Drowning deaths and nonfatal drowning injuries continue to be major concerns in South Carolina. This is especially troubling for families with young children. According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), drowning is the number one cause of death among children between the ages of one and four years old.
It is vital for families to prioritize water safety. Young children are at high risk, whether at a pool, lake, or beach. Take precautions and be aware of hazards. In the unfortunate event of a drowning injury or death of a loved one, it is important to know your rights and determine who is legally responsible for the incident. A skilled personal injury attorney is an invaluable resource who can guide you through this process.
Risk of Drowning Injuries and Deaths in South Carolina
Every year in the United States, thousands of people die from unintentional drowning. Thousands more suffer from drowning injuries requiring emergency department visits. Nonfatal drownings can result in brain damage and long-term disability.
In addition to the risk to very young children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that, for children ages five to 14, drowning is second only to motor vehicle accidents in causing unintentional injury deaths. These are alarming statistics indeed, especially since many drowning incidents are preventable.
As a serious public health problem, drowning deaths are far too common. Any time there is access to water, there is the risk of drowning. It can happen in a matter of seconds without anyone even noticing. According to CDC data, South Carolina has one of the highest rates of drowning deaths in the country.
Common Drowning Situations for Children
Young children are at risk of drowning anywhere they have access to water. Private swimming pools are one of the most common locations. Residential pools make up the majority of reported child drownings. Children may be unsupervised or gain access to the pool without adults knowing. In this case, the pool or homeowner may be held legally liable for the drowning death.
Children may also not be suitably supervised in public areas like South Carolina beaches and lakes. Even at lifeguarded public pools or at hotels and resorts, drowning injuries are not uncommon. These are among the common situations where drowning occurs.
Risk factors that may contribute to the drowning of young children include the following.
- Failure of property owners to follow pool safety rules
- Defective pool design or lack of proper maintenance
- Powerful water currents
- Dangerous pool drains that can trap drawstrings, clothing, or hair
- Lack of appropriate safety measures, visible signage, or depth markers
- Missing or ineffective isolation fences
- Failure to cover pools and hot tubs when not in use
- Improper lifeguard training
- Pool operator negligence
Young children who are unable to swim should never be left unattended in or near water. Always designate an adult who is not distracted by other activities, like reading or using a phone. When your child’s life is at stake, you should never put all of your trust in a lifeguard. However, if your child is injured or drowns when a lifeguard is on duty, you might have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help
Child drownings can occur almost anywhere in South Carolina. If your child was hurt or killed at a public pool or beach, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer. They can help you determine legal liability and protect your rights. The at-fault party may be the property owner, in the case of a hotel or resort pool, or it may be someone else, like the pool maintenance crew or a distracted lifeguard.
Skilled personal injury attorneys can investigate your case and help you seek your rightful compensation. The team at Pracht Injury Lawyers will work tirelessly to advocate on your behalf. Do not accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company. They often strive to deny claims and reduce their liability. We will help explain your legal rights and get you the justice you deserve.