For immediate assistance, please call our office directly.
If you or a loved one received an injury as the result of a swimming accident, including a full or partial drowning while swimming, you should seek legal counsel from a drowning accident attorney right away. When summer comes around, swimming pools, water parks, lakes and beaches become favorite places for families to relax and have fun in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Despite the public perception of safety, there is a serious threat of injury and drowning while swimming, especially for children.
Poolside and other swimming related accidents are the second leading cause of death for children under 14 years of age. For children 1 to 4 years old this is second only to death caused by birth injuries; for children 4 to 14, accidental drowning is second only to deaths caused by car accidents. For people age 15 and older, swimming accidents and drowning are more likely to occur in open water, such as a lake or beach.
The most common accident that occurs while swimming, especially for children under the age of 14, is unintentional drowning. Drowning can occur for multiple reasons including lack of swimming ability, lack of proper barriers, lack of supervision, and other preexisting medical conditions. Although 92% of drowning victims survive, there an estimated 5,000 children hospitalized each year as the result of drowning while swimming. 15% of children hospitalized from drowning die and another 20% suffer serious, and often permanent, brain injuries. Other injuries that can be sustained while swimming are fractures, sprains or brakes caused by slip and fall around a pool area.
Swimming and drowning accidents can happen around any body of water, either public or private, including swimming pools, lakes, beaches, water parks, and spas. The likelihood of drowning in each body of water varies depending on the age group. While large, crowded public pools may seem more dangerous, most swimming pool accidents actually occur at private residences. But just because a pool is on private property, that doesn’t mean the pool owner doesn’t have a duty to keep the pool safe for those he may allow to use it. All pools should have appropriate warning signs alerting swimmers to potential dangers, such as diving into the shallow end. Pools must also be maintained in a reasonably safe condition, and the laws in many states require that fences be placed around the pool. If an injury occurs at a pool due to a failure to keep the pool safe, the owners or operators of the pool can be liable for that injury.
Terrible accidents can also happen at public pools. To prevent these accidents, public pool owners and operators are required to take steps to ensure the safety of swimmers. Generally, qualified life guards must be on duty during swim hours, and there must be enough lifeguards on duty for the number of people in the pool at any given time. It is important that the lifeguard station be in a place where the entire pool is visible at all times. Equipment such as diving boards and drain and suction outlets must also be maintained by a qualified professional. Failure to meet any of these requirements can have horrifying consequences.
If you or a loved one is injured while swimming, or if there is a full or partial drowning, you should contact an experienced swimming accident attorney immediately. There are important steps that can be taken immediately to preserve the claim. The experienced swimming accident lawyers at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. have the knowledge and passion to help injured people recover just compensation. Call today for a free consultation.