Drowning Accident Attorneys
Drowning & Near-Drowning Accident Claims
Drownings and near-drownings are incredibly serious, often leading to extensive brain damage and death. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are far too common, affecting thousands of Americans every year. Even more tragic, a large percentage of drowning and near-drowning accident victims are children and young teens.
At Murray & Murray, we believe that individuals and families should be able to hold negligent property owners, boaters, and other responsible parties accountable when they are severely injured or lose loved ones in tragic drowning accidents—and Ohio’s personal injury laws agree. If you believe that your accident or the drowning death of your loved one could have been prevented, reach out to our drowning accident attorneys in Sandusky right away. We can help you understand your legal rights and options during a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Do Drowning Accidents Happen?
Drowning accidents can—and do—happen to anyone. Unfortunately, drownings and near-drownings often occur because someone acts carelessly, negligently, or wrongfully. When this is the case, victims or their surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries or for the wrongful death of their child or loved one.
Some of the most common causes of drowning and near-drowning accidents include:
- Missing or improper swimming pool barriers, including fences, locks, and gates
- Negligent supervision at public swimming pools and beaches
- Bathtub and jacuzzi tub accidents
- Lack of proper signage/safety warnings in swimming areas
- Failure to wear life jackets, floatation devices, and other safety equipment
- Defective safety equipment
- Alcohol use/intoxication
- Boating, Jet Ski, and other personal watercraft accidents
- Improper lookout/failure to keep a lookout
- Attractive nuisances on private property
Because drowning accidents can turn fatal in a matter of seconds, even a seemingly minor incident can quickly become tragic. Sadly, many of these incidents are entirely preventable and could have been avoided had the liable party acted with greater care and regard for the safety of others.
The Long-Term Effects of Near-Drowning
Near-drowning occurs when a person loses oxygen while suffocating underwater but survives the incident. Also known as non-fatal drowning, near-drowning has numerous negative consequences and long-term effects.
Some of the symptoms of non-fatal drowning include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Skin having a blueish hue
- Shortness/lack of breath
- Excessive coughing
- Chest pain
- Abdominal swelling
People who are possibly experiencing drowning should be removed from the water immediately. The safest way to do this is to utilize life rings, ropes, and other safety devices to pull the victim from the water; only attempt to swim out to a victim and remove them from the water if you are a strong enough swimmer to do so. Many drownings and near-drownings result from one individual attempting to save another from drowning.
Wet clothes should be removed if the victim was in cold or freezing water. In all cases, CPR and chest compressions should be started immediately if the victim is not breathing. Someone who is trained in CPR should perform it carefully, as the victim may have experienced a secondary injury, such as a head or spine injury, that could be exacerbated by excess movement. Additionally, emergency personnel should be contacted and requested at the scene. If there is only one person at the scene, CPR should be done first for at least one minute before 911 is called.
Even when a person lives, near-drowning can have significant, life-altering effects, including but not limited to:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Brain damage
- Chemical/fluid imbalances
- Difficulty walking or talking
- Lack of coordination
- Memory problems
- Vegetative state
In general, the longer a person is deprived of oxygen, the more severe the impact. A greater duration without oxygen significantly impacts the brain, which can have lasting effects on numerous other bodily functions, from coordination and balance to learning ability to motor function and more.
Who Is Liable for a Drowning or Near-Drowning Accident?
If you, your child, or your loved one was involved in a drowning or near-drowning accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your resulting damages, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral costs, and loss of love, companionship, support, and guidance. However, your recovery relies on determining who is liable for the accident.
Depending on the specifics of the incident, any of the following parties (and others) could be liable:
- A homeowner or private landowner
- The owner/operator of a public pool
- A lifeguard/lifeguard agency
- A recreational or commercial boater
- The manufacturer of a defective product
- The owner or operator of a hotel
- An amusement park/waterpark or employee
- A government entity
Determining who is responsible for your damages depends on how the accident occurred and whether anyone acted negligently or wrongfully. At Murray & Murray, our Sandusky drowning accident lawyers have extensive experience navigating these types of claims and can help you understand your legal rights and options. We know the challenges you and your family are facing, and we are here to help.
Call Murray & Murray Today
After a devastating drowning or near-drowning accident, nothing can undo or negate your loss. However, by holding the liable party accountable, you can obtain justice and recover the financial resources you need to heal.
At Murray & Murray, we fight for the rights of catastrophically injured accident victims, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed, in and around Sandusky and Erie County. Founded in 1931, our firm has a reputation as a community-focused team that fights for the best interests of ordinary individuals, successfully going up against major insurance companies and defense teams—and winning the results our clients deserve. To date, we have secured millions of dollars in compensation, and we are ready to fight for you, too.
There are no attorney fees unless/until we recover compensation for you. To get started with a free consultation, call (419) 664-3711 or contact us online today to speak with a drowning accident lawyer in Sandusky.