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Who May Be Liable for Drowning Accidents in Seattle?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 30, 2016

The recent news of a fatal drowning at a Seattle-area waterpark has once again highlighted the dangers posed by bodies of water of all kinds. Over the past ten years for which the CDC has data, the United States saw an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) each year. That is just about ten per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drownings in boating-related incidents.

Children are especially prone to such accidents. More data from the CDC: almost one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger; and for every child fatality from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

When people think of accidental drownings, oceans, lakes, and swimming pools are most likely what comes to mind. But any amount of standing water is enough to be dangerous under the wrong circumstances, including ponds, fountains, and bathtubs. If you or a loved one have suffered a water-related accident, it’s important to know what your rights are so that you can receive proper compensation.

Who can be held liable in a drowning or near drowning accident depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident, and can include any of the following parties:

  • The manufacturers of recreational equipment around a body of water (including docks, diving boards, and boats)
  • The manufacturers of swimming pools
  • The retailers, distributors, and installers of swimming pools
  • Property owners
  • Water park operators and owners
  • Private companies (fishing and rafting guide companies, scuba diving schools)
  • Municipalities
  • School districts
  • Supervisory personnel
  • Private club employees
  • Caretakers of infants, youth, and the elderly

Such accidents can be traumatic for families and their victims no matter what the outcome. Especially when children are involved, in the direct aftermath of an accident, it can be difficult to determine what has happened and who was at fault. This can make it difficult to seek out proper compensation.

It’s for this reason you need someone who can advocate on your behalf. If a loved one has suffered a drowning injury or fatality, your family may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, personal injury or disability, and lost wages, among other things. And because of the complexity of the liability issues involved, you may not even be aware of your rights.

The Seattle drowning accident attorneys at the law offices of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. are experienced at ensuring our clients get the best possible outcome. Call us today at (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation.

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