Roughly ten people die from drowning per day in the United States, and many more suffer traumatic injuries. Without experienced attorneys on your side, it can be extremely difficult to recover after this kind of incident. Don't trust your case to a regular injury attorney who will treat your case like a run-of-the-mill accident. Hire a law firm that has experience in handling drowning and near-drowning incidents.
Alford & Clark has the experience necessary to help you recover. Our attorneys know the laws and guidelines that govern both life-guarding and swimming pool construction. In case after case, our attorneys have recovered for injured victims whose claims were first denied by reluctant defendants who attempted to dodge responsibility. Life guarding companies and swimming pool owners will often hide their insurance policies. Even if you're able to locate the insurance policy, the insurance company will use every trick in the book to minimize your claim or to deny it outright. When you take on an evasive defendant and a sophisticated insurance company, you need to make them take you seriously. You need Alford & Clark in your corner.
Alford & Clark is a full-service firm that prides itself on client satisfaction. When you hire us, we take on all of the headaches of dealing with your case - both big and small. We help you find the proper defendant, help you get the medical care you need, and help you move on with your life.
Call us now for a free, confidential consultation.Our drowning accident attorneys are on call – 24/7 – and are happy to answer any questions absolutely free of charge. If you decide to hire us, you will never pay us out of your own pocket. Our attorney fee is only a percentage of case winnings, so there is zero risk to you. If we don't win, no matter how much we spent fighting on your behalf, you will never owe us a dime. We only get paid when we win your case.
From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries). These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
What factors influence drowning risk?
You should be aware of the following factors that increase the risk of drowning and take steps to reduce that risk:
Lack of swimming ability
Lack of barriers like pool fencing to prevent unsupervised water access
Lack of close supervision while swimming
Location - for young children, most drownings occur in home swimming pools
Failure to wear life jackets
Alcohol use - among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation
Alford & Clark can help you navigate the complex laws.
Lawsuits for drowning and near-drowning incidents are frequently brought as common law premises liability claims. To succeed on a premises liability cause of action under the common law, your attorneys must prove that the owner had actual or constructive knowledge of some condition on the premises posing an unreasonable risk of harm, that the owner did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate that risk, and that the owner's failure to use such care proximately caused your loved one's injuries.
In a suit involving a private pool owned by a private individual, the reason why your loved one was on the property will determine the level of the duty the owner had to keep your loved one safe. You can refer to our section on slip and fall accidents for more information about legal duties in premises liability claims.
In addition to common law duties, Texas law may also impose duties upon the owner of the swimming pool, spa, or body of water where your loved one was injured or killed. For example, the Texas Health and Safety Code requires the owner of a multiunit rental complex with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool shall completely enclose the pool yard with a pool yard enclosure.
Beyond the Texas state-level requirements, municipalities can set their own standards for swimming pools located within their city limits. The city of Houston's municipal code, for example, requires the owner of a residential pool to maintain water clarity so that the deepest point of the pool can be clearly seen and to maintain and operate the pool in a manner that ensures no danger to human health or welfare or hazard to the public health. Critically, the municipal code requires the operator of a residential pool to at all times maintain an enclosure that consists of a man-made, permanently installed fence, wall or barrier completely surrounding and enclosing the residential pool or spa that is at least four feet high.
If your case involves a property owned by the state of Texas or a city, you will have to contend with governmental immunity from suit. For example, the waiver of governmental immunity for premises liability in the Texas Tort Claims Act is expressly limited by Section 101.022(a) of the Act, which provides that a governmental entity owes to the claimant only the duty a private individual would owe to a licensee on private property, unless the claimant pays for the use of the premises. This provision may decrease the owner's duty to keep your loved one safe, therefore making your case more challenging to prove. You will also be limited by the Section101.023 damages caps, which will limit the total amount you can recover from the State or a responsible municipality.
Finally, the Texas Recreational Use Statute limits liability for both governmental and private entities by providing that the owner or occupier of real property does not assure that the premises are safe for recreational purposes and does not assume responsibility for the actions of those admitted to the property. Although this statute is designed to encourage the use of recreational property, it may result in your loved one being treated as a trespasser when the injury or death results on property that is open to the public for recreational purposes. This may mean that you have to prove gross negligence, malicious intent, or bad faith to recover anything, which, depending on the unique facts of your case, may be extremely challenging.
As you can see, the law related to drowning and near-drowning incidents is very complex. You need to hire lawyers who will go above and beyond to fully investigate and aggressively litigate your case. You need Alford & Clark in your corner.
Call now for a free, confidential consultation. One of our drowning accident lawyers is always on call – 24/7 – and we are happy to answer any of your questions absolutely free of charge. Alford and Clark will evaluate your case for free. When you put Alford & Clark in your corner, there is no upfront cost and you will never have to pay us out of your pocket. We only get paid when we win your case. And best of all, there is zero risk to you. If we don't win your case, no matter how much we spent fighting on your behalf, you will never owe us a dime.
The Texas trial attorneys at Alford & Clark PLLC have their primary office in San Antonio, Texas but are proud to serve the following areas: San Antonio, Sugar Land, Baytown, McKinney, Spring, Pharr, Brownsville, Pearland, College Station, Rowlett, Killeen, Longview, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, DeSoto, Temple, Austin, Victoria, League City, Carrollton, Flower Mound, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Round Rock, Lubbock, Pasadena, McAllen, Missouri City, Irving, Tyler, Houston, Odessa, Plano, Harlingen, Allen, Denton, Garland, Lewisville, Bryan, Waco,Edinburg, Grand Prairie, North Richland Hills, Cedar Park, Abilene, Arlington, San Marcos, Mission, Fort Worth, Galveston, Grapevine, Corpus Christi, Atascocita, Frisco, El Paso, Pflugerville, Conroe, The Woodlands, Midland, Dallas, Richardson, Mesquite, New Braunfels, San Angelo, Laredo, Mansfield, Euless, and Georgetown. The trial lawyers at Alford & Clark PLLC will also accept cases of serious personal injury and wrongful death outside of these cities.