What Laws Apply to Drowning Accidents?

Wrongful Death Lawyer

Did you know that around 4,000 people a year unintentionally drown in non-boating related accidents? 20% of all drowning victims are under the age of 15. This means that there are roughly 10 drowning fatalities each day, and 2 of those are children. This means that drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, otherwise known as the CDC, reports that for each child that dies from drowning, 5 other children receive treatment in emergency rooms for non-fatal incidences of near drowning and injuries associated with near drowning.

More than half of the victims who survive near drownings require hospitalization and care after. The injuries that are sustained in near drown incidents are serious and may cause health complications that affect the person for the rest of their life. Often a common injury is that oxygen flow to the brain was lost, and the brain may lose cognitive functions, memory functions, or reasoning. There are physical injuries involved with drowning too, like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and broken bones.

­So you’re getting the picture, we hope, that drowning and near drowning incidents cause severe physical, mental, emotional and financial strains on victims and their families. Any good wrongful death lawyer in Washington DC, such as the ones available at Cohen & Cohen Attorneys, wants you to know what laws a drowning incident falls under and how it may be approached in court.


The first and perhaps most obvious court-cited cause of drowning incidents is negligence. Here’s a brief overview of some examples that may be used to show that negligence can cause drowning.

Your pool is not secured with a locked gate or fence, the pool has not been managed and there are many hazards, such as uncovered drains, tools, low water levels (or high water levels), no indicators between the different depths in the pool. If you fail to post safety warnings regarding the pool and various hazards that may lead to drowning, you be also be held liable for negligence. If your pool staff are not properly trained, you’ll be held for negligence.

Negligence isn’t the only law category used in drowning cases, though.


Did you know that liability can be applied to drowning cases? Pools use many products, so product liability is a no-brainer. In fact, pumps can cause suction entrapment, which is where an occupant of the pool becomes stuck when their hair or swimsuit is sucked into the pump. Defective drains can do similar as well. Pool filters may malfunction and then explode due to compressed air; this may lead to “shrapnel” launching through the pool area at occupants. Accessories like diving boards, slides, ladders can also be installed incorrectly or malfunction.

But that’s not the only type of liability that may affect a case like this. Premises liability may come into effect too. The pool is a piece of property, so the property owner must maintain the pool and ensure it does not cause an unreasonable hazard to those around it or who are using it.