Left turn

When Does a Drowning Qualify as a Wrongful Death Claim?

One of the most frightening events a person may experience is drowning. Many people have had the terrifying sensation of being unable to breathe, having trouble swallowing, or battling to keep afloat. Due to this suffering, a tiny amount of water may enter the lungs and block the airway, rendering the person unconscious. In shallow or deep water, when a person is alone or in a crowded pool, drowning can occur in a matter of seconds. Every year, thousands of individuals drown in the United States, but many of these tragic deaths could have been avoided.

An alarmingly high number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities are caused by drowning every year. According to the CDC, drowning is actually the third most common cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide and the fifth most common cause in the United States. Children 14 and under make up an average of one in five of the more than 3,000 persons who perish in drowning accidents each year.

Among other things, being gravely hurt can be frustrating, especially if the accident was caused by someone else’s reckless behavior. Many things may be on your mind, including how long it will take you to recuperate and who will pay for your medical expenses. At the Crossen Law Firm, we put your recovery first. With over 20 years of expertise, our Indianapolis personal injury attorney has recovered millions of dollars for his clients. Allow our staff to pursue your just compensation with vigor.

Series of Drownings in Recent Years

Michigan is unfortunately not new to these tragedies over the past few years. As recently as this past September, 6-year-old Ryan Cross was a victim of accidental drowning at a Labor Day party on Madison Road. Investigators ruled the death an accident but questioned all 45 people in attendance at the Labor Day party.

In July of 2019, 17-year-old Washington High School student Ra-Hem Mason also fell victim to accidental drowning after going missing while swimming in Lake Michigan. Mason was last seen swimming in the lake on a Saturday and his body was found in Berrien County the following Thursday by a passerby.

The likelihood of drowning is increased by a number of risk factors. Lack of swimming ability, supervision, and the presence of barriers prohibiting young children from entering swimming pools are examples of this. The easiest to reach are swimming pools in homes. Even in homes without kids, nearby kids can be aware of the pool and sneak in for a quick swim. Nevertheless, children might find the unfamiliar pool to be too deep to stand in, and without adult supervision, a child could easily drown.

Younger children’s unintentional drowning can be avoided with the right pool barrier. The CDC states that compared to three-sided fencing with access from the home, a pool protected on all four sides by fencing reduces a child’s risk of drowning by more than 80%.

When Is a Drowning Considered a Wrongful Death?

Many drowning deaths are tragic accidents. Children are extremely fast, and their small bodies can take on water in a matter of seconds. Sometimes teens or adults are enjoying a day of fun and horseplay may lead to an unfortunate injury or death in the water.

Other instances, however, can be prevented and a negligent party could be at fault. This is when you may have a wrongful death case. Circumstances where negligence may cause a drowning include:

  • Reckless behavior, including diving into shallow water, swimming while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or slipping while running around a pool
  • Facilities that are poorly maintained
  • A drain opening catching onto a swimmer’s clothing, hair, or limbs
  • Absence of fencing or barriers around a pool
  • Distracted, poor, or no supervision

Contact an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Making those accountable for the drowning can aid in preventing a future incident similar to this one. In order to spare other families the pain of an avoidable loss of a loved one, suing the irresponsible parties will serve as a warning to others that they should take swimming safety seriously.

The grieving family can seek monetary damages for their loss and ensure that the negligent party is held accountable by bringing a wrongful death case. Crossen Law Firm may be able to assist you if your loved one drowned and died as a result. Your skilled personal injury lawyers can guide you through the challenging procedure and fight for you. Contact Crossen Law Firm at 317-401-8262.