Person hand above the water reaching for help

How Do Drownings Occur?

Florida may be best known for three things: sunshine, oranges and water. And where there is water, there are drownings that occur. Florida drownings are, unfortunately, rather common in the Sunshine State, especially amongst children:

  • In 2018, Florida had the third-highest rate of unintentional drownings
  • That same year, Florida had the second-highest rate of unintentional drownings for kids ages 1-14 years old
  • Unintentional drownings of children have been reported in the ocean, residential swimming pools and even in-home bathtubs

Even if they are not fatal, a drowning incident can leave the victim with significant internal damage if the victim’s supply of oxygen was cut off for a period of time. Medical expenses, therapy costs and time missed from work can all make a nonfatal drowning incident expensive. Where a drowning is fatal, family members stricken with grief must also find a way to cope with funeral and burial expenses, the loss of the deceased’s companionship and income, and other losses as well.

A pool owner who does not take reasonable measures to protect his or her pool from unwanted child intruders maybe liable for compensation if a child drowns.

Is Someone Responsible For Your Loved One’s Drowning?

Someone may be responsible for either causing or contributing to your loved one’s drowning incident. An improperly staffed pool, a beach patrol that is understaffed and inattentive, or even a neighbor’s pool that is not properly maintained can all lead to compensation if any one of them contributed to your loved one’s drowning. If the drowning victim is a child, there is a special legal doctrine that may be applicable called the attractive nuisance principle. In essence, this principle recognizes that fixtures such as private swimming pools tend to attract the attention and presence of children who want to come to investigate and play.

Knowing this is the case, pool owners usually need to take special care to erect fences and other obstacles that will keep children away from the pool. A pool owner who does not take reasonable measures to protect his or her pool from unwanted child intruders maybe liable for compensation if a child drowns. Furthermore, there may be a duty to warn others of a dangerous condition related to a pool or body of water. If government officials are aware of strong currents in the ocean (for example), or your neighbor or apartment complex knows his or her pool is in a condition that makes it dangerous to use, warnings must be provided to individuals seeking to swim or use the body of water.

Contact Us For Help

At Burnett Law, P.A., we can help investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding your loved one’s drowning incident and determine whether you are entitled to compensation. We are intimately familiar with Florida laws detailing the legal responsibilities of property owners and can analyze your situation in light of these laws. Our attorneys’ goal is and always will be to provide you with dedicated and zealous legal representation with the aim of obtaining the maximum amount of compensation for your damages. Allow us to describe your rights and advise you of what our firm can do for you during a free initial consultation. Call us at 813-221-5000.