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Drowning incidents can transpire in various situations, including boating accidents involving intoxicated or negligent drivers, as well as at public or private swimming pools. Recognizing the hazards related to swimming pool accidents, Massachusetts legislators have established legal responsibilities for property owners with swimming pools to ensure the safety of their pool areas. If a drowning accident occurs due to a property owner's failure to uphold these legal obligations, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or losses.
At Bellotti Law Group, P.C., our team of dedicated Boston personal injury lawyers are committed to providing exceptional representation and guidance for our clients. With a track record of successful outcomes, our firm has earned a reputation for excellence in addressing a wide range of legal matters. Trust in the expertise of the Bellotti Law Group, P.C., as we work diligently to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today for a free case evaluation.Compensation for Personal Injury Drowning Claims
Establishing liability in Massachusetts for drowning fatalities or swimming pool injuries relies on the unique details of each case. Property owners with backyard pools are typically required to enclose the area with locked fences that meet local safety codes. Accidents at public swimming pools can occur if a lifeguard is not present, or due to negligent pool design or maintenance, and other risk factors. In some rare instances, accidents may result from a series of unforeseen events.
In order to secure compensation, plaintiffs must prove that the property owner's negligence or breach of duty caused the drowning incident. If safety ordinances have been violated, such as mandatory lifeguard presence or proper pool area security, an assumption of negligence can arise under the legal doctrine of negligence per se. In such cases, the plaintiff is not required to prove negligence, as it is presumed based on the violation.
Alternatively, plaintiffs can demonstrate breach of duty by showing that the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care in ensuring pool safety. A skilled Boston premises liability lawyer can help you identify the most effective strategy for your case and obtain the compensation you deserve following a severe or fatal accident.Wrongful Death Drownings
If a drowning accident or swimming pool injury transpires due to a property owner or pool operator's failure to implement adequate safety measures, they may be held accountable for the resulting damages. In wrongful death claims, these damages can be considerable, encompassing not only reimbursement for medical and hospital expenses incurred prior to the victim's death, but also compensation for the deceased's lost future income or financial support that they would have provided to their family had they survived. Furthermore, damages for the loss of companionship endured by the surviving spouse and/or children are also taken into account.U.S. Drowning Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning accidents present the following statistics:
- In 2010, nearly 3,700 people lost their lives due to drowning, based on the latest available data.
- Fatal drownings involve children aged 14 or younger in over 25% of cases.
- Nearly five times as many children experience brain damage from oxygen deprivation while submerged, compared to those who die from drowning. Resulting neurological injuries can range from memory deficits and severe learning disabilities to coma or a permanent vegetative state.
- Interestingly, almost 90% of drownings occur in freshwater, even in coastal states like Massachusetts.
- Home (private) swimming pools account for more than half of all drownings.
- Infants under one year old most commonly drown in bathtubs and basins, while children aged 1 to 4 are most likely to drown in swimming pools.
- Drowning incidents for children aged 5-14 are more prevalent in oceans, ponds, lakes, or rivers.
- Teenagers and adults often drown due to drug or alcohol impairment.
- Boating accidents contribute to nearly 10% of all drowning deaths and swimming accidents.
- Private swimming pools pose a high risk as aquatic environments, primarily due to the frequent lack of lifeguards or individuals knowledgeable in water safety.
Being vigilant when swimming or boating and supervising young children near any water source is crucial for safety. This includes bathtubs, cleaning pails, hot tubs, whirlpools, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans. Refrain from alcohol consumption when swimming or boating, and ensure fences around personal property are secured to prevent children from accessing pools, hot tubs, or whirlpools unsupervised.
Additional precautions to prevent injuries or worse while swimming include avoiding rip currents (characterized by choppy water) and steering clear of marine creatures like jellyfish or coral. Children should not be responsible for supervising other children while swimming. Refrain from diving in shallow water and always avoid swimming without proper supervision.Common Causes of Drowning
Drowning can result from various circumstances, such as impaired judgment or coordination due to alcohol or drug consumption; mishaps during boating, diving, scuba diving, or other aquatic activities; neglecting to wear a life vest while boating or lacking a life preserver; and swimming without supervision or without adequate swimming skills, among other factors.Our Attorneys Can Help You
At Bellotti Law Group, P.C., we provide free, no-obligation consultations at your convenience to discuss your drowning accident case and help you understand your rights. Our Houston drowning accident attorneys can accommodate in-person meetings, remote consultations, or even visit you at your location. We are committed to ensuring that injured loved ones receive the best possible medical care and support families in filing wrongful death lawsuits. Our team is dedicated to gathering crucial evidence promptly and building a robust case on your behalf.
We will work tirelessly to secure maximum recovery for your family by negotiating with insurance companies and responsible parties. Our goal is to obtain compensation for past and future economic losses, as well as pain and suffering. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to file a lawsuit and take the case to court. Trust Bellotti Law Group, P.C. to guide you through this challenging time and help you achieve the justice you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.