Each year, thousands of lives are lost in drowning accidents across the nation. While all drowning accidents result in the loss of life, some drowning accidents also give rise to legal liability. Legal liability for a drowning death does not require intention. The drowning accident may have occurred because someone did not do what he or she ought to have done or did something which he or she should not have done – negligence. The surviving family members of the deceased victim can claim compensation from the person whose negligence resulted in the drowning death under the wrongful death statute.
Lawsuits Related to Drowning
The surviving family members of a drowning death victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person whose negligence caused the accident that resulted in the drowning. The person may be liable because he or she physically caused the drowning or acted recklessly or negligently by doing something which he or she ought not to have done or did not do what he or she ought to have done.
For example, there are lifeguards at public swimming pools. If the life guard acts negligently or recklessly causing someone to drown and subsequently die, the swimming pool operator can be held for wrongful death.
Boating and other water related activities such as water or jet skiing can at times result in accidents that can cause death by drowning. Sometimes no one may be at fault for the accident but more often than not, the accident is caused by negligence or reckless behavior. For example, if a jet skier falls on the water and is hit by a boat causing him to die, the boat owner can he held liable for wrongful death by drowning. In most cases, the negligent person will be subject to civil liabilities but if the person is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the person could face criminal charges.
Operators of swimming pools are required to follow certain rules and regulations prescribed by state and federal laws. Operators of swimming pools and spas must install drain covers to prevent drain suction. The older drain covers did not do a good job at preventing individuals, especially children from being sucked in or trapped. This requirement is intended to prevent such accidents at swimming pools and spas. While most swimming pool and spa operators have installed the newer drain covers, a few others continue to use the old covers either because they are trying to save on the costs or due to oversight. If a drowning death occurs at such a pool, the violation can be used as evidence against the operator of the swimming pool in a wrongful death claim. Seek the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney.