New Jersey Drowning Accident Lawyers
Tragically, about 10 people die each day from drowning; statistically, men and children are at the highest risk of these accidents. The majority of males who drown are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and children are curious by nature and often drawn to pools of water, especially swimming pools, which cause hundreds of accidents in New Jersey each year.
In residential settings, swimming pools are often left unattended or without fences around them. Should a child wander off, even for a second, they could easily get too close to the pool or spa and fall in. At public pools and hotels, sometimes the ground is slippery or uneven, which can cause individuals to trip and fall in. While falling is a minor inconvenience for some, small children and adults who do not know how to swim could easily drown. If a loved one has suffered serious physical injuries or died after a drowning accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your loss. While you may still be reeling from your injury or the tragedy of losing a loved one, it is important to get in touch with the compassionate and dedicated New Jersey drowning accident lawyers with the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm as soon as possible because time to file a claim is limited.
Most Common Reasons for Drowning Accidents
Our team of New Jersey drowning accident attorneys fully investigate all aspects of your case, including the incidents leading up to the accident, with appropriate aquatic and pool experts. Our goal is to make sure the person or company who is responsible for the accident because of their negligent actions is brought to justice. We will fight and do our best to make sure you receive the financial compensation you need to help you heal and recover.
Leading causes of drowning deaths and accidents include:
- Lack of swimming skills
- Lack of supervision
- Improperly designed pools or spas
- Improper barriers
- Failure to provide an adequate aquatic safety system, such as a pool alarm or safety pool covers
- Alcohol use
- Not wearing life jackets
- Improperly trained lifeguards
- Inadequate or missing signage
- Boating accidents
- Jet Ski accidents
There are many types of and causes to water-related injuries. Drowning accidents are often avoidable, making the tragedy of when they occur all the more painful. Most often, drowning injuries occur at swimming pools or on boats.
Swimming Pool Accidents
We often find relief from the heat by taking a dip in the pool; however, fun in the sun may include many hidden dangers and potential risks as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. Unintentional injury was ranked the number one leading cause of death and injury for children ages one to four, and is number two for children ages five to nine in the United States. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that nearly half of the child victims were being supervised by one or both parents when the swimming pool accident occurred.
A swimming pool is more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of children under the age of four. Educating children on what to do in case of an emergency and to float or swim as soon as possible is important to prevent fatal injuries. Swimming pool accident and drowning statistics include staggering numbers:
- There are approximately 10 people who drown in the United States every day, and for each death caused by drowning, there are 1 to 4 injury-related non-fatal submersion accidents serious enough for the victim to be hospitalized.
- Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages 1 to 14.
- Children under five and adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest drowning rates.
- Nonfatal drowning can result in brain damage that may cause long-term disabilities, including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
- In nearly 9 out of 10 child-drowning deaths, a parent or caregiver claimed to be watching the child.
The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs provides guidance for the federal pool safety law, known as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which became effective in December 2008. It requires all public swimming pools to be retrofitted to provide features that will help eliminate bather entrapment hazards. The law also requires the replacement of all existing drain covers in both public pools and spas with new anti-entrapment covers that meet the American National Standard ASME A112.19.8 – 2007 Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Ensuring Home Safety
There are many ways to ensure your pool is safe for you, your family, and any guests who may use it. Ideally, making sure your pool has the following safety features will greatly reduce the chances someone is hurt or killed at your pool.
- Install a fence around the swimming pool. To secure swimming pools, install a fence that is at least four feet tall with a gate that is self-closing, latches on its own, or has a lock that is beyond the reach of a child. Check local laws in your community for fencing requirements. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools handbook provides measurements for in-ground as well as above-ground pool barriers.
- Remove any objects that may allow a child to climb the fence. Trim any tree limbs that hang over the pool and keep any ladders or chairs away from the area.
- Maintain and secure drain covers and pool grates. Make sure your family and visitors know to avoid these mechanisms. This precaution can help prevent suction from trapping a swimmer’s hair or body.
- Empty small wading pools and remove all toys after children are through playing. Infants can drown in just a few inches of water. Floats, balls and other toys may attract children to the pool when it is unattended.
- Flotation devices, toys, and inflatable swimming aids are not safety devices. They are toys and can easily puncture and deflate.
- Learn how to administer CPR to children and infants if you own a pool.
- Supervise children constantly. Good supervision means you are able to scan the pool area every 20 seconds and be able to reach the pool in 10 seconds.
- Put multiple safety barriers around the pool. Child drowning is often a silent death with no alerts, such as splashes or yells for help. The best way to prevent this tragedy is by ensuring proper barriers are in place.
- When children finish playing with wading pools, always remember to drain them. It only takes a few inches of water for a toddler to drown.
- Always have rescue devices, such as UL-LISTED life preservers.
Improving your pool’s safety can help prevent drowning accidents on your property and reduce your liability should something terrible occur.
According to the New York Times, New Jersey has almost 20,000 registered personal watercrafts. New Jersey has its share of recreational lakes, where residents and visitors enjoy fishing, swimming, wave-boarding, and other recreational activities. With so many boats, and with so many people using the local lakes for a variety of reasons, it is not surprising that accidents happen.
What should you do if you are injured in a boating accident caused by the careless or reckless behavior of another person? Injured people may be entitled to seek financial compensation for injuries, lost wages due to time off work, future medical needs, and, in some cases, pain and suffering.
The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm‘s New Jersey boating accident lawyers have extensive experience in boating and Jet Ski accidents. We have offices in Morristown, Newark, Woodbridge, and Denville.
Our law firm counsels and represents clients who have been seriously injured in all manner of water activities, including:
- Boating accidents
- Swimming and rafting accidents
- Jet Ski and WaveRunner accidents
As with other motor vehicle accidents, it is important to talk to our knowledgeable drowning injury attorneys before you accept any settlement from an insurance company after a boating accident. The settlement is your only opportunity to obtain compensation for your injuries. It is critically important you make sure the offer of compensation meets all your needs with regard to current and future medical needs, property loss, and lost wages.
Determining Fault & Liability
When you work with the New Jersey drowning accident lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we will look into every action that led to the accident. If our investigation reveals someone is at fault, we will quickly build a strong case for you. Individuals may be found at fault if they were behaving in a careless or reckless way, such as driving a boat while intoxicated. Other contributing factors may include lack of supervision at an at-home daycare facility, poor or inadequate signage, and allowing the child to wander into a non-gated pool area. This serious lack of swimming pool safety and spa safety can have dramatic, and often tragic, results. We have handled many pool, boating, and Jet Ski accident cases in New Jersey.
Contact a New Jersey Drowning Accident Attorney
If you are suffering the loss of a loved one, or if a loved one has become seriously injured in a drowning incident, do not hesitate to contact the New Jersey drowning lawyers of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm as soon as possible and schedule a free case evaluation now. Call us at to learn more about your legal options.