When a drowning occurs, and a lawyer has to step into help, the victim is almost always a young child. Tragically, children are vulnerable at swimming pools, water parks and on boats, as they are easy to miss and aren’t usually as comfortable in the water. For this reason, pool and vessel operators have to be extra vigilant when there are children around, and ensure that all safety procedures are followed to the letter. It goes without saying that this is not the case at many places, and such negligence may be in direct violation of city ordinances and state laws.
WHAT DANGERS CAN RESULT IN A DROWNING INCIDENT?
An injury lawyer oversees dozens of cases every year involving children who have been injured or killed by negligent safety practices at area pools, spas, and water parks. This may mean a lack of trained lifeguards, inattentive lifeguards or malfunctioning equipment. Pool operators also have to keep the water from becoming overcrowded, which is a primary cause of pool injuries. If there are too many people in the water, it can also obscure vision into the pool and make it difficult to see people who need help. Pool owners also have to keep the water clean and clear with regular maintenance, and erect fencing around the water to keep young children from wandering in on accident.
Damaged ladders, lights, gates, drains, and filters can all factor into a drowning, and a lawyer can help pursue a claim if any malfunctioning equipment is present. For example, the Victoria Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is a strictly enforced law that requires all pool and spa owners to install drain covers and other safety devices that do not entrap. The act was named after a 7-year-old child that was killed when a hot tub drain trapped her. It took two adults to remove her, and in the process they ripped off the drain cover, clearly demonstrating how dangerous some pool equipment can be. If a pool owner does not pay attention to the quality of their pool components, they could be in violation of the act and putting people in danger unnecessarily.
On a boat, adults must pay special attention to where children are at all times and ensure that they are outfitted with proper safety equipment like life jackets and life preservers. Vessel owners are required to keep enough lifejackets on board for everyone, and yet this continues to be one of the most common violations vessel owners face every year.
When someone is involved in a drowning, a lawyer can help a family find some measure of closure, as impossible as it may seem. An injury attorney can help a family determine if negligence was at least partly responsible for the incident and pursue a claim accordingly. With an attorney’s assistance, a family can speed through the settlement process and begin the healing process.