Drowning accidents can happen in many different ways. Drowning accidents can occur while boating, especially if the driver of the boat is intoxicated or behaving in a negligent way. Drowning accidents can also occur at public or private swimming pools. Massachusetts lawmakers understand the dangers associated with swimming pool accidents and thus have imposed a variety of legal duties on property owners with swimming pools to take steps to make the pool area safe. If a property owner breaches a legal duty and a drowning accident occurs, the owner can become liable for any injuries or loss that result.
Because drowning accidents lead to the death of the victim, the losses associated with drowning accidents are significant. If you have lost a loved one due to a drowning accident, it is very important that you understand your legal rights and seek help from an experienced premises liability lawyer. The Boston personal injury attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers have more than 19 years experience representing injured victims throughout the Massachusetts area and we can put our legal knowledge to work for you. Contact us today at (617) 777-7777 or using our online form to learn how we can help.Massachusetts Laws on Drowning Accidents
Drowning can occur as a result of a person- especially a child- wandering into an unsecured or unattended swimming pool. As such, property owners who have pools are generally required to secure the pool area with fences and locks that meet code requirements for the municipality where the pool is located. Drowning accidents can also occur when using public swimming pools or using pools with the permission of home owners. These accidents may occur because there is no lifeguard on duty, because of negligent design or maintenance of the pool, or because of other risk factors.
Whenever a drowning accident occurs as a result of the failure of the property owner or pool operator to make reasonable efforts to ensure safety, the property owner or pool operator can become liable for losses associated with the drowning accident. In a wrongful death claim, these losses can be significant and can include not just medical bills incurred by the deceased before death, but also payment for the lost income or financial support provided by the deceased; and damages for loss of companionship experienced by surviving family members.
In order to recover this compensation, plaintiffs in a drowning accident case will have the burden of proving that the property owner's negligence or breach of duty led to the drowning. Violation of any type of safety ordinance, such as requirements to have a lifeguard on duty or requirements to keep the pool area locked, can lead to a presumption of negligence under a legal doctrine called negligence per se. This means that the injured plaintiff would not even have to prove negligence (breach of duty) since negligence would be assumed based on the violation. Plaintiffs can also prove breach of duty by showing that the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care in ensuring pool safety. An experienced Boston premises liability lawyer can help you to understand how best to prove your case and recover the compensation you deserve in the wake of a serious or fatal accident.