San Diego County is almost the ideal location for swimmers. Warm ocean waters and one of the best natural bays in the continental United States mean that swimmers of every skill level and degree of physical conditioning can be found swimming side by side. When you consider the presence of military training assets such as naval and Marine Corps divers and combat swimmers, on any given day there are probably more water safety and rescue personnel per capita in San Diego County than at any other location in the country. With this being the case, why do people drown?
According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner, 365 people in the county died from accidental drowning between 200 6 and 2015. Of these drownings:
79 were 18 years of age or younger
136 drowned in open water, such as the ocean or the bay
122 drowned in a pool or hot tub
about 20% of all accidental drownings involved alcohol, drugs, or both
Causes of Drowning Accidents
Most drowning accidents can be traced back to three factors:
lack of supervision, particularly of pre-school children
inadequate swimming pool security
lack of adequate rescue personnel at open-water swimming beaches
Lack of Supervision
Lack of supervision at residential swimming pools, residential community (apartment and condo complexes) pools, and public beaches is the greatest factor in drowning accidents, particularly among children. Failure to provide supervision is a clear act of negligence.
Inadequate Swimming Pool Security
The State of California is well known, or even infamous, for having some law or regulation for every aspect of life! Both California and San Diego County have enacted standards regarding security measures for swimming pools, such as self-closing gates and fences of minimum height. Even of these measures were complied with at the time of construction, failure to maintain these items has been seen as negligence.
Lack of Rescue Personnel
The city or county entity that has operating authority of a public swimming area is also responsible for providing lifeguards and access to emergency services. If these services are found to be inadequate after a drowning occurs, it is evidence of negligence.
Near-drowning and Unrecognized Complications of Near-drowning
There are many cases on record with medical examiners / coroners of the Southern California area, and nationwide as well, where someone is pulled from the water after nearly drowning only to die hours later. These deaths are due to what is called “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.”
When someone drowns, water enters the respiratory tract and causes its muscle tissue to contract to prevent a foreign substance (water) from entering the lungs. After rescue in a near-drowning incident, and particularly with children, these tissues can go into spasm again up to an hour after rescue. If a near-drowning victim does not receive medical care after an accident, this could be seen as negligence.
Secondary drowning occurs up to 24 hours after drowning and is due to the body’s delayed response to water entering the lungs. This is more common when sea water enters the lungs. Failure to closely monitor a near-drowning victim by medical personnel in a hospital setting may indicate negligence or even malpractice by rescue personnel.
How To Contact the San Diego Drowning Lawyer
Just because a swimming pool is in full compliance with every possible state and local regulation does not make it “safe” and just because a pool owner or operator hasn’t “dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’” doesn’t make a pool “unsafe.” The question to be faced in every drowning accident is “What could have been done to prevent this needless death?”
If you suspect that negligence was involved in the drowning death of a family member, you may have a legal case against the person or persons whose negligence played a role in that death. You first step toward exercising your legal rights to compensation for your family’s loss is to contact the San Diego drowning lawyer at the Doan Law Firm by calling (760) 991-0000 to arrange a consultation regarding the facts of your case and to review your legal options.
We realize that the loss of a family member can place an unexpected financial burden of those who are left behind to mourn their loss, When you contact the San Diego drowning lawyer at the Doan Law Firm, you first consultation is always free and does not create an obligation for you to retain our firm.
If you should ask us to represent your drowning accident case, we will assume responsibility for all the necessary legal fees and expenses that will help us to win your drowning accident case in exchange for a previously agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.