Who Might Be Liable for a Drowning Accident?
Individuals hurt by drowning accidents undoubtedly deserve compensation, but many people don’t know who’s actually prone to be liable for such an incident. At times, the individual who drowned or nearly drowned may clearly be at fault; choosing to swim unsupervised, being impaired, failing to wear a life jacket, or overestimating one’s own swimming abilities are risks that generally make one responsible for any harm they may suffer as a result. However, it’s also very common for others to be liable for a drowning accident; every case is unique, but in general, two sets of third parties are likely to be at fault.
When poor maintenance or a lack of adherence to state safety standards are to blame for a drowning accident, the property owner tends to become liable for any injuries or deaths sustained by their guests. In the case of backyard pools and smaller, most people will have to adhere to Nevada’s property laws for pools, which dictate that a fence or comparable barrier must be present to obstruct children and impaired individuals from accessing a pool unsupervised.
Similarly, hotels in Nevada are expected to follow general standards of maintenance, consent-based policies, and other guidelines to keep their pools safe for residents. Incorrectly installed pool equipment (such as diving boards), inadequate fencing, designs that make surfaces unnecessarily slippery, and other negligent causes of property accidents could make the hotel liable.
Lifeguards, Caretakers, and Other Supervisors
The vast majority of child drowning fatalities are the result of poor supervision, followed shortly after by safety issues that result in a lack of supervision (such as a pool failing to have a fence installed, which could result in a child wandering to it on their own and drowning). In either case, negligence on behalf of whoever was legally expected to be watching them tends to make supervisors liable. There are generally a few sets of individuals who are most likely to be liable for certain drowning accidents:
- Lifeguards can be held liable at public pools and beaches if they behaved carelessly or negligently, such as by carrying on distracting conversations, texting, abandoning their post, or otherwise taking their eyes and mind off of the imminent task of watching for and saving the lives of those who may be drowning.
- Parents and caretakers can be responsible for failing to watch a child when they were expected to, especially if a child drowns in a personal pool, bathtub, or other body of water which would reasonably demand close supervision.
- Boat owners may be liable if individuals fall off their boat and drown if they failed to ensure that everyone wore a life jacket or failed to ensure that general safety standards and procedures were adhered to.
How an Attorney Can Help
When someone drowns at the hands of another’s negligence, their loved ones are eligible to file a claim through a wrongful death lawyer in Nevada. Note, however, that drowning fatalities aren’t the only thing you may be able to receive compensation for. In near-drowning cases, victims may survive yet be left with undue suffering, mental trauma, and potentially permanent damage to their lungs, brain, or digestive system.
Whether a victim was killed or merely injured by a drowning accident, the necessity of a Las Vegas personal injury attorney doesn’t change. Aaron Law Group has the experience and resources to help you secure reasonable compensation, so give us a call at (702) 550-1111 to schedule a free consultation today.