Drowning and Water Injury Accidents
Every year thousands of people are injured or killed in water accidents. If you recently lost a loved one or experienced injury due to a water accident, and if it is due to the negligence or fault of another, you may be able to could be entitled to justice and recovery
According to the Pool or Spa Submersion: Estimated Injuries and Reported Fatalities, 2013 Report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every year an average of 5,100 pool or spa related accidents occur that require emergency room treatment. In addition, another 390 fatal accidents occur and that number does not include natural bodies of water like lakes or rivers. Sadly, the majority of these accidents happen to children under the age of 15. There are a number of ways that drowning accidents can happen. This includes:
- Negligent lifeguards
- Supervision failure
- Defective or broken gates
- Drains or underwater hazards
- Dangerous pool design
- Missing emergency rescue equipment
Water Accident Injuries
A drowning accident can occur anywhere including private pools, summer camp, water parks, hotels, apartment complexes and anywhere else a body or water exists. Drowning injury is a common outcome of water accidents and in other cases of near drowning, serious injuries can occur. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that drowning is the leading cause of injury death in children ages 1 to 4. It is also the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for all age groups.
Not only do water accidents cause a large number of deaths to children under the age of 15, they are also responsible for many serious injuries. If a swimmer is held underwater for too long, their brain does not receive the oxygen that it needs. As a result, permanent brain damage can occur and lead to:
- Memory problems
- Physical disabilities
- Permanent loss of basic functions
The Consumer Product Safety Commission states in its 2013 report that the majority of pool or spa related accidents occur in pool by a vast majority. Not surprisingly, the largest number of pool accidents involves children under the age of 5 during the summer months. Children are commonly the victims of drowning accidents for many reasons. Mainly, young children are generally not strong swimmers and may not know how to react in water at all. Additionally, they are lighter than adults and more prone to underwater hazards that could potentially restrict their ability to rise form underwater. For these reasons, any party that is responsible for a pool or swimming area should take extra care to make sure that children are kept safe.
Causes of Drowning Accidents
The CPSC also reports that, in the period from 2010 to 2012, 24% of swimming pool or spa accidents that required emergency treatment for victims under the age of 15 occurred in public locations. Another graph shows that, among victims younger than 15, 23% of accidents occurred in the pool of a family or friend and another 19% occurred in a public, community or business pool.
When a child suffers in a drowning or near drowning accident in New Hampshire, the law states that the families of the victim are entitled to seek compensation if negligence is involved. There are many ways that negligence can be shown in a drowning accident. In cases such as summer camps, public pools or even community pools where a lifeguard staff member is charged with watching swimmers, a drowning accident may be the result of negligent supervision. In other circumstances, a faulty designed or poorly maintained pool or spa can lead to serious injury. Broken drainage, for example, may snag a swimmer's hair or clothing and hold them underwater.
Pools and spas should be properly secured with fences and gates that secure from small children. If a pool or spa owner is negligent in preventing children from accessing the water, they could be held liable for damages. The CDC recommends that pools should have a fence at least 4 feet high with self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward and have latches high enough to stay out of reach to small children.
If your child has been the victim of a water injury or drowning in Iowa or Illinois contact us right away .