Every death is tragic, regardless of the cause, but preventable deaths are especially heartbreaking. If you lost a loved one to negligence, contact our Orange County personal injury lawyer at Case Barnett Law for a free consultation. Although compensation won’t bring them back, it may ease the financial burden you now face. 

In Orange County, swimming is more than a pastime — it’s a cultural staple. And it’s not just swimming in the ocean; almost everyone in SoCo either has a swimming pool or knows someone who does. Because swimming is an everyday activity, it can be easy to forget that under certain circumstances, swimming can be deadly. 

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults are also vulnerable to drowning deaths, especially men and minorities. Although some cases are unavoidable tragedies, many swimming pool fatalities are completely preventable. 

If your loved one or child drowned in a preventable swimming pool accident, that’s unacceptable. Luckily, you may have recourse. The experienced swimming accident attorneys at Case Barnett Law may be able to help you hold the negligent party accountable and secure compensation. Keep reading to find out if you qualify. 

Are you eligible to file a swimming pool death lawsuit? Finding out is as easy as calling Case Barnett Law at 949-409-0055 to schedule your free consultation. 

Orange County Swimming Pool Dangers image of an orange county swimming pool

People drown for a variety of reasons, some of which is no one’s fault but the victim’s. For example, a swimmer may drown as a result of intoxication or reckless behavior. Still, others drown for reasons that are no one’s fault, such as having a medical emergency or being caught in an unexpected riptide. 

When it comes to swimming pool fatalities, the dangers are a little different. As a controlled space, a swimming pool isn’t subject to environmental factors like currents or unexpected floor drop-offs. Pools are also small enough for caregivers to maintain constant supervision. That means when a child or adult drowns in a pool, their death was likely preventable. 

Common Reasons for Simming Accidents and Drowning Deaths

The following swimming pool dangers are among the most common reasons for swimming accidents and drowning deaths: 

  • Failure to supervise. Pool owners have a responsibility to supervise guests they’ve invited onto their property, especially when those guests are children. Similarly, owners of public pools must make sure they’re properly staffed with well-trained lifeguards. 
  • Missing safety equipment. Swimming pools should always have ample first-aid kits and automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). AEDs are a life-saving tool that can shock drowning victims back into normal breathing rhythms, buying precious time until the paramedics arrive. 
  • Lack of fencing. Pools, jacuzzis and hot tubs are considered “attractive nuisances,” meaning their owners have a legal obligation to take reasonable measures to keep children out. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is with fencing. 
  • Insufficient warning. When there is no lifeguard on duty at a public swimming pool, it’s essential that the swimmers know this. Signage should also communicate the depth of the swimming pool to protect would-be divers and non-swimmers. 
  • Inadequate maintenance. Swimming pool owners must properly maintain their facilities, including features like ladders, diving boards, drains, non-slip surfaces, and chemical components. 

Fatal vs. Non-Fatal Drownings

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid.” That means a swimmer doesn’t have to die for their swimming accident to be considered a drowning, but even survivors can experience catastrophic injuries. 

For every child who dies from drowning in the United States, another eight receive emergency department care for non-fatal drownings. More than 40 percent of these cases require hospitalization or transfer for additional care. Non-fatal drowning accidents can result in many serious injuries, including brain damage and long-term disability. 

Legal Claims for Drowning Deaths

While some drownings are truly unforeseeable accidents, many swimming pool drownings are the result of negligent actions. When a swimming pool death or injury occurs, the owner, operator, manufacturer, or supervisor may be held legally liable on a variety of grounds. 

Premises Liability

Premises liability lawsuits are a type of personal injury case that centers around the property. When owners invite guests onto their property, they are responsible for many hazards those guests could encounter. When property owners don’t take reasonable steps to make their pools safe and inform their guests, they might be held liable for any drownings that occur. 

Product Liability 

Product liability lawsuits are another type of personal injury case, and they suggest that an accident occurred as a result of a defective product. Pools or pool equipment may have design or manufacturing defects that result in injury or death. In these cases, there can be many different liable parties, including anyone along the chain of production or even marketing of the product. 

Negligence

Pool owners, operators, on-duty lifeguards, supervisors, and caregivers have a responsibility to ensure a safe environment for swimmers. This means having a properly maintained and staffed pool with adequate warning signs and safety equipment. Supervising adults also have a duty to watch the children in their care and may be considered negligent if they fail to do so. 

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