Houston Personal Injury Lawyers for Drowning
Among all personal injury cases, drownings are perhaps the most tragic. A drowning is a death that occurs when a victim’s respiratory system is impaired by immersion in liquid.
A near drowning is where a person experiences a drowning event involving unconsciousness or water inhalation but survives. Near drowning can lead to serious injuries and complications including postponed death. Often bystanders are not aware they are witnessing a drowning and it can happen in seconds. Call board-certified injury lawyer Michael P. Fleming for information about what you can do.
Leading Cause of Death of Children
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children of ages 1 to 4. Each year in the U.S., nearly 400 children ranging in age from 0-14, drown in pools or spas. Of these children, the majority of victims are male. In addition, African-American children are 6 times more likely to drown in a pool than a white child of the same age.
Every year, 76% of drowning deaths involve children under the age of 5, with the highest percentage being children between 1 and 3 years of age (67%).
Over 4,000 children under 5 years old receive emergency treatment annually to address drowning-related injuries. And again, children of 1 to 3 years of age compose the largest percentage (64%) of those 4,000 treated annually.
Drowning Deaths in Texas
Second only to Florida, Texas boasts one of the highest numbers of drowning death of children 0-14. The majority of drowning deaths of children occur in a residential pool.
A quarter of these deaths occur at public pools including apartment complex pools. It is therefore imperative that pool areas are equipped with the necessary safety precautions including fencing around the area with self-latching or self-closing gates, rescue devices including poles and rescue donuts. Also, it is important that everyone, especially children, learn to swim and become certified in CPR should a drowning event occur.
Drowning presents an often under-appreciated risk. As the temperature increases, so too does the potential for a devastating or fatal drowning accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 10 people die from drowning every day.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States. Of those who die each year as a result of drowning, men and minorities, especially African Americans, make up a disproportionate majority while children of ages 1 to 4 represent the highest drowning rates and this is one of the most common forms of wrongful death.
Survivors of a drowning accident can face extensive medical treatment and the costs associated with such can be crippling. Of those drowning victims who receive emergency department treatment, more than 50% require prolonged hospitalization as compared to a hospitalization rate of only 6% among all other unintentional injuries seen in these emergency rooms.
Many easy and affordable steps can be taken to prevent such a tragedy. Sadly, many Americans, both adults and children, report that they cannot swim. It is imperative to educate yourself and your children on basic water safety and survival techniques should you face a drowning hazard such as falling into a pool or other body of water. However, there is no substitute for formal swimming classes, which are available for both adults and youth alike. One should also be trained in CPR should a drowning occur.
In Houston, all pools should be equipped with fencing or another suitable barricade to prevent unauthorized access to the pool area by children. Hotels, motels, and resorts may have an obligation to provide trained lifeguards, or provide warning that no such lifeguards are on duty. Some studies show that such an enclosure reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83%. Moreover, children should always be actively supervised while playing in and around water.
It is also important to wear protective gear, such as life jackets, while boating. In 88% of boating deaths attributable to drowning the victim was not wearing a life jacket. Alcohol use while boating also increases the chance of a fatal drowning accident. Certain health conditions such as seizure disorders also increase your risk of death as the result of drowning. It is important to understand your limits and respect the danger water can represent.
Regardless of the extent of preparation taken, an accident can always happen. The Houston personal injury lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. know and appreciate this. Our attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and training to investigate these accidents and inform you of your legal options. If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries or death due to a drowning accident, call the pool accident lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates to discuss your options.