While near-drowning and drowning accidents occur thousands of times each year in the United States, there are some cases in which the accident is a result of someone’s negligence. Common causes of or contributing factors to drowning/near-drowning include drinking alcohol while boating or swimming, loss of consciousness or seizures, head injuries, rough waters, inability to swim, and unattended small children. Additional factors in drowning or near-drowning incidents can include an improperly fenced or unprotected pool area, water left in unattended ice chests, buckets or coolers that children can access, and improper supervision of children.
Complications associated with near-drowning accidents that do not result in death include hypothermia, neck or spinal injury, and lack of oxygen that can lead to brain damage. Be sure to seek proper medical attention after you or a loved one is involved in a near-drowning incident.
If your accident occurred on someone else’s property and you believe it may occurred because of a property owner’s or employee’s negligence or error, you may have a premises liability case. If someone left the pool gate open and your child fell in or you were at a water park where poorly supervised swim areas caused you or your child to slip underwater for a prolonged period of time, you may have a case.
Premises Liability Law in Near-Drowning and Drowning Accident Cases
Premises liability law is in place to protect individuals injured on someone else’s property due to the lack of reasonable action or outright negligence of the property owner or someone who is otherwise responsible for the property, such as an employee. If you encounter a dangerous situation on someone else’s property and you are injured as a result, you may have a viable premises liability case. The responsible party may be liable for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one experienced a near-drowning or a drowning accident in water on someone’s property due to their lack of care or neglect, speak to an attorney experienced in premises liability to review the details of your case.
The Key to a Successful Premises Liability Case – Proving Fault
There are some main elements of a viable premises liability case, and you will need to be prepared to prove the following in order to convince a court or insurance adjuster you are entitled to compensation.
- A property owner or other party is liable: The key element to a successful premises liability case is proving that the property owner or other responsible party caused the dangerous circumstances that led to your accident or failed to correct a hazard that another reasonable person should have known about.
- You are minimally or not at all comparatively negligent: The second element that must be proven in a premises liability case is that the victim used the property in a typical and safe manner. Trespassing, unsafe or illegal activity that contributed to the near-drowning or drowning accident can dismiss a premises liability case. If you are partially to blame, damages may be reduced by your proportion of fault.
For example, you might prove that a hotel pool had a dangerously slippery surface around the pool; the hotel might be liable in such cases. But if you were running despite posted warnings not to run and you slipped and fell into the pool in a near-drowning incident, you may be comparatively negligent. As long as you are no more than 50 percent to blame, you still may recover damages.
Contact Cordisco & Saile LLC after a Near-Drowning or Drowning Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a near-drowning or drowning accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The circumstances surrounding your case may entitle you to compensation under premises liability law. Call Cordisco & Saile LLC today at 215-642-2335 or use our contact form to set up a free case consultation.