The Chicago drowning accident lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers represents families of drowning injury victims in Chicago and communities surrounding Lake Michigan. In order to avoid drowning injuries, it is important to practice water safety and follow all posted signs in and around the water. Additionally, it is essential for adults to be proactive when supervising children or adolescents in and around the water. We have seen firsthand the devastation that a drowning or near drowning incident can cause to a family, and we are committed to getting justice for our clients.
If you have lost a loved one in a drowning accident, or if your loved one has suffered injuries in a near drowning accident, we can help. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you and your family. Call The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
In this Article
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 not related to birth defects. Parents need to be aware of the risks associated with swimming in order to keep their kids safe. For individuals who are 15 years old or above, over 50% of fatal and nonfatal drownings happen in natural bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, or oceans.
National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Drowning Accident Statistics
Understanding drowning risks means knowing the facts. Here are some drowning accident statistics to consider according to The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA):
An additional 9,000 victims are hospitalized in non-fatal submersion injuries. These injuries can result in permanent brain damage.
23% of child drownings happen in a swimming pool accident during a family gathering.
Most boating fatalities are caused by drowning.
Many of these deaths are preventable with simple safety precautions such as warning signs, barriers, and following boating safety rules.
Causes of Summertime Drowning Accidents
Summertime drowning accidents are caused by a variety of factors, such as lack of supervision or failure to follow safety rules. Other potential causes where drowning occurs include:
lack of supervision for children or inexperienced swimmers,
using drugs and drinking alcohol near the water,
failing to wear life jackets or other flotation devices,
an unknown medical condition that causes unconsciousness while swimming,
defective pool equipment,
No matter what the cause of a drowning accident may be, it is important to seek justice for the victims and their families. Our experienced Chicago drowning accident lawyers can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Call now for a free consultation with our legal team.
Who is responsible if my loved one drowned in a swimming pool?
Most swimming pool accidents occur because of negligence on the part of another person or entity. When it comes to drowning accidents, property owners and operators can be held liable for a victim’s injuries or death if they fail to take reasonable steps to protect visitors and guests from danger. You can generally hold a pool owner or any individual responsible if they negligently caused a drowning death.
Possible Negligent Parties for Drowning Accidents in Swimming Pools
The most common defendants who can be held accountable for their negligence in swimming pool and drowning accident lawsuit cases are:
Pool owners such as the City of Chicago, your local gym, owners of water parks, or your landlord are responsible for maintaining pool safety and posting adequate pool warnings to prevent swimming pool accidents. This is also known as premises liability. property owner
Pool owners might hire management to maintain their swimming pools. This is common in large apartment buildings where pools are part of the building amenities.
Pool Maintenance Crews and Lifeguards
Owners might also hire maintenance crews or lifeguards to watch over swimmers. If they negligently fail to prevent unintentional injury or death, they may be held liable.
If a pool was dangerously designed with inadequate warnings (such as ”no diving” warnings), the pool designer can be held liable in some circumstances.
Actionable Claims Against Pool Owners
Some of the more common actionable claims against pool owners and waterfront property owners include:
Failure to maintain pool premises
Broken gates or fences to keep children out
Broken ladders, diving boards, and slides
Inattentive or missing life guards
Inadequate or confusing warnings (such as ”no swimming” or ”no diving” signs)
We Can Help Determine Who Is at Fault
The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers will review your case and determine who is at fault for the drowning or near drowning accidents. Call now talk to a swimming pool accident lawyer about our law firm, our legal services, and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve after a tragic Chicago swimming pool accident or lake accident.
What if they signed a waiver to use the pool?
Pool owners often use waivers to try to avoid responsibility for swimming pool drowning or other swimming pool injuries that happen on their property. While courts do find these waivers enforceable if properly written, they are usually hesitant to do so and will not enforce overly broad or ambiguous waivers. One court opinion found that waivers must be ”clear, explicit, and concise,” which usually means it must state the following:
The type of harm the signer is waiving
The type of risks and activities involved
The individual or company the signer is agreeing to waiver liability against
Not all drowning incidents are the same and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case particularly when a signed waiver is involved.
Who is responsible if my loved one drowned in Lake Michigan or another body of water?
Similar to pools, anybody who negligently causes a drowning death or injury on Lake Michigan or other body of water can be held responsible. This includes property owners, boat rental companies, tour operators, yacht clubs, and any other entities responsible for the safety of swimmers.
Possible Negligent Parties for Lake Drownings
Some more examples of possible responsible parties include:
Boat Owners and Operators
Boat owners are required to maintain safety and rescue devices (including life jackets) on their boats and to use competent boat operators, captains, and crew members. Captains are required to safely operate all boats.
City of Chicago
The City of Chicago typically hires life guards to oversee safety on its public pools and beaches and issues swimming bans based on the weather and the water conditions. If your loved one drowned on a public beach, you may be able to hold the City of Chicago accountable. This usually does not apply to areas where swimming is illegal or in areas not under the control of the City of Chicago.
Beachfront Property Owners
Owners of break walls and harbors are required to maintain adequate lighting to warn boaters of its presence to boaters at night. You can recover against these owners for any injuries due to broken or burned out lights and beacons that cause boating accidents.
If the boat captain or driver was over-served alcohol at a bar or restaurant, you may be entitled to statutory damages against it under the Illinois Dram Shop Act.
What are common causes of drowning accidents for boat passengers?
Drowning boat accidents are usually preventable. Some examples of negligence that can lead to a drowning accident on a boat include:
Alcohol use by boat operators and ship captains
Distracted or inattentive operators and captains
Dangerous ship deck conditions
Failure to supply life jackets, life buoys, and other rescue devices
Broken or malfunctioning break wall lights and lighthouses
Failure to issue weather-related warnings or swimming bans
Inadequate maintenance of vessels
What can I recover in a drowning death?
Your case’s value depends on the injuries sustained, the likelihood that a jury will find the defendants liable, and whether the defendants have sufficient assets (such as an insurance policy or a high net worth corporation).
For drowning deaths, plaintiffs are entitled to simultaneously file two separate causes of action: a wrongful death claim and a survival claim. Spouses may also file a claim for loss of consortium.
Wrongful Death and Loss of Consortium Damages
For a wrongful death lawsuit and loss of consortium claims, jurors may award damages for:
Lost companionship and affection
Grief and sorrow
Damages for Survival Claims
For survival claims, the plaintiff can recover any damages their loved one could have recovered had they survived their accident. Jurors may award damages for:
Conscious pain and suffering
Loss of a normal life
Lost wages, including future lost wages and anticipated social security payments
Find Out What Your Case Is Worth
Contact The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers today to discuss the details of your case and find out what your case may be worth. There is no amount of money that can bring back your loved one, but a monetary recovery may help you and your family move on with your lives. And, if the tragedy was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to prevent future drownings from happening.
What to Do If You Suffer a Nonfatal Drowning Injury This Summer
Survivors and injured victims of drowning accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries such as brain death that affects them and their families forever. If you were the survivor of a drowning accident, you may be entitled to damages for:
Past and future pain and suffering
Past and future loss of a normal life
Past and future medical expenses and caretaking costs
Scarring and disfigurement including surgical scarring and use of a wheelchair or other assistive medical device
Past and future lost wages
Call today to discuss your nonfatal drowning injuries with a Chicago drowning accident lawyer and find out what your case is worth.
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Case After a Summertime Drowning Accident
Drowning accidents are usually fatal, and even nonfatal accidents can change the victim’s and their family’s life forever. If you lost a family member in a drowning accident, or if you are the survivor of a drowning accident, you need an experienced wrongful death and personal injury attorney on your side.
Examples of Valid Drowning Accident Cases
The Chicago drowning accident attorneys at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers represent families of drowning victims who suffered serious injuries or were tragically killed in:
The Chicago River
Falls from piers, break walls, and other structures
If you have lost a loved one in a drowning accident, or if you have been the victim of a drowning accident, contact The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation with an experienced drowning accident lawyer. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.