About 10 people die every day due to drowning, or an average of about 3,500 non-boating drownings annually in the United States. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for seven percent of all injury-related deaths.
Most drowning deaths and injuries due to near-drownings occur in the summer months and most are suffered by children and male adults. Drownings occur in public and private swimming pools, open recreational waterways such as lakes and ponds, spas, hot tubs and even in bathtubs. And just minutes of inattention can result in a drowning.
In non-fatal cases, with brain damage generally resulting after four minutes of submersion, an estimated 20 percent of victims suffer severe, permanent neurological disability.
In most cases, drownings are merely accidents. But in some, negligence may be involved, such as lack of attentive lifeguards or supervision or unsafe premises. In such cases, the families of victims may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Kline & Specter, PC, has handled a number of significant drowning-related cases. In one, Shanin Specter obtained a $24 million settlement for a three-year-old girl who suffered brain damage after she plunged into the deep end of a swimming pool at an Upper Darby, Pa., apartment complex. Evidence showed that two lifeguards had been lying on their backs, one with her eyes closed, when the incident occurred.
In another case, Tom Kline won a $6.6 million verdict for the family an eight-year-old boy who drowned in an unattended swimming pool at a summer camp. There had been two lifeguards at the pool, but one was on a break and the other had left to use the bathroom.
If you have a family member who died or suffered brain damage in a drowning-related incident, you may have a lawsuit. Kline & Specter, with more than 40 attorneys, five of them also highly skilled medical doctors, handles cases involving swimming and drowning injuries. The firm represents clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and across the nation.