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When a Drowning Accident is a Case of Negligence

Drowning accidents are common and tragic. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury–related death in the world, accounting for 7% of all unintentional deaths worldwide and is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. Worldwide, approximately 372,000 people die from drowning each year. Developing countries have high rates of drowning and account for 91% of total drowning deaths. In the United States, 45% of drowning accidents occur in higher income populations. Drowning accidents are especially tragic when they involve children. Unfortunately, unintentional drowning is a common cause of death in children. The highest drowning rates occur for children ages 1 through 4, followed by children ages 5 through 9. In the United States, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 through 14.

Who is at Risk?

There are certain risk factors for increased rates of drowning in the United States:

Age: Children are more at risk for drowning accidents,

Gender: Males statistically die and become injured more than females from drowning accidents. 80% of those who die from drowning are males. Theories posit that males have more access to water activities and partake in riskier behavior around water,

Minority populations: In the span between 2005 and 2009, African-Americans died in unintentional drowning accidents at higher rates than whites. For kids ages 5 through 14, this disparity was the most pronounced with African-American children dying at a rate three times higher than white children. African-American children die in swimming pools at a rate 5.5 times higher than white children. For the age bracket of 11 to 12, African-American youth drown in swimming pools at a rate 10 times higher than white youth.

When is Drowning a Case of Negligence?

Pool owners, operators, and employees owe a duty to keep patrons safe. If there is a failure to keep a certain level of safety and care, negligence might be a factor in a drowning accident.

Poor safety measures related to pool safety include:

  • Malfunctioning or hazardous pool equipment,
  • Defective or lacking safety equipment,
  • Opaque, murky water,
  • Broken or uncovered drains,
  • Negligence on the part of lifeguards,
  • Inadequate lifeguard training,
  • Broken pool lights,
  • Inadequate supervision of children,
  • Insufficient fencing and warning signs,
  • Broken ladders,
  • Overcrowding,
  • Factors leading to drain entrapment.

If you believe that you or a loved one was involved in a pool or drowning accident that could have been avoided, contact an experienced drowning accident lawyer. You may have the opportunity to hold those at fault accountable and recover damages. Damages include financial costs such as medical and insurance bills. More importantly, however, damages also include emotional suffering and pain. There are time limitations that govern such claims, so it is critical to act swiftly.

Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.

Atlanta metro area attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes understand the pain and devastation that follows a drowning accident. Our attorneys are committed to provide quality representation and support that families need during the time following a drowning accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.