Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

When a Drowning Leads to a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

What happens when a drowning ends in a Kansas wrongful death lawsuit? Under the doctrines of premises liability, swimming pool owners have a duty of care which requires them to protect individuals who use their pools from serious injury or a Kansas wrongful death. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracking of swimming pool deaths from 2005-2014, found that every year 3,536 individuals died each year in swimming pool accidents in the United States. This estimates to approximately 10 deaths per day. Nationwide, 80% of all drownings took place in residential swimming pools and hot tubs.

Children are at a considerable risk as children under the age of 14 account for approximately 20% of drowning deaths. The National Safety Council (NSC) lists drowning as the second most common cause of death for children under the age of 15. Approximately 250 children under the age of 5 die in drowning accidents which makes it the leading cause of death for this age demographic. In fact, the risk of a child dying in a drowning accident in a residential swimming pool is 14 times higher than that of automobile accidents. The risk and fatality rates have led to campaigns such as the Pool Safety campaign launched by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Since the program's commencement in 2010, drowning deaths among children in swimming pools has declined 11%.

Of those who experience a near drowning accident, nearly 50% require treatment in a hospital emergency room. The NSC estimates that 5,000 children under the age of 14 require hospitalization for their injuries, and 20% are left with long term injuries which can include severe brain damage, diminished capacity, learning disabilities, etc. 70% of the injuries that individuals sustain in swimming pool accidents are head and neck injuries. These occur from falling on hard surfaces after slipping and falling on slippery decking or tile, striking the diving board or the bottom of the swimming pool in a dive, etc.

While premises liability rules differ in each state, they typically recognize three types of swimming pool users. These are trespassers, licensees, and invitees. For example, Kansas wrongful death statutes regarding trespassing typically disqualifies the pursuit of a wrongful death claim. However, there are exceptions. For example, swimming pools fall under the attractive nuisance doctrine which means it is the responsibility of the pool owner to protect the pool using fencing and other security measures to prevent unauthorized access by a child or otherwise mentally incompetent adult. In the case of licensees and invitees, the pool owner has a duty of care which includes maintaining the swimming area, including the water, decking/tile, and surrounding yard so that the pool is safe to use. As such, property owners who fail to protect licensees and invitees and persons who use their pool can be held liable for the injuries and fatalities their negligence causes.

The statistics show that there are very real dangers beneath the surface of sublime retreats from the heat. If you have been injured or are the survivor of someone who has suffered a wrongful death in Topeka, Kansas City, Kingman, Abilene, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, Overland Park, and other Kansas cities you can pursue claims for their damages and the impact a Kansas wrongful death has had on your life. Our primary office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206 and our attorneys are licensed to pursue wrongful death claims in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Illinois.

We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206.