According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 3,500 deaths caused by unintentional drowning each year, a rate of 10 drowning deaths per day. Children under the age of 14 represent 20% of all drowning victims. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
In Florida, drowning rates for children under age 5 are more than double the national average and are higher than in any other state in the nation, according to data from St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Florida loses the equivalent of three preschool classrooms to drowning every year.
Non-fatal drownings can be catastrophic and severe, requiring victims to be treated in emergency rooms. Near-drowning injuries can include a traumatic brain injury (brain damage, memory problems, learning disabilities), a spinal cord injury, and permanent vegetative states.
In addition to the ocean, lakes and canals, drownings can occur in private pools, community pools, hot tubs, hotels, motels, parks, water parks, campgrounds, bathtubs and more. Drowning deaths are almost always preventable and often occur as a result of negligence, premises liability, negligent security, and defective products.
Common causes of drowning and near-drowning include lack of supervision (adult, lifeguards, caregiver, or babysitter), undertrained lifeguards, lack of warnings, lack of maintenance, lack of or faulty gates and locks, and entrapment or entanglement in defective pool and spa drain covers.
Drowning cases are tragic and heartbreaking. Drownings happen very quickly, often silently, and with little or no warning. Legal action can be taken when negligent homeowners, parks, pool owners and operators, hotels, lifeguards, and product manufacturers fail in their duty to protect individuals from harm.
Property owners (premises liability and or negligent security) have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect anyone else on their property. A person may be found negligent if they fail to do what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. Manufacturers and product sellers (product liability or defective products) may be held liable for design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
The Swimming Pool Injury Attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, PL handle accidental drowning and near drowning cases throughout Florida. Swimming pool accidents and litigation can be highly technical, which is why you need an experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney fighting for the rights of you and your loved ones.