How is Fault Proven in a Drowning Accident Case?
Posted By Salvador Phillips, PLLC || Jul 31, 2017
The summer months can be brutal in Arizona, which leads many residents to find respite in pools and water activities. If you and your loved ones have time to enjoy time by the water this summer, it is important you understand there are always risks involved. In fact, drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S., especially among young children and toddlers.
Depending on the circumstances involved in a drowning accident, victims will need to prove – as they must in any personal injury or wrongful death claim – that the negligence of another more likely than not caused them harm. Establishing fault for an accident is critical to establishing liability, which means that the at-fault party will be responsible for the damages incurred by victims. Because the particularities can vary when proving fault, consider the following common scenarios:
- Inadequate supervision – Because pools and other bodies of water pose risks to those who enjoy them, there are a number of precautions that should be taken. Should people with obligations to take those precautions fail to do so and injuries or death result, they can be held accountable for damages suffered by victims. This can happen when property owners fail to adequately supervise guests using pools, including owners of private pools, public pools that fail to supervise or have lifeguards on duty, and summer camps or day cares that fail to supervise children.
- Defective products – Drowning accidents may be caused by defective products that fail to function as they should. Examples may include pool toys or devices that pose unreasonable risks or entangle swimmers. Defects in boats and other motorized water crafts can also increase risks of drowning accidents. In these cases, it is critical to determine whether they were safer alternatives available and whether the manufacturers of defective products can be held at fault for a drowning incident.
In any negligence claim, victims have several essential legal elements to establish, including the legal duty of another party to take reasonable safety measures. For water product manufacturers, their legal duty involves assessments of potential defects posed by their products. For owners of pools or individuals and entities charged with looking after children, for example, this duty entails supervision of people in and around water.
The unique facts of a case always dictate how fault will be proven and who can be held liable for victims’ injuries, or the death of a victim. If you have questions regarding a drowning incident you believe should and could have been prevented if not for negligence, contact our legal team at Salvador Phillips, PLLC for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers proudly serve clients throughout Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Arizona.