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Danger in the Water: Drowning Deaths and Accidents

Little boy playing in a swimming poolWhen we think of pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches, we think about vacations, family fun, and recreation. But it is important to remember that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about ten people die from unintentional drowning in the United States every single day. Twenty percent of fatalities are children under the age of 14; and five times as many children who die from drowning require emergency room care after a submersion.

While some drowning incidents are simply tragic accidents, many others could have or should have been prevented. In fact, there are a number of laws in place that require property owners and companies to protect others against drowning in specific ways. At Van Sant Law, we are dedicated to helping the family members of drowning victims and near-drowning victims get justice from negligent parties.

While the majority of childhood drowning incidents take place in pools, drowning accidents and near-drowning accidents can happen in a wide range of bodies of water, to people of all ages and backgrounds. These accidents can take place in:

  • Oceans
  • Lakes
  • Ponds
  • Rivers
  • Public and private swimming pools
  • Water parks
  • Fountains and water features
  • Day cares
  • Schools
  • Bathtubs
  • Small containers (infant and toddler drowning accidents)

Could Your Loved One’s Death or Injury Have Been Prevented?

When examining a drowning or near-drowning case at Van Sant Law, the first question we investigate is, who was at fault? In some cases, a submersion accident takes place despite all safety measures. But in many cases, something else went wrong:

  • The pool or body of water did not have proper barriers around it, such as a locked fence.
  • A pool was not safely maintained (for example, a pool has a hazardous broken drain).
  • A public pool or body of water lacked safety equipment.
  • A dangerous body of water lacked the proper warnings or signs.
  • The body of water was not supervised by lifeguards (or enough lifeguards), even though a lifeguard should have been on duty.
  • The lifeguards were not engaged in their job or were distracted.
  • The lifeguards were not properly trained.
  • Dangerous electrical lines or electrical equipment was placed near a pool or body of water.
  • A boating accident was caused by negligence.
  • A person was not provided with a lifejacket or personal floating device by a boat owner or boating company.
  • A boat owner or boating company’s negligence caused a boat accident that lead to a drowning or near-drowning.
  • Alcohol use caused a boating accident.

Submersion and Near-Drowning Injuries Can Also Change Your Life

Even if you or your loved one survives a water submersion incident, the consequences can be devastating. For example, being underwater for even a few minutes can result in a lack of oxygen in the brain and permanent brain damage.

Submersion injuries include:

  • Brain swelling and brain damage
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Hypothermia
  • Pneumonia

Near-drowning injuries can be expensive to treat and difficult to recover from. Some children who suffer submersion injuries may need a lifetime of treatment and ongoing nursing care. If the near-drowning incident was the result of another person or entity’s negligence, they are responsible for these expenses.

Contact a Drowning Accident Attorney in Alpharetta, Georgia

At Van Sant Law, we can never understand what a family goes through when their loved one is seriously injured or killed in a drowning accident. But we do know your rights and we do know exactly how we can help. If you would like to share your story with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney, if you want to find out if you have a case, or if you would simply like to ask us a few questions about your case, call us today at (404) 991-5950 or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you.