Drowning in a Public Lake

Wrongful Death Lawyer

Sadly, drowning accidents affect and devastate many, many families every year. While we do not know the circumstances surrounding most of these accidents, we can assume that in some cases there is some legal liability. This means that the drowning occurred because of either recklessness or negligence on the part of another person. If you believe your loved one drowned as a result of someone else’s actions or inactions, you may be able to receive damages in the form of compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact an experienced Charlottesville, VA wrongful death lawyer to discuss the particulars of your case to help you determine your next steps.

The specifics of a Drowning Lawsuit

If someone drowns because someone else was negligent or reckless, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Reckless in the sense that someone else was physically responsible for the drowning. Negligent because the pool or water had a hazard that was not marked or taken care of and someone drowned as a result of their lack of attention to the matter.

Accidents Involving Boats

Boating accidents account for many drowning incidents, whether it involves waverunners, jet skis or water skiers. Many times it is not because of negligence and may just be a result of an accident. Other times, other people’s recklessness or negligence may contribute to the drowning. If the latter is the case, the party responsible for the recklessness or negligence may be legally liable for the drowning and can be held in a civil lawsuit for wrongful death.  In addition, if the responsible party was drunk or under the influence of drugs, they may have criminal charges for manslaughter filed against them.

Requirements for Swimming Pools and Spas

Federal and State laws have imposed specific regulations for owners and operators of spas and swimming pools. Anyone who operates a public pool is required to abide by these state and federal laws. One of the biggest and most recent addresses the hot tub and pool drain cover issue:

  • Federal law, and many state laws mandate those operating a pool open to the public or semi-public, as well as spas, to install covers on the drains. This is to prevent drownings as a result of suction into the drains in hot tubs and pools.  Older model spas and pools have drains that did not provide adequate protection to prevent mostly children from getting trapped from where the drain suction was located. More recent drain covers were designed to alleviate this type of drowning.
  • A large amount of public pool owners and operators have installed the new drain covers; however, there are some that have not, either because of cost or they just overlooked the issue. If a pool is out of compliance and a drowning occurs, that would be used as proof against the pool owner or operator should it become a wrongful death claim.

If you feel you have justification to file a wrongful death lawsuit because of a drowning, it is important you contact an experienced attorney to discuss your next steps. An drowning accident that occurs because of negligence or recklessness is needless loss of life and nothing can replace your loved one. A successful wrongful death lawsuit can send a message and perhaps prevent another family from experiencing a loss.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their knowledge about wrongful death cases and drowning.