Wrongful death cases arise under Ohio law when an individual or business is negligent and the negligence results in death. Personal injury cases arise when the negligence causes an injury. Today, I would like to talk about injuries, including brain injury, and death that arises out of drowning and near-drowning.
The common misconception is that drowning occurs with a splash of excitement and lots of noise, as a floundering swimmer cries for help. The truth is far more sinister: drowning is a largely silent occurrence. You can learn more here: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/25583480/investigators-drowning-is-silent.
Young children who are non-swimmers or inexperienced swimmers are particularly prone to drowning. Many public pools, rec centers, beaches, and for-profit water parks give parents a false sense of security by posting lifeguards around a busy swim area. A lawsuit may arise if the lifeguard crew is understaffed or untrained. A lawsuit may also arise if an individual charged with responsibility for the child, such as a babysitter or friend’s parent, is not vigilant in protecting children around water.
Drowning is not limited to children. There are a number of reported cases of elderly patients, usually suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia, wandering away from a monitored setting and falling into a nearby pond or water feature.
Another way that drowning may warrant legal action is when it results from a boating accident. Summer is high season for boating and sailing, but also alcohol consumption and other risk-taking behaviors. Depending on the circumstances, when an injury results from operating a boat while impaired or another conscious disregard of a passenger’s or other boaters’ safety, a claim for punitive damages may arise in addition to routine compensatory damages.
Sometimes, near drowning results in permanent brain injury. Brain injuries carry a lifetime of anguish, rehabilitation, and expense. While the injury is different, the negligence standard is the same as in wrongful death cases. These claims are evaluated to see if individuals or businesses complied with industry standards and all applicable State and Federal laws.