How To Avoid Drowning Accidents This Florida Summer
Swimming is one of the most common and beloved activities for a Florida summer, but it is not without its dangers, especially for young children. Whether in a swimming pool, at a beach, or off a boat, drowning can and does happen very quickly, and if a drowning accident happens due to the negligence of another person, it is critical that you are able to hold them accountable.
Young Children At Risk
Data collected by the Florida Department of Health estimates that drowning deaths are most common among young children aged 1-4, but is also quite sadly common in the elderly. Nonfatal drowning episodes occur almost exclusively with children under the age of 5, with the prevalence in those above that age dropping to near 0 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. White men were the group most often represented, with between 60 and 70 percent of the recorded drowning victims being either white, male, or both.
The highest percentage of drowning accidents occurred in swimming pools, with open water or natural bodies of water being the next most dangerous location, though unfortunately, the majority of verified child abuse or neglect fatalities were due to drowning as well, usually in bathtubs. The most dangerous time of year is late summer/early fall, with 38 percent of drownings being recorded during the months of July, August, and September. It is incumbent on people, especially parents, to ensure that every precaution is taken to avoid tragedy.
If you or a loved one are unfortunate enough to survive a drowning accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it can be difficult, but not impossible, to establish liability for the harm you suffered. The place where the accident occurred greatly influences the manner in which it is best to bring your suit. If the drowning accident occurred in a privately owned or residential swimming pool, Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act is likely to apply, and if the pool in question does not comply, it can be prima facie evidence that the owner is liable.
If the drowning occurred in open water or in any other situation where the body of water is overseen by a governmental entity, the principle of sovereign immunity may apply. Sovereign immunity is a doctrine where the government is essentially immune to lawsuit, though Florida has waived the immunity in certain cases. Florida courts have also held that sovereign immunity may not necessarily apply in cases where a parks and recreation department was being sued, because drowning prevention is a ‘core duty’ of a parks and recreation department.
Can A Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
Drowning is a devastating way to lose someone, or for them to sustain potentially life-changing injuries. If you or a loved one have been in a drowning accident and need an attorney, contacting the Tampa personal injury lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group can be the first step you need toward getting the resolution you deserve. Contact our dedicated attorneys today for a free consultation.