Miami Child Drowning Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Florida child drowning lawyers
Life in “The Sunshine State” means plenty of pools are around to provide the perfect way to relax, cool-off, and have fun. However, a beautiful day for the pool, beach, or water park can quickly turn into a nightmare when a child is seriously injured or drowns. In the U.S., drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged one to fourteen years, and every year enough children drown in Florida to fill three or four preschool classrooms.
After pool drowning accidents, many victims’ families are left with significant financial and emotional burdens as well as uncertainty about what to do next. The injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group are compassionate and experienced in representing drowning accident victims and their families in order to help them seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with skilled Florida drowning attorneys.
Common causes of Child drownings
In the US, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four, and on average, 356 children under 14 drown in pools and spas every year. Unfortunately, Florida is no exception, and has one of the leading unintentional drowning death rates in the country. When children do not drown, they may still be left with serious injuries; across the US, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Lack of Lifeguards or Supervision
Children should always be supervised near and in any body of water, including pools, bathtubs, and beaches. Even when a lifeguard is present, parents should still watch their children at all times. For children under five or who are weak swimmers, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be within an of their children when they are swimming, for when children are left unsupervised, the chances of drowning increase.
Lack of Safety Warnings
Water parks, hotels, and community pools are required to post certain safety warnings, such as the depth of the water, “no diving” zones, or warnings for surfaces that are especially slippery. When people are unaware of the depth of the water, especially young children learning to swim, they may believe they can touch the bottom of the pool in an area that is actually much deeper and drown.
Broken Pool Equipment
When pool equipment is broken, defective, or fails to work as intended, children may become trapped underwater and drown. Broken steps or ladders may cause a child to slip, hit their head, and be knocked unconscious. Defective drains may suck hair or pieces of clothing into the system and hold a child underwater, which can result in serious injury or death.
Failure to Create a Pool Barrier
Pool fences and gates help prevent young children from entering a pool area without a supervisor. The safest pools have fences on all four sides, which are at least four feet high, and have When owners of homes, neighborhood swimming holes, or commercial pools fail to properly fence in their pools, the chances of an unintentional drowning increase.
When pools are overcrowded, lifeguards may be unable to safely monitor all swimmers. If a child is in distress, a lifeguard may fail to immediately respond to a child who is drowning.
what to do after a drowning accident
After a drowning accident, there are several steps that should be taken. Outlined below is a list of steps parents and guardians should follow immediately after an accidental drowning as well as in the days and weeks afterwards.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If a child is found unresponsive, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention; an emergency dispatcher may give you instructions to begin CPR. In near-drowning cases, a child may still suffer from serious injuries when their brain is temporarily deprived of oxygen. For this reason, it is a good idea to have your child checked by a doctor to detect any injuries that may have incurred after their near-drowning.
2. Document the Accident
After a drowning accident, it may be devastating to think about documenting the accident and reliving the trauma. However, it is important to document the accident in order to understand how it occurred and pursue your legal case. This may include taking photographs of the scene of the accident and any broken equipment or fences that could have contributed to the accident, and obtaining the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident occur.
3. Keep Track of Your Expenses
In order to help you receive the compensation you and your child may deserve after an accidental drowning injury, you will need to keep track of your expenses. This could include emergency transportation costs, hospital bills, and funeral costs, among other expenses.
Liability in a drowning accident
A drowning accident may occur for several reasons. A negligent lifeguard, a pool owner who fails to maintain their pool, or a product manufacturer may all be held responsible. In general, the people most commonly held liable in accidental drownings include:
Pool owners are required to keep their property reasonably safe and notify visitors of any dangerous conditions. In the pool area, this could include ensuring that broken equipment is fixed or removed, posting proper signage about the depth of the water, and inspecting drains and other pool parts to check that they are safe and in working order.
If a pool owner discovers any unsafe conditions, then the pool should be closed down until it has been inspected and repaired. Pool owners who fail to repair dangerous conditions on their property and do not warn guests about these dangers could be held liable for a child’s injuries that occur because of these conditions.
Employees must follow the duties laid out in their job descriptions, which could include lifeguarding and ensuring that everyone is complying with the safety rules. In general, if an employee is negligent, their employer will be liable for their actions.
In some cases, other individuals at a hotel pool, water park, or a friend’s house may be liable for an accidental drowning. Horseplay, failing to follow established rules, and engaging in risky behavior can all cause harm to those around them. In other cases, an adult in charge of supervision may have stepped away, become distracted, or otherwise failed to watch the children under their care.
When pool equipment, such as a flotation device, drain, or ladder, does not work as intended, the product manufacturer may be liable for the injuries that caused a victim to drown or suffer serious injuries.
Compensation you may be able to recover
The compensation you may be able to seek in a drowning accident case will depend on the extent of your child’s injuries and expenses. A drowning accident lawyer may be able to provide you with a more specific amount of what you may be entitled to recover. In general, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include the tangible financial damages that can be assigned a number. Typical economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
Although non-economic damages may be harder to calculate, they can oftentimes have more value than economic damages. These damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In cases where a defendant’s actions were intentional or seriously negligent and those actions resulted in the drowning of a child, punitive damages may be awarded in some circumstances. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
A may be able to assist you and your family by investigating the accident and interviewing witnesses; they are also essential when filing a lawsuit, negotiating a settlement, and going to trial, if circumstances prove necessary. Most importantly, our injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group recognize how difficult a drowning accident can be for surviving family members and will focus on meeting your legal needs while you and your loved ones focus on healing.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If your child drowned and you need a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Florida, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit from the date of most personal injury accidents; however, if your child experienced injuries from a near-drowning, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is best to contact a Florida drowning lawyer as soon as possible though, because that will give them more time to help you navigate the filing timeline, conduct a thorough investigation, and seek the compensation you and your loved ones may deserve.
Contact A lawyer who handles child drowning accidents
At Zinda Law Group, injury attorneys have helped many victims and their families receive the compensation they deserved after drowning accidents. We recognize that no amount of money can replace a child, but our drowning accident lawyers will work to relieve the financial toll that a drowning can have on a victim’s family. Our injury lawyers help clients seek compensation for hospital bills, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and much more.
We believe an accident victim and their family should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If your child was the victim of an accidental drowning in the Miami area, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with an injury lawyer near you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.