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The legal ins and outs of drowning accidents

Summer will soon be on its way, and with the warmer weather brings outdoor activities like boating and swimming. Safety is a concern for any person engaging in recreational activities, and water activities are no exception. An accident can tragically cut a life short, and when the accident is the result of something that should have been avoidable, it can make it seemingly even more tragic.

Sometimes a drowning incident is a pure accident and no one is to blame. Other times, one or even multiple parties could have contributed to the circumstances that resulted in an individual's drowning. Certain cases, like accidents in public pools, have been known to be caused by lack of oversight or environmental hazards.

Is someone liable for my loved one's drowning?

You may be asking yourself, was someone at fault for the drowning death of my loved one? If another person's negligence or recklessness contributed in any form or fashion to your loved one's death, then yes, you may have a valid claim for wrongful death.

In some of these tragic situations, one individual's physical actions directly resulted in the drowning of another, while in other scenarios that would also justify a wrongful death claim, a qualified individual may have neglected to act to save the victim from drowning. Poor maintenance or failure to warn about the dangers of the swimming area could also qualify as reasons for another party's liability.

Types of drowning accidents

Water sports such as water skiing, jet skiing and boating can all unfortunately be a source of drowning deaths. Operating any form of boating equipment while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can create especially dangerous situations for other individuals in and around the water.

Pools, rivers, lakes and swimming holes are other common areas where drowning accidents are much too frequent. Public swimming areas in South Dakota are subject to particular safety regulations, and thus must be maintained in a manner that keep individuals safe.

Preventive regulations

Federal and state laws create regulations intended to keep people safe. In pools and hot tubs, certain drain covers must be in place to prevent individuals from being sucked under the water and held there. Some older pools and spas have not yet upgraded, but if an accident were to occur, there could potentially be a legal liability.

Where to turn for support

After an accident that claims the life of a loved one, you may be grieving and unsure of where to look for help during this challenging time. In addition to all of the end-of-life expenses, you may have suffered many emotional damages as well. An experienced attorney can carefully analyze the details of your case to determine if the negligent or careless actions of another party contributed to your loved one's passing, and if so, can help you pursue the maximum amount of restitution to which you are entitled.

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