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Drowning Accident Lawyers

In the heart of Houston’s summer, where families seek solace and joy in the cool waters, the threat of drowning accidents casts a long and sorrowful shadow. These tragedies, striking when least expected, leave loved ones reeling in their wake, burdened with sudden loss and unforeseen challenges.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning ranks as the leading cause of death in children. In 2022, Texas witnessed 76 drowning deaths, with children under four making up 80% of these tragic cases. Drowning brings a heavy heart to family and friends. There are questions and final costs to sort out. Reaching out to a Houston drowning accident lawyer can help ease some of that burden.

At Johnson Garcia, our team of Houston wrongful death lawyers is committed to easing your burden and supporting you and your family by advocating for the fair compensation you rightfully deserve. Families mourning the loss of a loved one should not have to face the added pressure of high funeral costs and other expenses, all while navigating a legal battle. Allow us to shoulder the legal responsibilities of your case, freeing you to focus on precious moments with your nearest and dearest.

Drowning Accident Lawyers

Call us today at 832-844-6700 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Houston work injury lawyer.

What Are the Common Causes of Drowning Accidents?

At first glance, it may seem like the person who drowned or nearly drowned is responsible. Presumably, this is due to a lack of swimming skills – a point often emphasized by defense lawyers in cases of drowning accidents. However, further examination of the incident can reveal that third parties may bear full or partial responsibility for the event.

Frequent third-party factors contributing to drowning incidents include:

  • Negligence on the part of lifeguards, including failure to detect someone in distress
  • The absence of lifeguards in areas where their presence is critical
  • Lack of accessible life jackets in situations where they are essential
  • Boating accidents result from the actions of drunk or careless operators
  • The absence of safety barriers around swimming areas and pools
  • The lack of demarcation for separating inexperienced swimmers from deeper waters

Where Do Most Drowning Accidents Happen?

Many drowning accidents happen when young kids sneak into a pool area that’s not adequately fenced off or watched over. That’s why homeowners and resorts often face lawsuits due to their negligence in monitoring and preventing kids from wandering into pool areas unsupervised.

Every year, numerous drowning accidents occur in open waters such as beaches and natural lakes. It’s important for these areas to have lifeguards on duty to keep an eye out for anyone in distress. If lifeguards aren’t available, then clearly visible warning signs should be in place as a minimum safety measure.

Are Drowning Accidents Always Fatal?

Drowning accidents are not always fatal, though they often have serious consequences. A person can drown when experiencing difficulty breathing after inhaling enough liquid into their lungs, regardless of its source. While many victims tragically do not survive these incidents, there are survivors who, unfortunately, may suffer from severe, life-altering injuries.

The term “near-drowning” describes instances where an individual drowns but is subsequently revived and survives. This situation is critical because any period during which the brain is deprived of oxygen can cause permanent brain damage. Oxygen deprivation lasting more than a few minutes is particularly dangerous and can result in significant long-term effects, even if the individual is resuscitated.

“Secondary drowning” is a term used when someone inhales water while struggling to stay afloat, which can happen even to distressed swimmers. A person might initially survive this ordeal, only to experience complications from the inhaled water hours or even days later.

How Is Fault Determined in Drowning Accidents?

In the wake of a drowning accident, pinpointing who’s at fault is crucial for seeking justice and compensation. Fault determination hinges on identifying the duty of care owed by property owners, operators, and supervisors of aquatic environments. Whether it’s a private swimming pool, a bustling resort, or a serene public lake, ensuring visitor safety through stringent safety protocols and premises liability is non-negotiable.

Negligence emerges when safety measures fail, including:

  • Lack of supervision or inadequate safety regulations.
  • Failure to warn of potential hazards, such as areas where diving is dangerous.
  • Insufficient security measures or fencing to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Not providing trained staff, like lifeguards, to ensure safety.
  • Failing to maintain age-appropriate equipment for all users.
  • Neglecting to conduct regular, scheduled safety inspections to uphold safety standards.

The law offers multiple avenues to assess liability in drowning cases, emphasizing the need for thorough investigations into each unique incident. This includes examining the roles of property owners, management companies, product manufacturers, and others in maintaining safety.

  • Premises liability claims underscore that property owners must take necessary steps to keep their premises safe for rightful visitors. This duty includes securing pools from unsupervised children and providing lifeguards for public swimming areas.
  • Product liability claims come into play when drowning is linked to a faulty product, such as malfunctioning pool equipment or defective flotation devices. Manufacturers of these products may be held accountable for contributing to the accident.
  • Attractive nuisance laws focus on the property owner’s responsibility to protect children from hazards that naturally draw their curiosity, such as swimming pools. These laws mandate that such dangers be adequately secured to prevent child access, aiming to reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Willful misconduct claims address incidents where an individual’s deliberate negligence or reckless behavior leads to a drowning. This can include scenarios where lack of supervision, impaired judgment, or aggressive actions directly result in harm.

Beyond the immediate surroundings, liability can extend to individuals and entities responsible for maintaining a safe environment, such as camp counselors or boat operators who neglect proper safety gear provision. Each case requires a meticulous investigation to unravel the layers of responsibility and assert the rights of those affected.

What Kinds of Injuries Result from Drowning Accidents?

Drowning accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries, some of which may have long-lasting or even permanent effects on the victim. These incidents are traumatic not only for the individual involved but also for their families and loved ones. The nature and severity of injuries depend on several factors, including the length of time submerged and the quickness of the rescue and medical response.

Injuries resulting from drowning accidents include:

  • Brain Damage. Lack of oxygen can cause brain injuries, ranging from mild impairment to severe brain damage.
  • Lung Injuries. Water inhalation can lead to lung complications, including pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
  • Hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to cold water can reduce body temperature, leading to hypothermia.
  • Cardiac Arrest. The shock of cold water or lack of oxygen can cause the heart to stop.

In cases of near drowning, where the individual survives, they may still experience serious health issues. Near drowning can result in complications similar to those mentioned above, especially brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. Even when rescued and resuscitated, victims of near drowning may face a long road to recovery, dealing with the physical, neurological, and psychological aftermath of their experience.

Understanding the potential injuries from drowning underscores the importance of water safety measures and quick, effective emergency response to prevent these tragic outcomes and mitigate the severity of injuries when accidents do occur.

What Damages Can Be Recovered from Drowning Accidents?

In the aftermath of a drowning accident, understanding the types of damages that can be recovered is crucial for victims and their families. These incidents not only bring emotional turmoil but also financial strain. Legal claims for drowning accidents aim to provide financial restitution, acknowledging the profound impact of these tragic events.

Victims and their families may be eligible for compensation covering:

  • Medical Expenses. Costs incurred for medical treatment before the victim passes away can be recovered. This includes hospital stays, treatments, and any related medical expenses leading up to the death.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses. The financial burden of funeral services, burial, or cremation of the deceased can be part of the compensation.
  • Loss of Future Earnings. The untimely death of a loved one can mean a significant loss of income that they would have earned over their lifetime. Families can seek compensation for this lost earning potential to help secure their financial future.
  • Pain and Suffering. Compensation may include the victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering endured before death.
  • Loss of Companionship. The emotional impact of losing a loved one’s support, love, and companionship can be acknowledged through monetary compensation.
  • Emotional Distress. Surviving family members may receive compensation for their own emotional distress and suffering caused by the loss.
  • Punitive Damages. In cases where the negligence was egregious, especially involving corporate or governmental entities, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter future negligence.

Each case is unique, and our approach is tailored to the specific circumstances surrounding the drowning incident. Whether dealing with the near-drowning of a loved one or the wrongful death claim following a fatal incident, we meticulously assess all aspects of the case. This includes evaluating medical and funeral expenses, the emotional and financial impact of the loss, and the potential for punitive damages. Our goal is to assist families in navigating through this challenging time with dignity and support, striving to secure the comprehensive compensation they deserve.

How Can the Drowning Accident Lawyers at Johnson Garcia Help?

Our drowning accident lawyers at Johnson Garcia bring over three decades of collective experience to tackle each case with unmatched depth and insight. This extensive background equips us with a nuanced grasp of the multifaceted nature of drowning accident claims, from the intricacies of liability to the nuances of local safety regulations.

Our team meticulously handles all legal aspects of your case, allowing you and your family to concentrate on the healing process. From conducting thorough investigations and gathering critical evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for you in court if necessary — we are committed to standing firm in the face of adversity and fighting tirelessly for the rights and well-being of those we serve. Our goal is to relieve you of the burden of legal proceedings so that your focus can remain on recovery and rebuilding.

Acting swiftly under the statute of limitations is crucial to preserving your rights and ensuring that you can seek the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the window of opportunity close on your chance for justice and compensation. Contact us today or give us a call at 832-844-6700 for a free consultation.

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