Stockton Accident Attorney Explains Swimming Pool & Drowning Accidents
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 500 children under 5 years old drown in swimming pools each year. An additional 2,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries associated with near-drownings. After automobile accidents, swimming accidents are the most common cause of death for this demographic in the US as a whole. In the state of California, swimming pool drownings are the number one cause of death for all children up to 15 years of age. This is likely due to the long coastline and generally good weather year round in a large portion of the state. Of all drowning victims who are of preschool age, 70% are with at least one parent at the time of drowning and 75% are out of sight for five minutes or less. If a loved one has drowned or sustained injuries while swimming, consider speaking to a Stockton accident attorney to learn what your legal options are.
Though most people only think of drowning when they think of swimming pool accidents, there are many more cases when an individual comes close to drowning but does not. These accidents can have devastating effects for the victim. Legal actions can and should be taken. Call an experienced Stockton accident attorney for help.
In near-drowning cases, the brain is often deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time – something called hypoxia. As the brain relies on oxygen to properly function, lacking this vital nutrient for any period of time can be damaging. In near-drowning cases, 5 to 20% of child survivors suffer from permanent and severe neurological disabilities. This neurological damage can alter the personality and functioning of a person’s brain thereafter. Because of this damage, the victim may require surgeries, medications, and specialist physicians. Sometimes, these victims require lifetime medical care and even assisted living.
Diving accidents are responsible for over 10% of all spinal injuries that occur in the US every year. Over 10,000 people are hospitalized due to diving related injuries. Despite being a relatively dangerous activity itself, defective product design, manufacturing, or maintenance may be the cause for a diving injury.
Other swimming pool accidents include slip and falls and injuries from pool chemicals. As you can see, there are many ways an individual can sustain injuries in swimming related activities. Consider contacting a Stockton accident attorney to learn what you can do to seek legal justice and financial compensation.
Drowning and near-drowning incidents are protected by similar laws to car accidents and other personal injury cases. Personal injury is a complex field of law that depends on showing the actions or inactions of a responsible party resulted or significantly contributed to the injury or death of the victim. For swimming pool accidents and drownings, the three main legal theories lawyers work with are:
Premises liability covers the responsibility of a property owner for injuries that are caused from dangerous or hazardous conditions on that property. This is limited to conditions that the owner knew or reasonably should have known about. For swimming pools and other recreational bodies of water, the property owner must take reasonable precautions to ensure the property is safe for users and anyone visiting the property, including trespassers.
Conditions That May Violate Premises Liability Include:
- Lack of fencing
- Inadequate warning signs
- Negligent supervision
- Improper pool water or property maintenance
If you feel an owner did not take proper precautions in ensuring the safety of their premise, speak to a Stockton accident attorney.
Negligence is defined as failing to do what a normal, reasonable person would do in the given circumstances. Property owners can be considered negligent if they fail to make their property safe or if they say they’ll monitor a swimmer and then fail to. Other parties that may be considered negligent include:
- Installers of safety equipment if it is installed incorrectly
- Employers of unqualified or negligent lifeguards
- Individuals who are responsible with maintaining the property
Strict liability, or negligence per se, is a form of negligence that holds a party responsible if they have directly violated a relevant law. There are many specific laws regarding the maintenance and construction of residential swimming pools in order to prevent injury. If a party fails to comply with these laws and ordinances, they may be held responsible for a resultant injury or death. Contact a Stockton accident attorney to learn more.
Products liability is a strict liability claim that is not dependent on negligent action of a responsible party. It relates more to the development of a faulty product that results in injury or death when used in a reasonable manner. When faulty swimming pool equipment is the cause of drowning or other injuries, the responsible parties may include:
- The designer
- The manufacturer
- The middleman between the manufacturer and the retail store
- The retail store
- The assemblers or installers
What to do After a Swimming Pool Accident or Drowning
In the heat of the moment, it may be impossible to think of little else that the health and safety of the victim. It’s important to try to take some actions in order to hold the liable party responsible in the future. Some actions that may be taken include:
- Preserve evidence – Write down names and details of witnesses. Take pictures of the scene including fencing, signs, equipment, etc. Be sure any defective products are not thrown away (this may require legal assistance if the product belongs to another party).
- Document the events and injuries – Take note of all events surrounding the incident; obtain hospital records of the details of the injuries; take photos of the injuries; keep notes of all conversations with the police, witnesses, medical personnel, etc.
- Contact legal assistance – Personal injury law is very complicated, and may be impossible to accomplish without the help of an experienced and qualified lawyer. Many law offices offer free initial meetings to discuss the details of a case and determine whether it’s possible to pursue legal action. Be sure to find a Stockton accident attorney you can trust to give you honest advice and help you get the compensation you and your family deserve.
Call a Stockton Accident Attorney Today if You or Someone You Know Has Drowned
Accidents can come in all shapes and sizes. With extensive experience in handling all types of personal injury claims such as car accidents, defective products, animal attacks, catastrophic injuries and more, you can trust the attorneys at Sadiq Law Firm to fight for justice and fair compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident, including swimming pools, give us a call at (209) 943-0000 to speak to a Stockton accident attorney today.