CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with an Arizona drowning accident lawyer for free
The Arizona heat can make adults or children of all ages look forward to a quick dip or refreshing swim in the pool. Unfortunately, swimming pools and other sources of water can be as dangerous as they are fun. Drowning remains one of the most common causes of accidental deaths in the United States. Our experienced Arizona drowning accident lawyers will work to help you hold anyone responsible whose negligence or carelessness caused a drowning tragedy.
If you lost a loved one in an accidental drowning in Arizona, call Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers today at (800) 863-5312. We will schedule your free consultation as soon as possible with an experienced Arizona drowning accident lawyer who will handle your claim for you. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
Arizona drowning accident statistics
Drowning remains the third most common cause for unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States. For children ages 1 to 14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after car accidents. Each year, an estimated 4,000 people lose their lives across the country because of drowning accidents. Additionally, for every child who dies from drowning in the United States, another eight children receive emergency room care for non-fatal drownings, which can result in long-term health problems and expensive hospital stays.
Many Arizona homes, hotels, and communities have pools, which offer residents or guests an opportunity to beat the brutal Arizona heat. Unfortunately, these moments of leisure and relaxation can all too often turn into tragedy, especially when proper care is not taken. In 2014, young children, ages 1 to 4, accounted for 58 percent of drowning deaths in Arizona. Across the United States, more children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except for birth defects. Meanwhile, although most Arizona drowning deaths involving young children occur in swimming pools, most of the drowning accidents that do occur in natural bodies of water within the state, such as rivers and lakes, involved victims over the age of 15.
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Common reasons for Arizona drowning accidents
Drowning is an inherent danger while enjoying bodies of water, such as pools or lakes. Even a bathtub can pose a potential drowning hazard for infants and small children, as well as any person with a seizure disorder. However, some common risk factors can increase the possibility of an otherwise avoidable drowning accident, such as:
Being Unable To Swim
Being unable to swim or not being able to swim well without assistance increases the likelihood of drowning, especially if there is no lifeguard present. If you or someone in your care is unable to swim, special caution must be exercised in and around bodies of water. You should also never enter the water alone, even in a swimming pool, if you cannot swim. Meanwhile, taking swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning.
Alcohol Or Drug Use
The use of alcohol or drugs impairs your abilities in many ways, including decision-making, coordination, balance, reaction times, and perception. The impairment of any of these abilities increases the risk of drowning for the intoxicated person or anyone under their care. Alcohol use is involved in up to 70 percent of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation. Approximately 25 percent of emergency room visits for drowning and 20 percent of reported boating deaths among adolescents and adults involve alcohol use.
Additionally, even the use of legally prescribed medications can increase the risk of a drowning accident. Certain medications can cause side effects similar to the effects of alcohol use, such as difficulty thinking clearly or decreased motor skills. Psychotropic medications commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other conditions may be especially likely to cause such side effects. You should be aware of any potential side effects of any medications you are taking before entering the water.
Missing or Ineffective Fencing
Proper fencing enclosing pools significantly reduces the risk of small children drowning. These barriers help prevent such children from being able to access the pool area without supervision and their caregivers’ awareness. Without proper fencing, a small child can wander into the pool area, ultimately falling into the water by accident or entering the water without realizing the danger. When small children are allowed to wander near the water without proper supervision, drowning can easily occur. Meanwhile, a four-sided fence which completely encloses the pool and separates it from the house can decrease a child’s danger of drowning by 83 percent compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
Lack of Supervision
Children should always be supervised, especially while in or near bodies of water. Drownings can happen anywhere, and many of these accidents occur quickly and quietly, especially with unsupervised children. Unsupervised children may fall in and may drown before anyone realizes anything is wrong, especially if the only supervision is a lifeguard who may be distracted with others in the water.
Children, especially small children, should always be supervised around bodies of water, including not only pools, but also bathtubs and even buckets of water. Further, even an adult should generally avoid swimming alone to help reduce the chance of accidental drowning, as drowning can occur following body cramps, sudden seizure, or other unexpected health issues. Even experienced and skilled swimmers can drown, especially if swimming alone.
Failing to Use Life Jackets
Wearing life jackets or other flotation devices can prevent drowning during many water activities, especially swimming and boating. Despite being relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, many adults and children do not wear or use these devices when in or around water, even if they cannot swim. Of the 613 boating-related deaths reported by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2019, about 79 percent of these deaths were drowning-related, while 86 percent of these drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
If pool equipment such as pumps and water jets are not properly maintained and checked for proper performance, they may not function as intended. These malfunctions can be dangerous, as they may cause swimmers to be pulled or held under the water.
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Pool safety laws in Arizona
To combat the rising number of accidental drownings, Arizona’s legislature passed laws obligating pool owners or managers to take certain steps to prevent potential drowning accidents from occurring. These laws govern:
According to Arizona law, any pool constructed after June 2, 1992, requires any pools on private property to be fully enclosed by a barrier, fence, or wall at least five feet high. Gates within the enclosure must be both self-closing and self-latching, with the latch at least 54 inches from the ground or on the pool side of the gate, to make it more difficult for small children to easily access the pool area. The gate must also open outward from the pool. Additionally, the latch release must be no less than five inches from the top of the gate, unless the latch is secured by a padlock or electronic locking system.
Semi-public pools are pools constructed for the use of residents, such as in a housing development or apartment complex, as opposed to privately-owned pools, which are generally meant only for use by the property owner or invited guests. Such semi-public pools, spas, or decks, must be entirely enclosed by a fence, wall, or barrier at least five feet high. In addition, these enclosures must meet the same requirements placed upon privately-owned pools by state law concerning gates and latches.
Public pools are pools that are open to the general public for use. Public pools are required to be completely enclosed by a barrier at least six feet high. As with semi-public pools, public pools must also meet the same gate and latch requirements as privately-owned pools in Arizona.
Compensation after an Arizona drowning accident
How much your particular case may be worth will depend on a variety of factors and the specific circumstances of your case. A skilled personal injury attorney in Arizona will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident and work to make sure you are able to pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to, including economic and non-economic damages, such as:
If you are pursuing a claim for an accident that caused the death of your loved one, you may be entitled to any medical expenses incurred by the victim before they passed away. These include expenses you may have personally incurred if you were financially responsible for any of the victim’s medical bills, such as in the case of drowned children.
Funerals alone often leave families struggling beneath a serious financial burden because of how expensive the funeral process can be. Worse, many drowning victims may not have any life insurance or similar coverage that can help cover these expenses for families, especially when the drowning victim was a child. You can generally seek compensation for any funeral expenses incurred on the victim’s behalf.
Loss of Financial Support or Earning Capacity
If your deceased loved one was an income provider for your household, you may be able to seek compensation for the loss of potential income they may have provided for your family. For example, if the drowning victim was the sole financial provider for the household, the victim’s spouse or children may be entitled to compensation for the loss of that income they were previously dependent upon for their support.
Compensation may also be sought for the heavy emotional toll the loss of a loved one can take. It is never easy losing a parent or child, and their sudden and tragic loss in a drowning accident can cause significant emotional anguish. As such, you may be entitled to compensation for any emotional or mental anguish caused by the accident.
Loss of Parental Guidance
Parents play a critical role in their children’s lives, and the loss of a parent can present many difficulties for children no longer able to rely on the support and instruction provided by the parent. If the deceased victim had minor children that were dependent upon the victim, these children may be able to seek compensation for this loss of parental guidance.
Loss of Companionship
The deceased victim’s spouse may also be able to seek compensation for the loss of companionship caused by their partner’s death. The loss of a spouse can be devastating for the surviving partner, as they are not only deprived of companionship and care, in addition to the loss of consortium of their partner, but also possibly denied the potential to have children or provide care for any children.
Our knowledgeable injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group will review the facts of your case closely to make sure they are pursuing the maximum compensation you may be entitled to following a drowning in Arizona.
Contact Arizona drowning accident lawyers near you today
Recovering from any accident is often complicated and takes time but drowning accidents can be especially difficult when the accident results in the tragic and avoidable loss of a loved one. We understand that no amount of financial compensation will replace your loved one. However, if you have lost a loved one because of a drowning in Arizona, an injury attorney may be able to help you seek compensation to help alleviate the financial burdens caused by your loss.
If you lost a loved one in a drowning accident, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Arizona drowning accident lawyer. By quickly contacting our team after your accident, your attorney can help you understand the next steps to take to protect your legal rights and to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Call (800) 863-5312 today to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Arizona as soon as possible. Our team will handle your claim so you can focus on recovering from your physical injuries or the loss of your loved one. You will not pay anything unless we win your case. This is our “No Win, No Fee Guarantee.”
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.