Some drowning deaths are truly accidental, but others stem from the negligence of property owners. If you have lost a child or other family member in a drowning incident, then you might be able to bring a lawsuit for compensation. As leading Los Angeles drowning lawyers, we answer some of the more common questions below.
When can you sue for a drowning?
There are many situations where someone might be at fault for the drowning of a loved one. For example:
- A loved one might have drowned in a public pool or at a private business, such as a hotel pool
- A family member might have drowned in someone’s backyard pool
- A family member might have drowned in the ocean after falling off a boat
In each of these situations, the key question is whether the death could have been prevented. If so, then you need to ask who could have prevented the death and whether they took reasonable steps to prevent the tragedy.
Who can you sue?
Generally, you can sue the person who should have made the property safe but didn’t. This could include:
- A poorly trained lifeguard
- The business that owns the pool
- The homeowner who owns the pool
It can be hard ahead of time to determine whether you can sue, so meet with a Los Angeles premises accidents lawyer for help analyzing your case.
Can I sue even if a loved one didn’t die?
Yes. Injuries short of death also qualify for compensation, so you can still bring a lawsuit. Many people suffer serious problems in near-death drowning incidents, especially because their brain is deprived of oxygen. As a result, they can suffer:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty speaking and understanding language
- Loss of mobility, coordination, and balance
- Loss of consciousness (vegetative state)
These injuries could be worth quite a bit of money, since they are permanent disabilities. Contact a Los Angeles premises accidents attorney for help determining if your injuries warrant a lawsuit.
What are examples of when I can sue a neighbor for a drowning?
A property owner has a duty to make their property reasonably safe, and this duty extends to swimming pools. The steps they need to take will depend on the circumstances, but they must reasonably maintain their property.
We have seen situations where young children attend an unsupervised pool party and one child drowned because no adult was paying attention. Parents can often bring a lawsuit in this situation, so they should meet with a premises accidents attorney in Los Angeles.
In other cases, a homeowner might be legally liable if they did not safeguard the pool so that young children could not wander near it. For example, a homeowner might not have had a fence, or they left the gate open, and a child wandered into the pool and drowned.
What are the benefits of suing?
By filing a lawsuit, you can obtain compensation. Of course, no amount of money can possibly replace a loved one. Nevertheless, there are certain economic losses associated with a death, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages. Grieving family members should not have to shoulder those costs when someone else’s careless or reckless conduct is the true cause of death.
Contact Us Today
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, we have helped many people with their drowning cases. Please contact us today. We will review your case and identify if you have a legal issue you can press. Contact one of our Los Angeles premises accidents attorneys today for more information.