Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Swimming Pool Drowning
Hundreds of children 10 years and younger die from a swimming pool drowning every year, and thousands more children are rushed to the hospital emergency room in a near drowning. Accident survivors are often left with spinal cord injuries and catastrophic brain injury caused by blunt force trauma and hypoxia (lack of oxygen).
Every type of drowning of the young and old is preventable and the aftershock felt by surviving family members is usually overwhelming. The heartbreaking consequences when an individual drowns can last a lifetime for those left behind. The after effects are even more tragic when the accident is caused by negligent supervision and/or a lack of barriers around the swimming pool or spa.
Lack of Supervision and Reckless Behavior
The high majority of young children who drown in a backyard pool were in the home just minutes before, being supervised by one or more individuals. In the few minutes the young child was out of sight, they somehow made their way outdoors to meet their fatal demise.
Alcohol and drugs are often involved in many drowning accidents where an adolescent child or adult has died. This is because their balance, judgment and coordination are impaired. Other times, reckless behavior is a factor that causes the accident when the person is knocked unconscious or breaks their neck by diving into the shallow end of the pool.
Most backyard swimming pool drowning accidents occur during warmer months. This is when high light levels, excessive heat, sun exposure and dehydration make swimming more challenging and dangerous.
In addition to reckless behavior, alcohol impairment and lack of supervision, back yard drowning accidents can often be the result of dangerous or defective equipment. Some swimming pools, especially older ones, have faulty drainage equipment or were constructed improperly where the drain can entrap the individual. The suction of the drain disembowels and drowns the victim in an unforeseen, heartbreaking accident.
Nearly every type of backyard swimming pool drowning can be prevented, even if no one is home. Homeowners need to take precautions to ensure that the backyard is secured against young children and intruders. In many communities, homeowners and tenants are required to install a gate or fence that locks or latches. Homeowners can also install a swimming pool cover that can be secured or latched along with an alarm alerting the household any time there is movement in or around the pool. The best ways to avoid a dangerous condition concerning the backyard pool include:
- Install a fence and gate to secure the swimming pool completely at a height of at least four feet
- Install a self-closing gate with a lock positioned high enough that children are unable to reach the latch
- Install a cover when the pool is not in use and be sure it is fully secured in place
- Make sure every household member has CPR training
- Purchase and maintain necessary rescue equipment and keep it close to the pool
- Anytime children are missing from the home; check the swimming pool first
- Install a swimming pool that provides instant alerts anytime the water surface is disrupted
Every pool owner has a legal responsibility to provide the public a safe environment for all individuals using the pool or not. In addition, the pool owner has the responsibility to take a proactive stance to prevent any accident. When they fail in their responsibility and someone drowns, they can be held legally liable for financial compensation to all surviving family members.
If your loved one drowned in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another, you and surviving family members are likely entitled to receive financial compensation. A Chicago swimming pool drowning attorney can assist you in filing a wrongful death premises liability lawsuit to hold those at fault accountable for the accident. If your loved one was injured in a swimming pool caused by the lack of supervision, defective equipment or the reckless actions of others, they can file a personal injury claim for recompense.
Contact The Chicago Injury Center to speak with attorneys who specialize in drowning accidents. The lawyers offer a completely free initial consultation to discuss the case and provide a variety of legal options to assist you in seeking financial compensation.