Drowning Accident Attorney
Compassionate representation for families of drowning death victims
Drowning accidents are devastating to the entire surrounding community. Those who have a connection to the area typically want to know how the accident took place and whether it could have been prevented. The family especially seeks answers as they mourn the loss of a family member and prepare funeral arrangements. As part of the process of moving forward, the family will inevitably incur expenses. Under Florida law, drowning victims’ families may file a claim for compensation if their family member’s death occurred at the fault of someone else.
It is not always easy to determine the responsible party in a drowning accident case. In some instances, multiple parties may be liable. Florida personal injury lawyers help families of accident victims determine who may be legally responsible for the victim’s injury. Throughout the fact-finding process, the attorney may look into who owns, operates, or officially supervises the location at which the accident took place. The lawyer will likely want to know if a specific person, such as a parent, babysitter, teacher, coach, or another party was directly responsible for supervising the accident victim or the area in which the accident took place. There are several factors that may determine liability. Therefore, no two accident cases are exactly alike.
Swimming pool drowning accidents
If a drowning accident takes place at a swimming pool that is operated by a school, municipality, or a swimming club, the entity that operates the pool may be liable. Localities typically require pool facilities to post specific safety warnings around the pool. Examples include “No Diving” signs, hazard notifications informing guests of potential danger, and pool labels to indicate how deep the water is in each section of the pool. These facilities typically must provide a certified lifeguard or post signs notifying swimmers that there is no lifeguard on duty. Communal pool operators are also expected to maintain the pool in proper working order and keep the pool and surrounding area in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to meet any of these requirements may expose the owner or operator of the pool facility to liability in the event of an accident.
Private pool drowning accidents
People who own a private pool in their home or backyard may be liable in the event of a drowning accident on their property. Florida’s Residential Pool Safety Act requires all outdoor pools to have a four-foot barrier around the outer perimeter of the pool with no gaps in coverage. The barrier must also be located a safe distance away from the edge of the pool to prevent children from immediately falling into the pool if they are able to gain access. The barrier must open outward and have a self-closing door that is also self-latching. The latch must be located at a height of at least 54 inches above the ground.
Homeowners who do not properly secure their pool expose themselves to potential liability. The homeowner may be liable even if a child accesses the property without permission and enters an unsecured pool. Adults who do not properly supervise children at pool parties may also be liable in the event of an accident.
Pools in residential complexes
Residential complexes operate pools under a more stringent set of state laws. These communities are required to hire a licensed swimming pool contractor to construct their pools, and they must have the newly-constructed pool inspected by the Department of Health upon completion. Community pools must also be equipped with an approved safety cover to be placed on the pool when not in use. Complexes are also required to enclose their pools with a gate that meets the residential pool enclosure requirements. The gate must also be equipped with a swimming pool alarm that sounds in the event of an accident or if someone enters the pool without permission. If a residential complex does not comply with state and federal safety regulations, a victim’s family may file a claim against the complex if an accident takes place. Florida accident attorneys represent victims’ families against the corporations that own and operate the residential complexes that are charged with maintaining onsite pools.
Types of compensation
In drowning accident cases, the victim’s family may file a claim to receive compensation. The family may incur medical expenses for hospital transport and emergency medical treatment. They will also likely have funeral expenses. Beyond medical and funeral expenses, courts award accident victims’ families compensation for the loss of the individual’s companionship. If the injured party was a working adult at the time of the accident, the individual’s spouse and children may also receive compensation for future loss of income the individual would have contributed to the household.
Fortunately, the court does not expect the average person to be able to assign a dollar value to their family member’s presence. Palm Bay accident attorneys have the legal training and experience to help accident victims’ families understand the types of compensation to which they may be entitled. Insurance companies use formulas to calculate how much they offer surviving family members in accident cases. These formulas often do not capture the full extent of the family’s legal damages. Your accident attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance companies and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Contacting a Palm Bay drowning accident lawyer
No grieving family should have to navigate the complexities of a civil court case alone. Contact us, and receive a free case evaluation. Our staff will handle your case with compassion and discretion. We will ask the necessary questions to determine the facts of your case. Next, our accident lawyer will follow up with you to help you make informed decisions about your legal options. If you decide to pursue legal action, your attorney will work tirelessly to identify the legally-responsible parties and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Leave the legal legwork to us. We will focus on gathering the facts to establish your case while you focus on mourning the loss of your family member and beginning the healing process.