San Antonio Drowning Accident Lawyers

Call a San Antonio drowning accident lawyer today at (800) 863-5312

San Antonio is the eighth largest city in the United States and home of the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. Because the city is so populous and hosts so many tourists, there are plenty of places to swim when the weather gets hot. Even though you might be grateful for the opportunity to swim in the various pools and parks in San Antonio, the generosity of the pool and park owners does not exempt them from their duty of care to swimmers. San Antonio drowning accident lawyers can help you understand the duty of care of a pool owner who failed to prevent your loved one from drowning.

If you or a loved one drowned in San Antonio, talk to a Zinda Law Group injury lawyer. Our attorneys can try to answer your questions about your case during a free consultation. Call (800) 863-5312 to talk with our compassionate lawyers today.

What does a Personal injury attorney in San Antonio do?

Broadly speaking, a personal injury attorney’s job is to advocate for their client’s rights. This means that the lawyer tracks down the necessary evidence and shows that the defendant was negligent or otherwise strictly liable for the accident. Here are the actions a personal injury lawyer can help you with if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim:

Filing a Lawsuit

Before you file a lawsuit, you should talk with a lawyer to determine whether that is the right step for your case. If you are able to provide enough information about the accident, a lawyer may be able to help you pursue compensation. Talk with a lawyer before two years have passed after the accident, since Texas bars personal injury claims older than two years.

Once you know that you will move forward with your claim, a lawyer can help you determine who to sue since there could be several parties involved — pool owners, lifeguards, insurance companies, etc. You also must sue in the correct court and use the correct legal claim for the circumstances. An attorney can help you with all those procedural and substantive details.

Building Your Case

You might know some of the facts of your case, but you could be missing crucial details that could affect your compensation amount. You should try to gather key information from the accident, includingthe names of the people involved. Your lawyer can interview people involved in the accident to see who might be a good witness for your case. As the lawyers on either side of the lawsuit gain information, they exchange their findings so that they can agree on a settlement amount.

Agreeing on a Settlement Amount

Even though the longest part of litigation is building your case, the most difficult part could be arriving at a settlement amount that both parties are happy with. The defendant and the insurance companies will likely try to limit their liability by raising defenses. The defenses the defendant might raise include assumption of the risk, meaning that you knew how dangerous the activity was before you participated in it, and contributory negligence, meaning that your negligence contributed to the cause of the accident.

It can be intimidating to address those defenses if you are not an attorney. A Texas personal injury lawyer can address those defenses appropriately and preserve the strength of your claim so that you can get the right settlement amount. If the parties cannot agree on how much compensation you deserve, you may go to trial to try to recover for your injuries.

Helping You Pursue Compensation

compensation will depend on your economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include expenses like medical bills, missed wages from time away from work, and funeral expenses. Noneconomic damages cover the pain and suffering you experienced, perhaps the pain and suffering of watching a loved one drown and living your life without him or her.

What to do after a drowning in San Antonio

If you or a loved one has drowned or partially drowned, you might not have time to focus on anything but making sure the victim regains consciousness and breath. Here are the steps to take following a drowning accident:

Try to Get the Victim to Breathe

Do whatever you can to get the victim to breathe again if the victim is unconscious and not breathing. If there is a lifeguard on duty, the lifeguard should know CPR and be able to begin rescue breathing and chest compressions. The lifeguard should not give up quickly on the victim or say that the victim is past help, since even victims who have been unconscious for a while can be revived. If the victim was swimming in a cold lake or pool, remove his or her clothes and wrap the victim in warm towels so that he or she does not get hypothermia.

While the lifeguard is trying to get the victim to breathe, call 911. Even if the lifeguard can resuscitate the victim, the victim might need emergency medical treatment to fully recover. If the victim survives, ensure that he or she visits a doctor.

Visiting a doctor provides evidence of your injury. As you visit the doctor, keep a record of which doctor you visited, when you went, what the visit was for, and all of your diagnoses and treatments. This is important for showing the extent of your injuries.

Go Back to the Accident Scene

It might be difficult to return to the place where the tragedy occurs, but that place can hold key evidence to help with your claim. Additionally, the sooner you  do this after the accident, the more accurate the evidence will be. Dangerous sections may not have been clearly marked, or there may not have been a sign to indicate whether there was a lifeguard on duty.

Take pictures of any signage and of where the accident took place. If you can track down people who were there when you or your loved one drowned or nearly drowned, find them and collect their contact information so your lawyer can interview them and see whether they would make good witnesses. These witnesses can substantiate your claim and strengthen your case in the future.

WHERE DO DROWNINGS IN SAN ANTONIO MOST FREQUENTLY OCCUR? 

Unfortunately, drowning can happen anywhere that water is present, since younger children can drown in as little as two inches of water. Most drownings will occur in areas where parents do not feel the need to watch their children as closely, such as in public swimming pools where parents are trying to relax and count on the lifeguards to do this job. Here are the places where drownings in San Antonio most frequently occur:

Homeowner’s Pools 

One of the benefits of living in a warm climate like San Antonio is that you can keep your pool open for most of the year (though it is ill-advised to keep your pool open during the short winters). Therefore, many San Antonio homeowners have private pools. It is possible for homeowners and other private owners of pools to be found liable for drownings that occur on their property, even if they did not invite the victim there. This is because the law considers pools to be an attractive nuisance to children.

Public Pools 

Many businesses in San Antonio provide pools to the public for patrons to enjoy. Drownings can occur in any of these locations, especially if the owners are not careful enough. If a loved one has drowned in a public pool, investigate the safety measures the pool has invested in. Investigate their hiring and training procedures for lifeguards and other safety personnel. Pools must comply with safety regulations and failure to do so could be a fatal mistake.

Condominium and Apartment Pools 

Many apartment complexes offer pools to their residents to help get them through the hot summer months of south Texas. While everyone loves a cool dip in the pool, apartments still owe their residents a safe environment to relax. There are certain minimum safety standards that should be followed, such as fencing the pool if it is outdoors and locking it if it is indoors when a lifeguard is not present. If no lifeguard is on duty, the pool should also take precautions by informing swimmers of this.

Amusement Parks

Many pools in Texas provide lifeguards, and parents expect these professionals to watch over their children. This is especially true in amusement parks, where more dangerous attractions are often present, like water slides and wave pools. Lifeguards here, as everywhere, must be sufficiently trained to keep children and all swimmers safe.

Beaches 

While San Antonio is an inland city, many lakes and other natural bodies of water in San Antonio offer exciting and attractive swimming options for the city’s residents. Still, any body of water can be a drowning risk for swimmers. Boats and alcohol do not mix, but this does not stop many people from indulging while they are out on the water. This can cause them to become confused underwater and swim deeper rather than to safety. Children are at a risk too if they are not closely supervised.

Government Property 

The city of San Antonio and the state of Texas operate many swimming locations as well. Most states and cities do not allow citizens to sue them for injuries suffered on government property, but Texas does. This means that, if you suffered an injury because of a public employee in Texas, you might be able to sue the public employee.

WHO IS AT FAULT? 

At this point, you are probably wondering who is at fault when someone drowns and what can be done about it? Ultimately, this will depend on the specific nature of the accident and what exactly transpired. It is hard to give a blanket answer predicting who will be at fault in these situations, but some of the most important issues that courts will look at include whether there is a reasonable expectation that guests swimming in the body of water will be kept safe, and to whom the body of water belongs.

Publicly Available Lakes and Pools

Many drownings occur in waters owned by private companies that have opened their property up for the public. Any owner who does this, especially for commercial reasons, is required by law to highlight potential hazards and bring swimmers’ attention to any drowning risks. When owners provide lifeguards, they have a legal obligation to recruit candidates that are properly certified and trained for the position.

In some situations, the lifeguard will be found to have been negligent. When this occurs in the performance of an employees’ duties, their employer is usually liable for their negligence. This means that, if a drowning occurred and the lifeguard was not taking reasonable care to keep patrons safe, the owner of the pool or lake can be held liable.

Family Pools and Lakes Owned by Individuals

If the unthinkable happens and your child drowns while swimming in a lake or pool that they were invited to, the individual who invited your child might be liable for the drowning. In situations like this, a court could find that your trust in that person to protect your child was reasonable and they failed to do so. If the individual did not have any safety features or barriers meant to block access to the water, this could count in your favor as well. As we talked about earlier, in situations where a child trespasses onto private property, it is still possible that the owner is liable as water is often considered an attractive nuisance.

talk to a San Antonio drowning accident lawyer at zinda law group

If you or a loved one drowned or nearly drowned in San Antonio due to someone else’s negligence, we can help you. The lawyers at Zinda Law Group care about victims like you and can help you as you recover from the accident. Our drowning accident attorneys will evaluate your case and see whether someone else is liable for the injuries and damages you suffered.

If you or someone you love has drowned, resulting in serious injury or death, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable drowning accident lawyer in San Antonio.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.