Philadelphia Accidental Drowning Attorney
As enjoyable as they can be for most of us, pools and natural bodies of water can be very dangerous to children and even some adults. A drowning accident is a severe type of personal injury. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of The Levin Firm understand that a drowning accident is the type of injury that can cause people to lose their lives.
A drowning accident can completely change the lives of you and your family. Even if a person survives, they can often be left with life-long impairments due to the accident. Families who experience accidental drownings can face many extensive financial and emotional losses.
At The Levin Firm, we have seen just how severely a drowning accident can change your life. We know that you are going through a difficult time and you can trust that we are on your side. We will evaluate how the drowning accident occurred and advise you of your legal rights, including the best course of action to receive compensation. Please do not wait to call our office if someone you loved has been injured in a drowning accident today.
The Effects of Drowning Accidents
When a person becomes submerged in water, the brain is deprived of vital oxygen. This is referred to as a drowning accident and it is often fatal. After a certain period of time without oxygen, the brain can no longer function and organs will fail. Tragically, many victims of drowning accidents do not survive.
In the cases where someone is rescued before they succumb to drowning, the deprivation of oxygen can cause serious and permanent brain damage. This is commonly referred to as an anoxic brain injury. The longer the individual is submerged in water and deprived of oxygen, the more severe the brain damage will be.
Anoxic brain injuries can have similar effects as severe traumatic brain injuries. First, brain damage from oxygen deprivation can cause the victim to fall into a coma or a vegetative state. Victims will often require a significant time in the intensive care unit, as a coma can last for months. In some situations, victims never regain consciousness or a vegetative state is never reversed.
Whether a victim is unconscious or not, a serious concern after any type of brain injury is increased intracranial pressure due to brain swelling. If intracranial pressure becomes a concern, doctors may have to surgically remove part of the skull to allow the brain more room to swell and release pressure. They may also surgically implant a pressure monitor to watch for increased pressure during recovery.
Even if a victim survives an anoxic brain injury and becomes conscious, they may face numerous challenges – possibly for the rest of their lives. The types of impairments they may experience will depend on the extent of the oxygen deprivation and the severity of the brain damage they suffered.
Some common impairments include:
- Difficulty with speech and communication
- Physical and sensory impairments
- Behavioral issues
- Emotional control problems
- Memory loss
- Difficulty with information processing
- Developmental impairments for children
Some drowning victims are so affected that they are not able to attend their previous work or school. Since many drowning victims are children, their entire futures ahead of them will be completely changed. Drowning victims may require assistance for the rest of their lives, which can be a huge financial and emotional burden on everyone involved.
After a drowning accident in your family, you will certainly have a lot to deal with when it comes to medical treatment and other arrangements. You will have to adjust to life with impairments from a brain injury. If you lost a loved one who drowned, your family will certainly be emotionally devastated and may face financial challenges, as well.
Our personal injury attorneys understand how difficult this time can be. We also know that time is of the essence when it comes to taking any possible legal action after a drowning accident. For this reason, we handle every step of your legal claim while you can focus on your family’s recovery from this life-changing event. Call today to learn more about how we can help you.
How Drowning Accidents Happen
Though it is referred to as “accidental” drowning, some person or entity is oftentimes responsible for creating the opportunity for the victim to drown. Most cases of accidental drowning can be prevented by providing adequate supervision, using pool and hot tub covers, installing fencing, keeping gates and doors closed, or posting appropriate warning signs. The absence of any of these precautionary measures invites the opportunity for an individual to accidentally drown.
Accidental drowning can occur almost anytime water is present. Small children may drown in even an inch of water if left unsupervised. Larger bodies of water – such as hot tubs, pools, lakes, and more – present a major drowning risk if proper care is not taken. The following are some common causes of drowning accidents:
- Dangerous hazards in or around swimming pools or hot tubs
- Pool and hot tub drain accidents
- Boat accidents, including drunk or distracted boating
- Negligent supervision by babysitters
- Cruise ship accidents
We evaluate when and how the drowning happened to identify whether any parties were negligent in causing the accident. Negligence occurs when someone owes a duty of care and the injury results from a breach of that duty. For example, a pool owner has the duty to keep the premises safe, including having the required barriers around the pool and having drain covers in accordance with federal pool and hot tub safety laws. If a pool owner fails to act in accordance with their legal duty of care and someone drowns as a result, they should be held responsible for all of the drowning-related losses.
Another example of negligence is a babysitter or another caretaker who leaves a small child unsupervised while swimming or taking a bath. If they had the duty to watch the child closely and keep them safe, that caretaker can be held liable for negligent supervision
Representing clients who have lost loved ones to accidental drowning requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys work together with a team of investigators and support staff to investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.
The Legal Process
Anyone who has been injured in a drowning accident caused by another person’s negligence has the right to seek compensation for their personal injuries. Family members who have lost a loved one due to a preventable drowning accident have the right to seek compensation for wrongful death.
In some cases, you may be able to obtain the compensation you deserve by filing a claim with the negligent party’s homeowners or general liability insurance. However, in many cases, a legal claim in civil court is necessary for a full financial recovery. You can seek recovery for the following and more:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost earning potential
- Permanent impairments
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death, including funeral and burial expenses and loss of companionship
Often, evaluating the extent of your losses after a serious brain injury or wrongful death is one of the most complicated parts of an accidental drowning claim. Our attorneys understand how to fully consider all of your losses and prove the full amount of compensation you deserve for your devastating losses.
Contact a Philadelphia Accidental Drowning Lawyer Today
When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has lost a loved one due to accidental drowning, contact The Levin Firm, who represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case.
Our firm handles a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death claims, both throughout the insurance claim process and in civil court. We are experienced litigators who will do everything in our power to protect your rights. Consultations are always free, so please do not hesitate to contact our office as soon as possible.