In the summertime, it is quite popular for Michigan residents to head to the beach for a day of fun or to relax at a pool. Many of these locations may or may not have a lifeguard on duty. However, even when a lifeguard provides a sense of safety, drownings or other serious injuries are quite common throughout the state.

If your loved one drowned while being unsupervised, you are likely traumatized and overwhelmed. While no amount of compensation can bring them back, a successful civil claim may help to alleviate your financial strain during this difficult time. A Michigan beach and pool drowning lawyer could help. By working tirelessly to gather evidence and file a claim on your behalf, a Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. attorney could allow you to focus on spending time with your family.

Common Causes of Drowning

Many times, a drowning may be caused by the negligence of others, including unsupervised swimming, boating accidents, negligent design and maintenance of a swimming pool, and reckless behavior. For example, if an inexperienced swimmer at the beach is unsupervised or is struck by a vessel or an aggressive swimmer, there could be grounds for a legal claim to hold them accountable. No matter the situation,  it could be essential to hire a Michigan pool and beach drowning injury lawyer who has a complete understanding of these cases in order to achieve the best results under the circumstances.

Pool Accidents

Injuries from poolside accidents are unfortunately common throughout the state. While these can arise from any number of circumstances—such as running and horseplay—many drownings and occur as the result of poor maintenance. Common hazards include:

  • Drain entrapment
  • Slippery deck
  • Mismarked feet depth
  • Properly filtering
  • Proper chemical treatments

If maintenance regulations are violated and result in injuries or death, an injured swimmer or their family members might be able to hold the owner responsible. For example, in public swimming pools, such as hotels, a drowning or other serious injury may occur due to poor maintenance causing slippery floors or “muddied” water, which makes it difficult to see a person struggling beneath the water.

The failure to have proper lighting, an emergency phone, and other safety equipment may also constitute negligence, as well as the failure to have lifeguards or the failure to restrict access to the pool may give rise to a claim. Further, the failure to properly mark depth, separate swimming lines, or design a pool can also provide a basis for liability, which could be investigated by a dedicated Michigan attorney who is familiar with beach and pool drownings.

Fences are also an important part of safety, as they are designed to keep certain people out, such as small children. However, if a fence is defective, it can lead to drowning. Similarly, a drain cover can be quite hazardous if the cover is off the drain or is defective. This is because a drain acts as a vacuum and, when the cover is off the drain or not properly on, an individual can be sucked down under the surface and be held down by the vacuum force, making it difficult for an individual to free themselves. Whether it is a hotel, motel, or public swimming pool, it is the responsibility of the facility to keep and maintain their pool.

Common Types of Lifeguard Negligence

When a person drowns in a swimming pool or at the beach due to the negligence of another person, their surviving family members have legal rights to pursue a wrongful death claim. While there are many different forms of lifeguard negligence, the most common forms include:

  • Lifeguards failing to perform their job sufficiently while on duty or acting in a negligent manner
  • Public swimming pool areas failing to have a qualified lifeguard present
  • Not a sufficient amount of lifeguards on duty

According to statistics, brain damage can result within the first 20-60 seconds after an individual is submerged under water. If a lifeguard has trouble noticing a swimmer in distress within the first ten seconds of drowning, or there are not enough lifeguards on duty to perform their job, then the individual will most likely suffer serious drowning injuries or even death.

Pool and Beach Safety Tips

If you are a pool owner, it is highly recommended and in many states mandatory to have a four-sided isolation fence around home pools. Also, door alarms, alarms, and automatic covers add an extra layer or protection for child safety. In addition, the use of specially-made drain covers, safety vacuum-release systems, multiple filter pumps, and other pressure-venting filter mechanisms can reduce the risk of entrapment.

Furthermore, there are safety measures every person can take to try to prevent drowning at the beach. According to the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), in order to protect the safety of beachgoers, every person should:

  • Swim near a lifeguard, when applicable
  • Swim with a buddy
  • Use sunscreen and drink water
  • Obey all posted signs and flags
  • Keep the beach and water clean
  • Learn the rip current safety measures
  • Wear a life jacket

A Michigan Beach and Pool Drowning Lawyer Could Help

Drowning deaths and injuries frequently occur due to the negligence of others. Depending on the circumstances, the drowning victim and his or her family may have legal rights to be compensated, including monetary damages for pain and suffering, disability, medical bills, and lost wages.

If your loved one has drowned due to another person, business, or other entity’s negligence, consider reaching out to a compassionate attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. for help. A Michigan beach and pool drowning lawyer could discuss your legal options and explain your rights during this difficult time. Whenever you feel ready, call a legal professional for assistance.

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