Maison Law stands up for families who have lost a loved one in a tragic drowning incident that could have been prevented. We help victims hold property owners and operators responsible when victims are allowed access to unsafe pools, lakes, and beaches. To find out how to hold at-fault parties fully accountable for their negligence, contact a skilled California lawyer and schedule a free consultation. It’s a no-risk way to determine how best to seek justice and secure support for the family members left behind.
California Drowning Hazards
California’s amazing variety of landscapes and climates can present special risks to swimmers who choose to go into the oceans and rivers. Elevated snowfall in our mountains can combine with quickly warming temperatures to pose additional dangers for those entering swollen rivers and lakes. Swimmers along California’s coastline might suddenly be exposed to the dangers of riptides or underwater rock formations.
California is also a sunny place where any home might have a backyard pool. Vacationers come to our state looking for resorts that have pools and waterparks that promise thrills. All of these attractions can lead to life-threatening harm.
Maison Law fights to make sure businesses and property owners are held accountable for the consequences of their negligence. We demand the support families, especially a victim’s spouse and children, will need to rebuild their lives.
Wrongful Death Claims After a Drowning
California property and business owners must show visitors a “duty of care” to keep them absolutely safe. That legal duty applies to landlords who provide pools to tenants and park owners who invite guests in to enjoy waterslides. It also holds city and county parks departments responsible for keeping public pools and public beaches safe for residents.
When they allow pools and natural bodies of water to become dangerous spots for swimmers and someone drowns or nearly drowns, these and other parties can be fully responsible for providing support for victims and their families. California allows families left behind to file wrongful death claims that seek support to provide for those left behind.
Those at fault may not want to accept liability in a tragic death, but a California drowning accident lawyer secures the evidence needed to earn justice for victims and their loved ones.
California Drowning Statistics
California’s great weather encourages outdoor activities, but that freedom can also lead to elevated risks. The ocean is one place where extra caution should be taken by swimmers and the owners and operators of the beach. On a hot day, people ready for a dip in a local lake or a neighborhood pool could be subjected to unseen dangers.
In 2022, KRON4-TV in the Bay Area reported on a study showing that California is the 2nd leading state in pool drownings. Over a three-year period, California recorded 339 victims drowning in pools. The tragic incidents put our state behind only Florida on a list of the 50 states. Sadly, almost half of California’s drownings involved children.
The California Water Safety Coalition finds that around 400 people drown in California each year. The Coalition also documents the following facts:
- 48% of all California drowning deaths occur in June, July, and August.
- The highest drowning rates in the state are in Northern California, the Sierra region, and the San Joaquin Valley.
- 92% of drowning death victims are California residents. 5% of victims are from other states and 3% are from other countries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that nearly 800 people died in 2022 from accidental drowning in the United States. On average, around 11 people drown every day in our country.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for Drownings?
Anyone who contributes to the factors that lead to a drowning can be held liable for someone’s death. That might be a resort management group that doesn’t provide lifeguards around pools. They may leave slip-and-fall hazards around the edge of the pool where a swimmer could fall and hit their head and then go under.
It could be the property owner who owns a stretch of river that is dangerous to swimmers. The owner may fail in efforts to keep people away and warn them of the dangers. The same liability may apply to a farm owner who doesn’t mark a pond as an unsafe place to swim in.
The owners and operators of theme parks may fail in their maintenance of water rides and attractions and put lives in danger. They may fail to provide proper safety equipment.
Unfortunately, these mistakes often leave children at the most risk. A security gate that’s not secure may allow an unattended child access to a tempting pool, leading to a drowning. Owners and operators are held liable if they don’t do enough to keep trespassers out, especially children who can’t be expected to make safe decisions.
These are just a few of the potentially liable parties after a drowning:
- The property owner or homeowner
- Resort owner
- A Home Owner’s Association (HOA) responsible for a pool or lake in a housing community
- A business owner or company that operates a theme park or a boat rental location
- City or County Government that operates pools and beaches
After a drowning, Maison Law of California takes action on behalf of the grieving family. We gather the evidence needed to hold a negligent property owner or business owner responsible for a wrongful death. We also stand up to corporations and companies that may be liable. These businesses will have the money to pay corporate lawyers to hide behind. We won’t back down and we will make sure your family receives support for the future.
Maison Law wants to handle the frustrating parts of filing a wrongful death claim with as little disruption to a family in mourning as possible.
These are some of the most common places where drownings occur and more information about what to do if a loved one drowns at one of these locations:
- Drownings at pools
- Drownings at California Beaches
- Drownings in rivers
- Drownings in lakes
- Drownings in creeks
- Drownings at retention ponds
Drowning Lawsuits Involving Government Departments
City and county parks and recreation departments are often responsible for beaches at local lakes and along the oceanfront. They are charged with keeping swimmers and paddlers safe from harm. They must do everything possible to keep those in the water away from risks. They are also accountable for getting word out about dangerous conditions that might threaten the lives of anyone who ventures in.
But holding a government entity responsible will be complex. City departments enjoy certain protections that make it harder to hold them liable for negligence. In some cases, families have to file paperwork simply to get permission from the government to file a lawsuit.
The deadlines for cases filed against the city will often have much shorter deadlines than normal liability cases. It’s critical that families seek help from a skilled California wrongful death lawyer when confronting a government agency. A lawyer can help families determine how to file a wrongful death claim that government lawyers can’t reject and that meets all deadlines.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Drowning Claim?
California allows the spouse of the victim or the children of the victim to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of all beneficiaries.
If the victim had no spouse or children, the parents and siblings of the deceased are eligible to file a claim on behalf of the family. Anyone who could prove they were financially dependent on the victim could be allowed to take part in the claim.
A wrongful death lawyer can also file this claim on behalf of close family members and handle the frustrating negotiations with insurers and lawyers. This will hopefully give families the time they need to mourn the loss of a precious life with as little distraction as possible.
Compensation Available to Families After a California Drowning
Families will be devastated by the news of a drowning. It’s understandable that in their despair they don’t take time to think of the family’s future.
Unfortunately, the loss of a loved one can do great financial harm to families now and in the years to come. Families can be hit with funeral expenses and lose out on a major source of income the deceased provided each week through a job and benefits. Without this support they depended on, close relatives can fall behind on mortgage payments and credit card bills.
That money will suddenly be gone, leaving loved ones to face an immediate financial crisis. It’s a prolonged problem that can affect the family in the future as children grow up and need money for school and other major life events.
Nothing can bring back a precious loved one, but through a wrongful death claim, families can seek support for their current needs and needs in the years ahead.
These and other hardships should receive consideration in a wrongful death settlement:
- The ambulance fees and any medical bills accumulated before the victim passed on.
- Support to pay for a memorial service and burial.
- The wages the deceased is no longer able to provide to a family through his or her former employment. This can include all of the paychecks that would have been earned in the decades to come.
- The emotional hardships a family suffers. Especially for the children of the victim who now face growing up without the guidance a parent would have provided.
- Cost of psychological counseling for family members to help them cope with the loss.
- The absence of consortium. (The lost support of a spouse or partner)
- Support awarded to the parents of a child claimed in a drowning. This can include support for the loss of the love and companionship a child would have continued to provide over a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a drowning wrongful death claim in California?
Families are granted up to two years to file a wrongful death claim, but waiting can make it harder to secure evidence for your case. Remember that a case involving a city department could have much shorter deadlines.
What if my family can’t afford the help of a California drowning accident lawyer?
Maison Law fights for the rights of families on a contingency basis. It means we don’t get paid unless we win the case for your family. Then our fee comes out of the settlement check or judgment your family receives.
What if I’m unsure of who was to blame for my family member’s drowning?
There’s no risk in scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled lawyer to determine who might be liable. In some cases, a drowning victim and a property owner may both share some of the blame for what happened, but the family could still earn a percentage of support from the owner or operator.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a California Drowning Accident Lawyer
After a careless drowning accident claims the life of a loved one, take action to seek justice from a negligent property owner or business owner. Contact the skilled California Drowning Accident Lawyers at Maison Law, for a free consultation and case evaluation. It’s a no-risk way to find out how to keep a negligent party from avoiding blame and how to secure every benefit possible for your family after a tragedy.