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Being a lifeguard is the perfect summer job for a young teenager or young adult who wants to spend time by the water. In fact, most people are familiar with the sight of a young man or woman seated high atop a chair looking out over the water and scanning for signs of trouble. When a swimmer is in distress, the lifeguard leaps into action, diving into the water and rescuing the distressed individual.


What happens, though, when this scene does not play out? What if the lifeguard is distracted because he or she is talking with someone or using their cell phone and does not see a person in distress? What if the lifeguard does not properly assess the situation and water conditions and does not arrive in time to assist the drowning swimmer? What if the lifeguard is not properly trained and cannot provide CPR or first aid to a drowning victim? In each of these cases, the drowning victim and/or his or her family may be entitled to compensation for their losses and expenses.

Examples of Negligent Lifeguarding

Whether they realize it or not, many pool attendees and people at lakes and beaches rely on lifeguards to assist them if they find themselves in dangerous predicaments. While no lifeguard is perfect, a lifeguard is generally required to act in a way that a reasonable lifeguard of the same age and with the same training would act. A lifeguard that does not do so may be found to have acted negligently. This can occur, for instance, if the lifeguard:


  • Does not maintain a watch on swimmers or other people in the water;
  • Does not come to work rested, attentive, and able to perform his or her job duties;
  • Comes to work intoxicated or under the influence of a substance;
  • Takes unauthorized breaks or otherwise leaves his or her post when he or she is not permitted to do so;
  • Is not properly trained on how to rescue distressed individuals or perform CPR or first aid; and
  • Does not appear for work with the tools necessary to carry out his or her job (such as a flotation device and/or first aid kit).


Problems with Lifeguard Negligence Lawsuits

In general, a negligent lifeguard can be held responsible for the injuries, losses, and expenses that he or she causes. But there are some difficulties that an injury victim may encounter in a lifeguard negligence lawsuit that might need to be addressed in order for the victim to receive full compensation:


The lifeguard may be underage:

While a minor child can be sued in some circumstances, a child’s actions may be judged based on how a reasonable child – as opposed to a reasonable adult – would have acted. This may result in the court giving the child lifeguard much more deference than it would give to an adult lifeguard.

The lifeguard may not have resources to compensate you:

A lifeguard is typically not paid well. If your injuries exceed whatever insurance limits the lifeguard may have in place, it may become necessary to bring suit against the supervisor or employer of the lifeguard so that you can recover the compensation you need.

The lifeguard may argue you contributed to your injuries:

The lifeguard may attempt to avoid liability – either in part or in whole – by claiming that you contributed to your injuries by panicking and resisting rescue efforts (for example). If you thrashed about and struck the lifeguard, he or she may even countersue you for the injuries you caused him or her.


Contact Zinda Law Group Now

The lifeguard negligence lawyers at Zinda Law Group know and understand the challenges that these lawsuits can face. The key to overcoming them is to conduct a full investigation into the facts of your case, discover potential problems that may keep you from receiving the compensation you need, and try to overcome these problems by securing necessary evidence and testimony. Learn how we may be able to help you recover compensation after your injury accident by calling Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312.