Drowning Accident

A Cook County Premises Liability Attorney Can Help after a Drowning Accident

Generally, there are two primary causes of drowning accidents. The majority happen when property owners don’t keep their pools safe. This includes homeowners, business owners and municipal entities. Gates should be locked; surrounding areas should be safe and uncluttered; and when necessary, warnings should be posted. If negligence occurs, then a Cook County premises liability attorney may file a claim on your behalf.

The cause occurs when pool equipment manufacturers create, or service companies improperly install defective products, including drains, diving boards or other pieces of pool equipment. This can result in a manufacturing product liability claim.

It can take less than five minutes of a parent’s, supervisor’s or lifeguard’s inattention for anyone to suffer a serious drowning injury. If the victim’s life is saved, the effects still could alter his or her life forever. Anyone who is oxygen-starved for more than a couple of minutes can suffer serious brain damage, which can lead to lifelong disabilities that greatly alter the victim’s life, as well as their families. Compensation may be available through a Cook County premises liability attorney.

Drowning accidents can occur in any of the following places:

  • A neighbor’s swimming pool
  • A swimming pool where the public is allowed access, such as a country club, school or municipal pool
  • Water parks
  • Public swimming lakes
  • Depending on the facts of the case, private lakes

Premises Liability, Product Liability and Negligence-related Drowning Accidents

Premises liability is often involved in cases when a victim is injured when visiting someone else’s property. Any property owner who allows people to swim has specific legal duties to visitors. But these duties depend on how that visitor is defined.

  • An invitee visits a property for the mutual benefit of both parties. This would include a customer at a water park, country club or municipal swimming pool.
  • A licensee visits a property for his or her own benefit. A person visiting a friend’s house for a pool party would be a licensee.
  • A trespasser enters property without the owner’s permission.

Invitees must be warned of dangers by signs or a posted set of rules in clear view of all. A licensee must be verbally warned by the property owner if there are any dangerous conditions of which the owner is clearly aware, which may pose a hazard to their safety. Owners of all pools at which others may swim must take “reasonable” steps to ensure the safety of their lawful visitors. If one sustains an injury or drowns, a premises liability claim may be filed by the injured person or family members against the property owner.

Product liability claims as a result of an accident or drowning are usually taken against the company that manufactured a drain system or cover, diving board or ladder that may have caused an injury or drowning. Negligence is usually, but not always, the basis for most of these claims because the manufacturer:

  • Designed an unsafe product
  • Manufactured the unsafe product
  • Failed to warn that it was unsafe

Sometimes, though, if strict liability (inherently dangerous products) can be proved, it is not necessary to prove negligence against a manufacturer. Pool service companies can become defendants in a product liability claim if they installed what they knew to be a dangerously manufactured product.

Damages that can be awarded in swimming accidents or drowning include:

  • All medical bills, including disability and other associated expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income (including future earnings if the victim is permanently disabled)
  • Additional wrongful death damages

If you or a member of your family was injured in a pool accident or suffered permanent damage or wrongful death due to drowning, Buttafuoco & Associates can help. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or fill out our online contact form.