and may be one of the most crucial points of evidence you can present.
You should take photos of the area where the incident occurred to show any potential dangers. It can be hard to acquire these photos, though, especially if the weather changes and the ice thaws out.
When you have as much evidence as you can gather, you should reach out to a skilled ice drowning accident lawyer for assistance. We will be able to hire expert witnesses for your case and ensure that it is a success. You will likely be engrained in the grieving process, and if you have no legal experience, it will be extremely difficult for you to progress with your lawsuit. Let us handle it from start to finish and we will do everything in our power to bring you the maximum settlement available under the law.
Ice Drowning accident Compensation
Our attorneys will strive to bring you the largest amount of compensation we can. A wrongful death incident involving an ice drowning can result in different types of restitution, including the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses to cover the cost of the casket, grave plot, cremation, service, and more
- Pre-death medical expenses if your loved one was taken to the hospital for treatment
- Pre-death pain and suffering damages for the emotional trauma that was experienced
- Loss of consortium and relations for spouses
- Loss of expected income, inheritance, savings, and more if you were reliant on the monetary benefits provided by the deceased
We will not give up until our attorneys have brought you the fairest amount of compensation for your claim.
Why Choose Our Firm
The Downtown LA Law Group has a penchant for securing fair compensation for its clients. To date, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of numerous kinds of accidents, and we have made sure that grieving families and those who have lost loved ones in wrongful death incidents and drowning incidents have been fairly compensated. We know the best methods for success and our aggressive lawyers will take your case to court to defend your rights in front of a judge if we must.
To set up a free legal consultation, feel free to reach out to our law offices. We will walk you through the legal process, help answer questions about a wrongful death claim, and tell you what we believe the value of your case is. We will also give you more information about our zero fee guarantee. This says that you won’t have to pay any out of pocket expenses for our services. We will get paid only if we win your case, and the money will be taken from the settlement we bring you. If we lose, we do not receive anything at all. either way, your personal finances won’t be touched.
To file an ice drowning lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact the Downtown LA Law Group today.