Filing a Wrongful Death Claim after an Accidental Drowning
It seems like a shocking statistic, but the Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 10 people die on average from accidental drowning every day in the United States. Even though the drowning may be labeled an “accident,” that doesn’t mean that someone cannot be held responsible for your loss. Here are some of the common ways you can recover damages after the death of a loved one in an accidental drowning:
Negligent Supervision at a Pool or Swimming Area
If a pool or swimming area is held open to the public, it may be reasonable to expect that a qualified lifeguard will be on duty at all times. A private homeowner may not have a lifeguard, but shouldn’t allow people to swim without either adequate supervision or a reasonable knowledge of the swimming skills of everyone involved. Even if a lifeguard is present, the owner of the pool may have liability if they failed to determine the qualifications of the lifeguard, or if the lifeguard failed to respond in a reasonable manner.
Dangerous or Defective Products or Equipment
In recent years, a number of people have drowned, including many small children, because of dangerous or defective drains or other parts of a pool. The designer, manufacturer, distributor and owner of a pool can all be held responsible if someone is sucked under the water by the force of a drain and drowns.
Poor or Inadequate Maintenance of Pool Facilities
State and federal laws govern a wide range of issues surrounding pools. Pool owners must use federally approved drain covers to prevent suction-related drowning. Pool owners are also required to erect fences, gates and other structures to minimize the risk of entry into the pool area by unauthorized minors and small children.
The laws governing negligence in motor vehicle accidents are generally applicable to boating accidents. Boaters must use reasonable care when operating watercraft, and can be held liable for any breach of that duty that leads to injury.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.