Summertime Heightens Risks of Drowning

risks of drowning

Summer is the time of year when many people head to lakes, rivers, and pools for some refreshing time on the water. Unfortunately visits to pools and lakes can also result in tragic accidental drowning. There are a few precautions that you can take to help minimize summertime risks of drowning.

At Patterson Legal Group, we put together the following information to help keep you and your family safe as the weather heats up.

Tips to Reduce Risks of Drowning

Some tips to prevent drowning risks include adequate supervision, refraining from alcohol in the water, using the “buddy” system or always swimming with a friend, and learning how to swim adequately before going into deep water.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for adequate supervision of children around water.

Common Settings for Drownings

Common settings for wrongful death drownings and water-related injuries such as slip and falls, head injuries, and lacerations include: 

  • Public and private pools
  • Lakes
  • Rivers

Public Pool Drowning Prevention

Public pools typically have to follow certain requirements to help prevent drowning. Lifeguards are the primary way to prevent drownings, and typically there should be one lifeguard for every twenty swimmers. Lifeguards also usually have a 10-20 rule which means that they need to scan the entire pool every ten seconds for someone in trouble and then get to them within twenty seconds. 

Public pools also need to be clear enough that the main drain in the deep end is visible, and they should have proper CPR equipment such as oxygen and a defibrillator available. Response time is critical because most people who are revived within three to four minutes do not suffer serious brain damage. 

If the lifeguards were negligent and an individual drowns or is injured due to a near drowning, there may be a legal case for damages against the pool owner.

Related: Swimming Pool Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Defense for Pool Owners

The most common defense of the pool owner is that the individual had a medical condition such as a seizure or heart attack that caused them to be rendered unconscious. Many defendants will make this claim even if the individual has no prior medical history of seizures or other conditions and even if there is no medical evidence of the event occurring.  

However as long as the individual would have recovered from the medical condition, the pool owner still is liable for the negligence because the failure to rescue is ultimately responsible for the death.

Owners of private pools may be held liable for injuries or drowning in the pool if the pool was not maintained in a safe manner or if they failed to supervise someone who was an inexperienced swimmer if the homeowner knew, or should have known, the swimmer was inexperienced. In this case, the injured person would typically bring a claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy.

Lake and River Drownings

Drowning in a lake or river is often directly linked to:

  • Reckless use of recreational vehicles
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Strong currents
  • Failure to supervise children

Because accidents at these locations are away from home, many people are unaware that homeowners insurance typically covers injury or drowning in a lake or river which was a result of someone else’s negligence.

Related: What Are the Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?

Drowning and Water-Related Injury Lawyers

The experienced attorneys at Patterson Legal Group are able to answer any questions regarding a drowning or a water-related injury. We have handled numerous drowning cases and are here to help in any way we can.

Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you find the medical assistance you need and get started on a case that can make sure you get the highest compensation possible. Give us a call at 888-687-2400 or connect with us online through LiveChat.

The information on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as legal advice for an individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship nor does viewing this material constitute an attorney-client relationship.