Drowning Statistics for Children
Each day, at least ten people die from drowning, and of these ten, two are children aged fourteen or younger. In fact, according to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of one and four. More than 73% of drowning deaths and 48% of drowning injuries among children younger than fourteen occur at private residences. For every child who dies from drowning, another five will receive emergency care for submersion injuries.
The primary factors affecting the risk of drowning among children include lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised access to the water, and insufficient supervision while swimming. Participation in formal swimming lessons can go a long way to reduce the risk of drowning, particularly in children between the ages of one and four. Four-sided isolation fences at least 4’ high with self-closing gates which separate the pool area from the house and yard can reduce the risk of a child drowning by a staggering 83% as compared to a three-sided property line. (When the latches to the gates are out of reach of children).
Negligence as a Cause of Pool Drowning
Drowning among children can occur in private swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, bathtubs and public pools. In non-fatal cases, brain damage can result after four minutes of the child being submerged, resulting in severe, permanent neurological disabilities. Whether the cause of the drowning fatality or injury is due to lack of supervision, or a premise issue, negligence may play a part. Homeowners may be liable for swimming pool accidents among children based on a number of theories. Homeowners are required to take reasonable precautions when they have a swimming pool which seems enticing to children on their property.
This is the theory of attractive nuisance and holds landowners liable for failure to restrict access to the pool via a fence or appropriate barricade. The theory of negligence may be applicable; as an example, negligence may be claimed when there was a fence around the pool, but it had gaps large enough to allow children to enter. Homeowners may also be charged with willful or wanton misconduct, depending on the exact circumstances of the drowning. Inadequate supervision may be charged if a child is playing at a neighbor’s home (with the neighbor’s permission) and the neighbor (homeowner) fails to adequately supervise the child around the pool, resulting in a fatality or injuries to the child.
Many drowning accidents fall under premises liability because they are due to inadequately secured or maintained premise. Many public pools attempt to avoid any responsibility for drowning by posting a “swim at your own risk” sign. An experienced Washington D.C. attorney may challenge the sufficiency of such signs in court, with a goal of proving the pool owner was negligent and obtaining the compensation you are due for a drowning or injuries suffered. While there is, of course, no real recovery from such losses, this does not mean that the person or entity responsible for the drowning or near-drowning should not be held accountable when negligence is a factor.
Having an Attorney by Your Side Can Make a Difference
Negligence can take a number of different forms, and, without the right attorney by your side, this negligence can be difficult to prove. A thorough analysis of the accident, an investigation of the scene of the accident, and interviews with all witnesses are all necessary requirements for such a case. You are entitled to medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering, and a skilled attorney will work hard to ensure you receive this compensation.
Contact Our Washington DC Child Injury Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our child injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured children and families in Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and throughout the State of Maryland. If your child was tragically killed in a drowning accident, no amount of compensation could ever right the wrongs. Yet grieving families should not have to bear unnecessary expenses alone. We can help. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6645 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The child injury attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Maryland, and throughout Virginia.