Dallas Drowning Accident Attorney

Did your loved one die in a drowning accident in the Dallas area? Rasansky Law Firm may be able to help you file a wrongful death claim. Contact our offices to learn more.

Our wrongful death attorneys know that dealing with the premature death of a loved one is difficult, and can bring with it some very tough questions. How did this happen? What could have been done to avoid this? Who is to blame?

Swimming Pool Drowning Lawyer
Dallas Swimming Pool Drownings
Sometimes, a drowning accident is simply an extremely unfortunate event where no third party shares any liability. Other times property owners and/or managers fail to follow proper safety procedures, and their negligence results in the wrongful death of another. This sometimes happens in swimming pools at apartment complexes and hotels in Dallas, Texas. Under these circumstances, a wrongful death case may be brought against the liable party. For a free consultation regarding your wrongful death case, give our offices a call today.

Facts about Swimming Pool Accidents Involving Children

Official estimates indicate that there are over ten million swimming pools in the United States, including over 350,000 public pools. While there’s no doubt swimming pools are fun and relaxing, they also can be rather dangerous, especially for small children. Statistics indicate that drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15, with approximately three children drowning every day. Even when a person survives a near-drowning, they may still suffer severe and life-changing injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the most likely victims of drowning in the United States are children between the ages of one and four and that this age group is more likely to be in a swimming pool when a drowning occurs. A child only needs to be unsupervised for a few seconds to run into trouble, and the majority of children who drown have been out of sight for fewer than five minutes.

While drowning is the most common result of a swimming pool accident, it is certainly not the only one. Other possibilities include slips and falls, chemical burns, diving injuries, and more.

What Does the Research Say?

According to government research, there are four children who require emergency medical treatment because of submersion injuries for every one child who drowns. Studies conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate an average of 5,100 of these types of injuries occur every year.

Other research indicates that nearly 80 percent of people treated for submersion injuries are children who have not yet reached their 5th birthday, and most of those accidents occurred in swimming pools. Permanent brain damage is the single greatest concern for victims of submersion injuries.

Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

One of the frequent causes of swimming pool accidents and drownings in Dallas-Fort Worth is the lack of pool safety features. The lack of drain guards, fences, life rings, and other safety tools is an obvious (and unfortunately common) indication of negligence.

Hot tubs, jacuzzis, and pool drains can be very powerful. When they’re not properly shielded, children can become trapped by the suction. This can cause drowning, as well as injuries to the bowels or other body organs. In 2007, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was passed in order to require anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices.

Swimmers who dive into shallow water or fall and hit their heads on pool decking can suffer brain or spinal cord injuries. These traumatic brain injuries can cause the victim to suffer permanent brain damage and serious dysfunction of cognitive abilities, major and minor motor skills, problems with speech, and much more. When swimmers suffer from spinal cord injuries, they may have neurological problems which can range in severity from breathing and bowel/urine problems to partial or total paralysis.

If you feel that your loved one’s drowning death was caused by someone else’s negligence, reach out to our Dallas wrongful death law firm and schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.

Prevention of Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming Pool Safety
Swimming Pool Safety

Large bodies of water are inherently unsafe. Because of this fact, it’s the responsibility of the pool operator (whether it’s a Dallas apartment complex, hotel, public pool, etc) to make sure swimmers are as safe as possible by having safety procedures in place such as:

  • Proper fencing
  • Access to safety equipment
  • Posting warning signs (this may include directions about running on the sides of the pool among other things)
  • Providing depth markers to prevent inexperienced swimmers from venturing in water too deep

When the property owners fail to follow the law and their negligence contributes to a person’s injury or death, the family of the deceased person is allowed to sue for damages under what is called premises liability.

What Are the Legal Options Available for a Wrongful Death Drowning?

If a member of your family died in a drowning incident in the Dallas area that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages you have experienced. You may experience financial strife involving medical bills, funeral costs, pain and suffering, and more. Contact one of our wrongful death lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm to learn more about your legal options.

Drowning Statistics

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the United States averages over 3,500 fatal non-boating-related drownings every single year. That equals out to about 10 drownings each day, making drowning the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the country.

Drownings are also one of the main causes of injury and death in children between one and 14 years old.

Even if they survive, a near-drowning victim can still sustain severe and devastating injuries that could potentially result in cognitive impairment or a lifelong disability, such as:

  • Hypoxia: Hypoxia is the most common drowning-related injury. It happens when the blood is unable to transport a sufficient amount of oxygen throughout the body. Hypoxia will impact the heart, brain, and other tissues. It can cause cerebral edema, cardiac arrest, and permanent neurological damage
  • Hypothermia: Prolonged exposure to frigid water can lead to hypothermia. Hypothermia is a medical emergency that arises when a person’s body starts losing heat faster than it is able to produce it. Hypothermia decreases the heart rate, causes the peripheral arteries to constrict, and redirects oxygenated blood away from the gut and the extremities to the brain and heart. Without proper medical care, symptoms will evolve from shivering and exhaustion to an absence of shivering, confusion, paradoxical undressing, coma, and, eventually, death
  • Soft-tissue, skeletal, internal, and head injuries: These injuries tend to be more common among water skiers, surfers, flood victims, boating accident victims, and the occupants of submerged vehicles. People who dive into shallow water can sustain damage to their spine that results in a fatal drowning.

How Does A Person Drown?

Drowning is what happens when liquid covers your nose and mouth. It cuts off the only two ways you have to breathe, causing you to suffocate. In the movies, drowning is often depicted as someone thrashing about and waving their arms, in real life, however, drowning is almost always silent and the outcome is often fast and fatal.

Drowning can take place with no warning, but victims can also experience latent injuries after being revived. This is usually the case in situations where complications from the initial incident were not properly treated.

Symptoms that most drowning victims experience after a near-drowning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Wheezing
  • Loss of consciousness

Difficulties can also arise following the incident, even when the person appears to be okay. Some indications of latent drowning injuries include:

  • Aspirating vomit
  • Hypothermia
  • Brain damage/Head injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Hypoxia

Even though these complications are actually quite common, they can also be fatal. If you lost a family member in a drowning accident, contact our Dallas wrongful death law firm today and ask about a free consultation.

Where Do Fatal Drownings Happen?

Understanding where most wrongful death drownings occur can help you stay vigilant and keep your family safe. According to recent statistics, some of the most common sites of fatal drowning accidents are:

  • Backyard swimming pools
  • Jacuzzis/Hot tubs
  • Bathtubs
  • Bathroom sinks/Kitchen sinks (infants)
  • Rivers
  • Ditches
  • Ponds
  • Amusement parks/Water parks
  • Flooded areas
  • Lakes
  • Oceans
If your family has endured a loss that was caused by drowning, you should speak to one of the Dallas wrongful death lawyers from Rasansky Law Firm to find out how to file a wrongful death claim.

Common Causes of Drowning Injuries and Fatalities

People can drown almost anywhere there is water: hotel swimming pools, resorts, apartment complexes, backyard pools, rec centers, and even bathtubs. In fact, a toddler can drown in as little as two inches of water. The leading causes of near-drownings and fatal drownings in Dallas include:

  • Failure to maintain or install a fence or other barrier that controls access to a body of water or swimming pool
  • Improperly trained or untrained lifeguards
  • Absent or defective life-saving gear
  • Nonfunctioning gates or barriers that control access
  • Failure to obey safety rules and regulations
  • Failure to develop and execute a drowning prevention or rescue plan

Speak with one of our Dallas wrongful death lawyers today to find out how to initiate a successful wrongful death claim if you recently lost a loved one in a fatal drowning accident.

Who is Responsible for Fatal Drownings and Near-Drownings?

Establishing responsibility for a drowning incident usually starts with establishing whether or not any negligence was committed by the owner of the property where the drowning took place. This decision will be based on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident along with other factors, like where the accident happened and what, if any, safety measures, were taken to prevent drowning from happening. Once fault is established, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.

Private Property

If your family member drowned on private property, the property owner could be held accountable for damages via a wrongful death claim. The property owner’s liability may, however, also be affected by whether the victim was trespassing when the incident occurred and whether or not appropriate barriers, such as fencing, were in place.

Public Pools

Public pools can pertain to fitness center pools, community pools, pools on school grounds, and pools at water parks or amusement parks. The person or persons who are likely to be held responsible for a drowning death that occurs on these types of premises are usually the operators and/or owners. Members of staff, like lifeguards, could also be held responsible for fatal or near-drownings.

Watercraft/Boating Accident

Drownings related to boating accidents claim an estimated 330 lives every year. Drownings caused by boating accidents or other watercraft accidents are the highest in coastal states such as Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and California.

Liability in these accidents will depend largely on what caused the accident. For example, if a person on a boat falls overboard and drowns, the operator and/or the owner of the boat could be held accountable for the death.

Operators and owners of other types of watercraft can also be held answerable if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred, or if they failed to have an appropriate number of certified life jackets onboard.

Some additional parties who could potentially be potentially liable for a drowning accident include:

  • The owner of the property where the pool is located. This includes non-residential pools as well
  • A hotel or resort
  • The babysitter or caregiver who was meant to be minding the victim if the victim was a child
  • A government agency or municipality may be liable if the incident happened at a public pool
  • A non-profit organization
  • A neighborhood or community association
  • A pool management company
  • A boat or watercraft operator or owner if the drowning accident involved a boat, jet ski, etc.
  • A daycare provider
  • The pool manufacturer
  • The life jacket manufacturer
  • A lifeguard

Communities, organizations, and individuals who have a swimming pool on their premises have a duty to make sure that certain safeguards are enacted in order to prevent any accidental drownings. If these safety precautions aren’t taken, then the business, property owner, organization, or other entity could be held responsible if a drowning takes place. Establishing fault can be extremely complicated following an accidental drowning. That is one reason why it is vital to contact our Dallas wrongful death lawyers.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

Passed as a federal law in 2007, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires property operators and pool owners to maintain safety procedures and safety devices in order to prevent injuries and drownings.

Other legal concepts that can influence liability in cases of accidental drownings are:

  • Premises Liability: Property management and property owners could be liable if drowning was caused by their failure to install fencing or other barriers, and keep the general area safe
  • The Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance: A property owner can be held responsible if their pool area did not have a fence or other barricade designed to stop children from accessing the area
  • Wanton/Willful Misconduct: Resort, hotel, and apartment managers could be held accountable for failing to hire, train, or schedule lifeguards, install fencing, replace or repair broken gear, etc.
  • Negligence Per Se: A person who manages or owns a swimming pool could be found at fault if drowning was due to a breached duty of care as determined by municipal ordinance or administrative regulation.

Like other personal injury claims, proving liability in a drowning accident is quite difficult due to the numerous negligence issues that come into play. For instance, if structural issues, such as defective latches or gates, a faulty pool filter, or other defective equipment contributed in any way to the drowning, then the distributors or manufacturers of those products can also be found at fault. Similarly, overcrowded pools and swim areas, inattentive lifeguards, and unqualified or incompetent workers can leave management, property owners, and other parties vulnerable to additional liability in cases of accidental drownings.

Drowning accidents are devastating. They leave the victim’s friends and family wondering how such a thing could have happened. Although losing someone you love is always heartbreaking, grief is particularly hard to deal with when you know the situation could have easily been prevented. Sadly, drowning incidents in Texas and across the United States have risen steadily over the past few years.

If you were injured in a near-drowning incident, or have lost a family member in an accidental drowning in Dallas, call the Rasansky Law Firm today at (214) 617-1886 to schedule your free consultation with a Dallas drowning accident attorney who will help you recover compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win your case, you owe us nothing.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Drowning Accidents?

Whether in a bathtub or a swimming pool, anyone can drown, but by taking proper safety precautions, accidental drowning can be avoided. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published some recommended steps to help stop accidental drownings, including:

Properly Supervise All Children

The majority of drowning accidents that involve young children can be prevented by simply ensuring that children are consistently supervised when they are near or in the water. It does not matter if it’s a creek, the ocean, a bathtub, or even a kiddie pool that is only partially full, children should never be left unattended around water. If there is even the slightest chance that the child will be unattended for any length of time, an adult should make sure that any access to the water is closed, locked, or otherwise secured. By making sure that young children are always under direct supervision when they have possible access to water, a lot of tragic drownings could be avoided.

Additionally, anybody in charge of overseeing children near water needs to be mindful of avoiding any possible distractions, such as:

  • Sending text messages or talking on the phone
  • Reading
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Leaving a child unaccompanied for even a couple of seconds
  • Engaging in conversation or activities with other people
  • Any and all actions that could divert their focus away from keeping the child safe

Finally, anybody who is responsible for supervising children in or near water should also take measures to educate themselves about any potential dangers, particularly if they are in a new or unfamiliar area, such as someone else’s home or on vacation. For instance, adults should always find out the water conditions as well as any information on riptides, currents, and other perils before taking a child to the beach.

Install Fencing to Fully Enclose Swimming Pools

Although constant supervision is critical in deterring the majority of unintentional drownings, it is simply not possible to watch a child every single second of the day. To discourage children from entering a swimming pool area without an adult present, the CDC advises that pools be fully enclosed by a fence that separates it from the residence. This four-sided fence should also be equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates. By utilizing proper barriers, parents and guardians can stop children from entering the swimming pool area unsupervised.

Learn to Swim

Learning how to swim will also help lessen a child’s odds of drowning. When children learn how to swim at a young age, they are more likely to retain basic water survival skills, like knowing how and when to come up for air, and how to always be aware of their quickest exit out of the water. Even small babies can learn to roll over in water in an emergency.

Always Wear a Life Jacket

Wearing a life jacket will greatly cut down on the possibility of drowning for swimmers of all abilities and ages. Young children should always have a life jacket on when they are near or in a natural water source such as a river or lake. Those with weaker swimming abilities should wear a life jacket around all sources of water, including swimming pools.

Filing a Texas Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim makes it possible for the deceased’s surviving relatives, such as their spouse, to ensure that anyone who played a role in the fatal drowning does not escape liability.

According to Texas wrongful death laws, the surviving members of the deceased’s family are permitted to file a wrongful death claim in order to pursue recovery for the economic burden resulting from the victim’s passing. The filing of a wrongful death claim is substantiated by the fact that, had the deceased survived the drowning incident, they would have been entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against the person liable for the accident.

Texas Wrongful Death Law

Although most states do permit wrongful death claims, the laws in terms of who is able to file vary from state to state. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code says that surviving family members who are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent are the following members of their immediate family:

  • Any surviving children
  • The surviving spouse
  • Either surviving parent

There may be extenuating circumstances in which the representative for the deceased person’s estate may file the claim. Contact a Dallas wrongful death lawyer to find out who can file your specific case.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Texas

According to Texas law, as outlined in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury suit is two years from the cause of action. The clock begins ticking on the day the accident occurred. If it is a wrongful death case, it starts the day the person died. There are certain cases in which the statute may be different, so don’t want long to contact a wrongful death lawyer to get your claim filed.

What Damages Are Available in Dallas Wrongful Death Claims?

Even though there is no amount of money that can bring back your family member, a wrongful death lawsuit can alleviate the financial strains often associated with an unexpected death. Generally speaking, surviving relatives might be able to collect compensation for three kinds of damages. Recovery also varies from state to state but in Texas, most claimants can expect to recover:

  • Economic Damages: These damages include things like hospital bills, funeral costs, loss of future income, loss of future benefits, and other costs associated with the victim’s passing.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These damages are subjective and intangible in nature as they deal primarily with emotional damages. This can include pain, suffering, emotional trauma, loss of fellowship, and loss of inheritance.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are occasionally awarded along with economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are not compensatory but rather designed to penalize the respondent for actions that are deemed especially heinous, willful, or grossly negligent.

Who Is Compensated in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

There are a multitude of factors that could influence who receives the damages in a wrongful death case. Family members who may be eligible to claim a Texas wrongful death suit include parents, children, and spouses. Siblings and those considered distant relatives of the deceased are not usually eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

How Much Are Wrongful Death Claims Worth?

The overall value of a case is based on several different elements. The first thing to be considered is who is liable. Secondly, you must consider the amount of damages that are incurred; this includes things like hospital expenses, funeral costs, lost wages and more. Additionally, in either scenario, an attorney will examine how the drowning-related injury or death has affected the quality of life of the victim’s surviving family members.

Both forms of damages, economic and non-economic, can be significant. Our wrongful death lawyers will review all of the medical expenses and associated bills relating to the incident. They will also calculate every dollar of income that was lost, whether through wages that the victim would have earned or you being unable to go back to work in order to let your injuries heal. They will also look at how the victim’s life and the lives of their family members have changed since the accident when determining the value of wrongful death claims.

Our Dallas wrongful death lawyers compel the insurance provider to make a reasonable settlement offer that covers both current and future damages. If they refuse to make a fair and equitable offer, we are not afraid to take your case to trial.

Why Do I Need a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer?

At Rasansky Law Firm, we know that losing someone you love in a wrongful death caused by drowning is emotionally traumatizing as well as overwhelming financially. The last thing you need is to add to your stress by trying to sort out the legal intricacies of filing a wrongful death claim. Establishing liability for wrongful death due to drowning comes with more complications than most other kinds of wrongful death claims. Our Dallas wrongful death lawyers can put their experience to work for you by handling all legal aspects of the claim on your behalf while you and your family focus on grieving.

Investigating Your Accident

Once you sign with our firm, your wrongful death lawyer will conduct a detailed investigation into the incident, collect any related evidence, and establish potential liability. During the investigation, your attorney will compile evidence that includes:

  • The deceased’s death certificate
  • The deceased’s medical records and medical expenses
  • Any video or photo evidence
  • Eyewitness accounts

Any evidence gathered by your wrongful death lawyer will be used to establish who might be responsible for the accident and to help determine a fair amount of financial compensation. The evidence that is collected during the investigation will play a vital role in defending your claim during negotiations with the insurance carrier, or in proving your case to a jury if it goes to trial.

Negotiating With the Insurance Adjuster

Most property owners, including homeowners, have some degree of insurance coverage that protects them from the costs of a potential personal injury claim stemming from a drowning incident. The insurance adjuster’s primary goal is to protect his company’s bottom line by keeping all payouts to a minimum and denying as many claims as possible. Insurance companies have teams of attorneys whose job is to do whatever is necessary to save the company as much money as they possibly can.

This often includes actions such as:

  • Making sure that the claims process is as complicated and difficult as it possibly can be
  • Deliberately stalling the claims process for as long as possible
  • Taking advantage of injured people who don’t have legal representation

Working with a team of experienced wrongful death lawyers will show the insurance provider that you are very serious. It will essentially level the playing field between you and the insurance company. The Dallas wrongful death lawyers at the Rasansky Law Firm will use their understanding of the insurance company’s strategies and of Texas law to ensure that you are awarded the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and other damages.

If both sides reach an agreement on a compensation amount, then a settlement can be reached without going to trial. Settlement offers and counteroffers are usually swapped several times before a final settlement amount is reached. If a settlement amount cannot be mutually agreed upon, the case will then go to trial. Our Dallas wrongful death attorneys are prepared to go to trial if need be. However, most cases are able to settle before that happens.

Speak With a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer For Free

If your loved one has drowned as a result of negligence, our Dallas wrongful death attorneys can help your surviving family members seek the justice they deserve. Don’t let this negligence continue. Prevent a future accident by holding responsible those whose negligence resulted in the wrongful death claim. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys for free, fill out the online email form or call our office at (214) 617-1886.

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 617-1886

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2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201


Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.   

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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