As spring soon approaches, Americans will soon be cooling off in swimming pools. Tragically, as people flock to the water, drowning deaths increase. It is estimated that approximately 4,000 people die in drowning accidents in the United States each year. The CDC reports that more than 8,000 pool accident victims are treated for nonfatal drowning injuries.
Drowning is the second leading cause of fatalities for young children, with approximately three children passing away in drowning accidents on average per day. Drownings are the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 14. Although the CDC, drowning death rates have fallen by 32% in the past ten years. However, water safety experts think more must be done to stop these tragic incidents.
One CDC report states that the racial disparities in drowning deaths has remained the same since 1999. The report states that Black Americans are 1.5 times more likely to drown than other Americans.
Although annual drowning deaths are fairly low in a country with a population of over 330 million, the number of annual drowning deaths is ten times the annual number of traffic deaths. Public health experts are concerned because nearly all drowning deaths are preventable.
According to Shannon Frattaroli, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research, drownings do not have to happen. Frattaroli believes that local and state public health agencies should do more to create and enforce effective water safety policies. She thinks the issue can be resolved with more federal funding.
Some advocates believe things will change in 2023 as President Biden’s infrastructure bill will release billions of dollars to improve health and welfare, and drowning prevention could receive the investment it deserves. The CDC could receive new funding for drowning prevention, and that money might be distributed to state public health agencies.
States such as Florida, Colorado, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Washington already have drowning prevention programs that are funded by state revenues. Florida lawmakers are considering a law that will require public schools to provide parents with information about water safety courses and swimming safety. New York lawmakers also proposed a new law that would make water safety education mandatory in the state’s K-12 educational curriculum.
The Top Causes of Pool Drownings
Drowning in a pool can occur for many different reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Lack of swimming ability: People who are unable to swim or do not know how to swim are at a higher risk of drowning. This is particularly true for children who may accidentally fall into the water.
- Lack of supervision: It is important to have constant adult supervision around a swimming pool, especially when young children are present. Drowning can happen quickly, and even a few seconds of unsupervised access to a pool can be dangerous.
- Alcohol and drug use: Alcohol and drug use can impair judgment and reaction time, making it difficult to stay afloat and avoid drowning.
- Seizures: People who have seizures or other medical conditions that can cause loss of consciousness are at a higher risk of drowning in a pool.
- Water depth: Pools that are too deep for a person’s swimming ability can also increase the risk of drowning.
- Lack of pool safety measures: The absence of pool barriers, covers, and alarms can also increase the risk of drowning.
- Hypothermia: Prolonged exposure to cold water can lead to hypothermia, which can lead to loss of consciousness and drowning.
- Improper maintenance – Improperly maintained pools can lead to injuries and deaths.
- Defective pools – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly issues safety recalls concerning dangerous defective pools, pool parts, and pool chemicals. Some children and adults have lost their lives due to defective drains.
It is essential to take appropriate safety measures around swimming pools to prevent drowning deaths. These measures include swimming lessons, adult supervision, pool safety barriers, pool alarms, and following safety rules and regulations.
Can you file a wrongful death lawsuit for a fatal pool death of a loved one?
Yes, it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit for a fatal pool death of a loved one. Wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, company, or entity. In the case of a pool death, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against the owner or operator of the pool, the manufacturer of a defective pool product, or any other party whose negligence or recklessness contributed to the death.
To bring a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a legal duty of care to the victim, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach of duty directly caused the victim’s death. The plaintiff must also establish the damages suffered by the victim’s surviving family members, such as loss of income, loss of companionship, and funeral expenses.
It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the facts of the case and provide guidance on the potential for a successful wrongful death lawsuit. The laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits vary by state, so it is important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable about the relevant state laws.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal pool accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. At Parker Waichman LLP, we understand the devastation of losing a family member and we are committed to helping you seek justice.
Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your case and provide guidance on the legal options available to you. Our firm has a proven track record of success in wrongful death lawsuits and are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients.
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