It is extremely disturbing news to learn that Florida tops the list of US states in terms of accidental drowning fatalities, but there are also opportunities to learn from the statistics. A recent report found that the Sunshine State is #1 for unintentional drowning deaths among children 1 to 4 years old. Plus, drowning is the top cause of death nationwide among children from 1 to 5 years old. Many other incidents involve near-drownings, but the child could suffer life-changing, catastrophic injuries as a result.
Both drownings and near-drownings are tragic, no matter the age of the victim. The losses for families can be tremendous, so it is reassuring to know that you have legal remedies. It is smart to get help from a Miami swimming and drowning accident attorney when pursuing the at-fault party, as the legal process can be complicated. Some additional statistics and background are also useful.
Concerning Data on Drownings
These accidents also affect older children, as unintentional drownings are the second-leading cause of death among those aged 5 to 14 years old. Plus:
- Every year, there are more than 4,000 drowning fatalities of all ages in the US.
- There are approximately 8,000 non-fatal drownings annually, at a rate of 22 per day.
- Almost 40% of people who seek emergency care for near-drowning will be hospitalized.
Injuries From Near-Drownings
When a victim survives a drowning, there are two parts of the body that suffer the most trauma:
- The Brain: The brain does not get enough oxygen when a victim cannot breathe, so there may be brain hypoxia. This condition can lead to memory loss and problems with motor skills. Brain ischemia occurs when blood flow is insufficient or disrupted briefly, and it may cause seizures or coma.
- The Lungs: When water is aspirated into the lungs, it disrupts delicate membranes and can lead to respiratory failure. In the long term, water in the lungs can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The victim will experience shortness of breath because of reduced lung capacity.
Liability for Drowning Accidents
Legal remedies for these incidents are based on the theory of negligence. You must prove that the accident happened because the at-fault party failed to exercise reasonable care. The party will typically be a person or entity that owns or has control over the property where the incident occurred.
Often, these parties are negligent in failing to install gates and locks, not making repairs, and not properly maintaining equipment. Broken ladders and defective drains are serious hazards.
Contact Our Miami Swimming and Drowning Accidents Lawyers Today
This information about potential parties is helpful, but you should retain experienced legal counsel for assistance with a real-life claim. To learn how our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA assists victims of drownings and near-drownings, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. You can call (305) 371-6000 or go online to schedule a no-cost case review with a drowning accident attorney.