It is a fact that year after year, there are too many drowning accidents in New York. Tragically, when these accidents happen, children are often the victims. Sometimes, they do not survive the accident and a family is changed forever. Many of these accidents are preventable, and if someone had only taken proper precautions, those families would never have to suffer through the tragedy of losing someone.
So, how many drowning accidents actually happen in New York? When they do occur, can those injured and their families hold someone liable for the accident?
According to the organization End Drowning Now, on average, there are 3,500 to 4,000 drowning victims per year in the United States. That equates to about 10 drownings per day. Sadly, drowning is also the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4.
Of all the states in the country, New York had one of the highest numbers of drowning accidents between 2009-2018. The state was fourth on the list for highest number of drownings, with 907 in total. Only Florida, Texas, and California, states with warmer climates all year long, had a higher number of deaths due to drowning.
When many people think of drowning accidents, they automatically assume these incidents happen in swimming pools. The majority of them though, 27.2% in fact, occurred in rivers. Closely following that number was lakes, which saw 25.9% of all drowning accidents, and then pools, which were the site of 21.3% of all drownings in the country. Only 10.4% of drowning accidents occurred in oceans.
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Liability in Drowning Accidents
Regardless of where a drowning happens, they are typically preventable accidents. Swimming pools and beaches throughout New York are highly regulated. They have very strict requirements for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the property in order to prevent drowning accidents from occurring.
When a drowning occurs at a public swimming pool or beach, a premises liability attorney can investigate to determine if the grounds were safe, and if there was adequate supervision for swimmers. Hotels and motels that offer a pool to their guests are also responsible for ensuring the pool is safe and that accidents will not occur.
Private swimming pools, such as those found in many New York backyards, are also considered attractive nuisances. This means that property owners must ensure that children cannot enter into the pool, even if they have been warned to stay off the property.
Not all drowning accidents are caused by someone else’s negligence. When these accidents happen, however, those injured or those who have lost a loved one should speak to an attorney to help determine if negligence was the cause.
Preventing Drowning Accidents
One of the most tragic aspects of a drowning accident is that they are largely preventable. The American Red Cross has published some tips for pool owners to follow to ensure that everyone has a safe and happy summer this year. The best tips released by the organization include:
- Pool owners must ensure pools are enclosed by a 4-foot-high fence that has a self-closing, self-latching gate
- Pools and hot tubs should remain covered when not in use, and owners should restrict access by removing steps and ladders to the pool
- Children should always have supervision when swimming
- Young and inexperienced swimmers should wear a life jacket at all times while swimming
- Water should be kept clean and clear at all times
- Safety rules should be enforced at all times
- Those entrusted with the safety of others, such as lifeguards, must have proper and up-to-date first aid and CPR training
By following these tips, all pool owners can help bring the high number of New York drowning accidents down, and protect themselves from liability in case of an accident.
Hurt in a Drowning Accident? Call a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured or lost someone due to a drowning accident, there is a good chance the accident was preventable. When that is the case, someone else’s negligence may have caused the accident. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we are Long Island personal injury attorneys that will hold pool owners responsible for their negligence. We know you have suffered losses as a result of the accident, and we will fight to get you any compensation you deserve to help with those losses. Call us today at (516) 358-6900 or fill out our online form for your free consultation.