Legal Options For Drowning Accidents
A pleasurable plunge in the pool, lake, or ocean can quickly turn deadly if someone begins to drown. While drowning deaths are heartbreaking for families, it is vital to realize that not all drowning accidents result in death. Near-drowning accidents can leave victims with lifelong brain impairments, causing tremendous pain and hardship for families. Drowning accidents can be tricky, but a Philadelphia drowning accidents lawyer can help you assess if you are eligible for damages claims.
When these types of accidents are caused by negligence, the party who is at fault must pay. The Villari Firm understands drowning accident laws and can assist families in obtaining the compensation they deserve for tragic and near-fatal drowning incidents. And we know how scary it may be for you to seek legal representation after the drowning accident.
To assist you in making the best choice for your situation, we offer a streamlined and personalized procedure for you and your family. Contact our personal injury law firm today to book an initial free consultation to discuss your case.
Why Do I Need a Drowning Accidents Attorney in Pennsylvania?
When you engage The Villari Firm, you get a tenacious Philadelphia drowning accident attorney that will not be content with just getting you some compensation. We want to get you the most. We will first make every effort to achieve a reasonable settlement offer from the at-fault party, as a settlement will bring closure to the matter more quickly. If not feasible, we are not hesitant to take your case to court if this is what it takes to secure justice for your family.
Here are some reasons why it is in your best interest to retain the services of our Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer.
- INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT – Accidents are frequently the result of someone else’s negligence. To ascertain who was responsible for the accident and what compensation your family could be eligible for, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at The Villari Firm will conduct an investigation.
- NAVIGATE THE LEGAL SYSTEM – If you’ve never been involved in a lawsuit before, the legal system can be difficult to understand and navigate. A Philadelphia drowning accident attorney will be able to help you understand the process and will be able to explain your family’s rights and alternatives.
- MAXIMIZE YOUR COMPENSATION – Our legal team from The Villari Firm will be able to assist you in obtaining the maximum amount of money if you’re looking for financial recompense for the harm or death of a loved one. An experienced drowning accident lawyer will know how to negotiate and fight for the money you need because insurance companies are frequently reluctant to provide substantial settlement payments.
- HOLD THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES ACCOUNTABLE – If another party is liable for the drowning accident that took the life of your loved one, a wrongful death attorney can assist you in holding that party accountable. They may be held liable for the wrongful death damages, including money for any medical treatment required prior to the death as well as for the income, household services, love, affection, direction, and companionship the deceased would have given to your family.
Accidents involving drowning often necessitate a comprehensive investigation to determine liability. The drowning accident attorneys at The Villari Firm have fought for the rights of victims of preventable injuries and fatalities for more than two decades. You can be at peace that our ultimate goal is to champion your case and bring justice to your family. If you want to learn about how we can help you win your claim, call us immediately!
What are Drowning Accidents?
When a person is submerged in water, the oxygen flow to the brain is cut off, which results in drowning. A drowning accident can apply to a variety of water-related incidents, including those that occur while swimming. Also included are boating accidents and slip-and-fall incidents near pools and other bodies of water.
Drowning accidents typically fall under an area of law known as premises liability. These laws state that landowners must maintain safe conditions on their property to ensure there are no hazardous conditions that may leave someone injured. There are numerous locations where drowning incidents can occur, including public swimming pools, residential swimming pools, beaches, lakes, and water parks.
Certain safety elements must be included in public and semi-public swimming pools to prevent drowning incidents. The required characteristics vary by state and occasionally by county or city. If the owner of a swimming pool fails to comply with these standards, he may be held accountable in the event of a drowning.
If the drowning death or accident is found to be caused by negligence, you and your family can try to recover compensation for your losses. Contact our Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer immediately to discuss if a property owner is liable in your particular circumstance.
How Do Drowning Accidents Happen?
There are multiple factors that could have made an unintentional drowning incidence possible. You could be eligible to file a claim if you lost a loved one to a drowning accident. Some of the causes of accidental drowning that may apply in your situation are listed below:
- Overcrowded area
- Untrained staff/lifeguards
- Lack of supervision or lifeguards on duty
- Broken or missing emergency equipment
- Defective equipment or design
- Defective gates or latches
- Lack of water clarity
- Poor maintenance or lack of maintenance of the pool area
- Failure to install fences or barriers
- Failure to meet industry standards
- Failure to create a working and tested prevention plan
Drowning accidents occur without warning. Even when people are being watched, accidents still happen. The greatest course of action if you or your loved one was harmed in a drowning incident is to seek legal action. You shouldn’t have to endure the effects of someone else’s carelessness. The Villari Firm drowning accident attorneys are prepared to defend your rights. To learn how we can assist you, speak with us today.
What are the Common Injuries Associated With Drowning?
Drowning is where people suffocate because a liquid (usually water) covers their mouth and nose and thereby cuts off their oxygen supply. In cases of accidental drowning, survivors frequently require hospitalization and may experience the following serious injuries:
- Brain injury (including brain damage)
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Organ damage
- Head and spinal cord injury
Some victims of drowning are so severely impacted that they are unable to return to their old jobs or schools. Given that many drowning victims are children, their entire futures will be drastically altered. Victims of drowning may require help for the rest of their lives, which can place a substantial financial and emotional strain on all parties concerned.
Our personal injury attorneys recognize the difficulty of this time. We are also aware that time is of the essence when contemplating legal action following a swimming pool accident. We can manage every aspect of your legal claim so that you can focus on your family’s recovery from a life-altering incident. Call us immediately to find out how our Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer can assist you.
What Are The Pool Fence Laws in Pennsylvania?
In order to comply with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code for swimming pools, residential swimming pools must comply with the following fence laws:
- The pool must be enclosed by a fence at least four feet (48 inches) tall
- The fence can either encompass the entire property or simply the pool
- The fence cannot motivate scaling
- The gate must be self-latching and self-closing and constructed of durable material.
- The latch must be at least three inches below the top of the gate or 54 inches above the ground.
- The opening of the gate cannot exceed 18 inches from the release mechanism
- The gate must swing away from the swimming pool
- Doors that open directly into the pool area must be equipped with an alarm that is audible throughout the facility and sounds for at least 30 seconds when the door is opened.
If a loved one suffered injuries or fatally drowned, you can work with a Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer to investigate if the swimming pool facility followed the standard construction code in Pennsylvania. You may be able to obtain fair compensation if you file for a premises liability claim.
How to Prove Negligence in Drowning Accidents?
Not all drowning incidents result from negligence. You must speak with our Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer in order to establish whether negligence contributed to your loved one’s death or injury. If someone was at fault for the accident, we would carefully examine the facts to identify who was at fault and then compile the necessary proof to allow your family to pursue compensation.
Here are several scenarios where negligence might result in culpability for drowning incidents:
- Lack of poolside fencing or other child safety features
- Failure to maintain a safe swimming pool environment
- No supervision or incompetent lifeguard supervision
- Lack of safety equipment, such as first aid kits and external automated defibrillators
- Equipment defects, such as suction vents that can trap swimmers underwater by their hair or clothing
- Negligent boat operation
Who Can Be Liable in a Philadelphia Drowning Accident?
Pool drowning and other drowning cases may involve different potentially culpable parties, depending on the specifics of the case and the jurisdiction where the victim lives. Common defendants in these lawsuits include
- Property owners and private pool owners
- Owners of public pools
- Apartment complexes
- Water parks
- Recreational centers and neighborhood associations
- Government entities
- Non-profit organizations
It can be difficult to prove the negligence of any of these parties, particularly when a case involves non-profit organizations, public buildings, and other properties that might be covered by state, federal, or other legal protections. You will need a legal representative on your side who is familiar with all of Pennsylvania’s legislations and laws.
Our Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer from The Villari Firm has the experience, knowledge, and competence to foresee any potential issues with your claim and fight for your maximum compensation.
What are the Drowning Accident Lawsuits in Philadelphia?
Victims of drowning accidents in swimming pools and other bodies of water may file lawsuits based on a variety of legal arguments.
In the majority of drowning situations, premises liability comes into play. The legal principle of premises liability holds property owners liable for accidents that occur on their property due to unsafe conditions. Residents who own property in Pennsylvania are under a legal obligation to take reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of anyone who visits their properties.
When a hazardous or defective condition on the property of another person is the source of an injury or death, the law usually takes the side of the victim. But cases involving drowning accidents that are based on premises liability are comparable to the majority of other forms of personal injury lawsuits. The premises liability lawyers are required to prove that the property owner was negligent.
It is possible to establish negligence by demonstrating that the owner of the property:
- Knew about or should have known about the hazardous condition that resulted in the swimming pool accident
- Knew that the condition put guests at risk of harm
- Failed to take action to improve the condition of the facility
OTHER POTENTIAL LAWSUITS
While the majority of drowning accidents are attributed to premises liability, it is also possible to file other claims applicable to your situation. Potential other lawsuits that you may file include:
Depending on the situation, a company or person may be held accountable for negligence in drowning situations. For instance, a facility doesn’t maintain its ladders or diving boards or has inadequate lighting, slippery floors, or blind spots that can cause accidents. Failure to post warning signs about any safety hazards or specific pool hours can be attributed as an act of negligence as well.
Personal injury attorneys handle cases involving negligence-related drowning accidents, and they must establish all four elements of negligence.
- Duty of Care – a legal responsibility requiring a person to act in accordance with a specified standard of conduct
- Breach of Duty – a failure to act in accordance with the required level of conduct
- Causation – a causal relationship between the breach of duty and the victim’s injury
- Damages – the actual loss or damage to the victim
Sometimes product manufacturers, installers, or retailers – rather than property owners, are to blame for a drowning occurrence. Manufacturers, installers, or merchants may be held accountable if drowning occurs as a result of a faulty pool or pool product. Products with flaws that give rise to product liability claims include pool filters, drains, pumps, safety gears, and other accessories.
In most circumstances, property owners are only liable for injuries that happened to a visitor who was invited onto their property. Trespassers’ injuries are not the responsibility of the property owner. The attractive nuisance doctrine in Pennsylvania, however, permits property owners to be held accountable for injuries sustained by children who trespass onto their premises as a result of qualities that would be appealing to kids.
A child who wanders onto your property and drowns in your pool may result in legal action against you for the child’s wrongful death. Therefore, it is the responsibility of property owners to ensure the security of their premises in order to avoid such incidents. For instance, they should fence in their swimming pools to keep kids out when there is no one there to watch them.
Family members might be able to bring a wrongful death claim if a loved one passes away. A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by the spouse, child, parent, grandparent, or legal guardian of drowning victims. It allows for compensation to be given for the following damages.
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Lost wages and benefits of the deceased
- Loss of care and companionship
- Loss of security for the dependents of the deceased
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages for cases involving gross negligence
Wrongful death lawsuits are intended to lessen the financial burden of your grieving family and ensure your financial future. While money cannot compensate for the loss of a cherished family member or spouse, it can lessen the financial constraints brought on by the unfortunate sudden death. Additionally, having some piece of mind comes from knowing that those accountable for the unjust death of your loved one have been brought to justice.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover from a Drowning Accident Lawsuit?
For the victim and their family, drowning incidents can be tragic and drastically impact their lives. The length of time the sufferer was submerged, the water’s temperature, and how much water was inhaled all affect how severe the damage from a drowning accident is. You and your family may be eligible for compensation for any of the following damages if a loved one has sustained drowning injuries:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical expenses related to the drowning injury
- Home care expenses
- Household and vehicle modifications and equipment needed for home care
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma and mental anguish
- Permanent injury or disability
- Loss of joy in life
If a family member drowns or has near-drowning injuries, your life and those of your family will never be the same. It is just fair for you and your family to be reimbursed by any parties who share the blame for your loved one’s injury or death. Contact the drowning accident lawyers at The Villari Firm to obtain a fair settlement for their injuries and your losses.
How Long Do I Have to File a Drowning Accident Lawsuit?
There are strict time limits in Pennsylvania for all types of cases. Statutes of limitations give just a short window of time to submit any case.
According to Pennsylvania laws, a person has a window of two years following the date of the drowning incident to file a claim for premises liability or other personal injury claims. If the lawsuit is not filed within the allotted amount of time, the plaintiff can lose their opportunity to claim damages.
Similarly, a wrongful death lawsuit must also be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. You should be aware that this is not the date of the injury. It’s possible that your loved one sustained an injury during the drowning accident and passed away months later. The deadline to submit a wrongful death claim is unaffected by the accident’s date.
The two-year limit is when you must file your complaint. This merely means that your case must be submitted to a court. It does not imply that it must be finished by that time. After filing, you have extra time to look into your claim, exchange evidence with the other party, take depositions, and actually have the matter heard in court. From beginning to end of the case, our Philadelphia drowning accident lawyers can help you with this procedure.
Call our Top-rated Philadelphia Drowning Accidents Attorney Now!
Swimming can be really entertaining. They are very useful for staying cool in the heat and enjoying a great time with families and friends. However, if an accident occurs, a day at the pool can rapidly turn into a nightmare. Drawing accidents can result in severe injuries or fatalities.
The state of Pennsylvania compels property owners to ensure that their swimming pools are safe for guests. Sadly, many swimming pool accidents are caused by negligence. If your drowning accident was caused by negligence, a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at The Villari Firm could assist you in obtaining the compensation you need.
Our legal team is dedicated to providing assistance to clients who have been injured as a result of drowning incidents in their pursuit of financial compensation for their suffering. We also represent the families of accident victims who have passed away as a result of drowning due to the negligence of others. We will manage every facet of your litigation to improve the likelihood of you successfully recouping the maximum amount of money possible.
Reach out to us as soon as possible to arrange a meeting with a Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer. Find out more about your legal options and rights, as well as how we may assist you in obtaining the necessary financial recompense.