There’s nothing quite like the Houston summer heat to make you want to go for a swim. From backyard barbecues and summer day camps, to beachside family vacations and community pool trips — Texans certainly know how to make a splash when the temperature rises.
But where the potential for fun is high, so is the risk of danger.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the number one cause of death among children. Texas alone recorded 76 fatal drownings in 2022, 80% of which involved children under four years. Across the country, the numbers are just as devastating. A total of 4,012 people drowned in the United States between 2011 and 2020 — an average of 11 deaths per day.
If you or a loved one has been affected by a drowning incident — seek out an experienced Houston drowning accident lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately. It’s never too early to get legal counsel.
Contact us today at (713) 932-0777 to schedule your 100% free consultation with a Houston drowning accident attorney.
Negligence and Liability In Drowning Accidents
Owners or operators of swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, public parks, lakes, and other bodies of water have a responsibility to comply with proper safety protocols. Safety rules should be followed, and premises liability should be closely observed. In injury cases where there’s evidence of negligence, victims and their surviving family members may be entitled to compensation.
In any pool-related drowning death or near-drowning case, determining liability is a matter of figuring out who was responsible for ensuring the safety of the pool and its users. This could be the swimming pool owner, the municipality, the boating company, the service company, or any other party responsible for maintaining the premises and securing the safety of patrons.
Liability may be incurred if owners, lessees, or operators fail to:
- Provide adequate supervision or safety regulations;
- Warn of potential hazards (e.g., warning signs that prohibit diving);
- Provide sufficient security or fencing;
- Provide trained staff (e.g., lifeguards);
- Maintain age-appropriate equipment;
- Make regular, scheduled safety inspections.
As a general rule, many property owners do not owe any duty to trespassers. However, in Texas, property owners face strict liability for any endangerment to a child, even if the child was trespassing. This is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine, according to which hazardous objects that might pose harm to young children, such as swimming pool areas, must be safeguarded (for instance, with an enclosed fence) to prevent them from entering the area. Property owners who fail to properly secure their swimming pool area may be held liable for subsequent injuries.
What makes drowning accidents so complex?
When a loved one dies in a drowning accident, the bereaved family may choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against a swimming pool owner. Unfortunately, cases of this type can be particularly challenging and complex.
Drowning cases or severe injuries due to swimming accidents can be difficult to prove because there are often no witnesses to the incident or any evidence to prove liability (owners can easily tamper with or destroy vital information). In addition, property owners will often deny culpability, claiming that they took all necessary precautions but the victim was careless.
Insurance companies may also attempt to deny or limit the benefits they are responsible for providing. Claims can drag on for years and, even if successful, families may find themselves negotiating a settlement that does not adequately reflect the needs of the family or the worth of the victim’s life.
Don’t let these challenges dissuade you from seeking justice if you have lost a loved one. Instead, consider enlisting the help of a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney from Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury and Accident Lawyers. Our personal injury law firm has represented Houston families in drowning accidents for the past two decades.
We offer free case evaluations and you do not have to worry about costs or legal fees unless we win your accident case. Call (713) 932-0777 to speak with a qualified Houston drowning accident lawyer today.
What type of damages can I recover from a drowning accident?
Following a fatal drowning incident, possible damages include:
- Medical expenses prior to death;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of future earnings of the deceased;
- Pain and suffering of the victim prior to death;
- Loss of companionship from the deceased;
- Emotional distress to surviving family members.
Those responsible can and should be held accountable through a drowning accident claim or lawsuit. These claims provide families and loved ones affected with financial restitution for their losses.
Our Houston drowning accident lawyers look at each case on an individual basis. First, we analyze the circumstances, how, and why the victim drowned. If the individual suffered a near-drowning incident, we will calculate all bills and expenses (past and future). For an accidental/wrongful death claim involving the loss of a loved one, we will examine any form of economic hardship faced in their absence, and how it will affect your quality of life going forward.
Don’t wait any longer to speak with a Houston drowning accident lawyer
For any summertime tragedy we offer our solace. Drowning accidents can be harrowing, and the pain of their aftermath only magnifies the incident itself. However, for families left behind, it is important to know what your rights are — and what options are available to you and your family members within the scope of the law.
For more than 40 years, Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury and Accident Lawyers have been synonymous with strong, compassionate legal representation across the Houston metropolitan area. We bring a personal approach to our accident law practice — treating each client with the same commitment, dedication, and support that we would expect our own families to receive.
You don’t have to face this incredibly trying time alone. If you need guidance, we can help! Call us at (713) 932-0777 to speak with a seasoned Houston drowning accident lawyer about your case.
We know how to build strong cases that put our clients first. Besides swimming pool accident claims, our team of Houston personal injury attorneys also handles a variety of other practice areas, including car accidents, truck accidents, work-related injuries, dog bites, and more.