When an individual drowns, it can be an incredibly emotional moment for the family and friends of the person who has passed away. In the aftermath of a person’s death, there may be a lot of questions that need to be answered as well as final expenses to take care of. You may be able to make a hard time a little easier by talking to a Houston drowning accident lawyer.
At The Doan Law Firm, PLLC, our Houston personal injury attorney Jimmy Doan and his legal team are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this situation easier on you and your loved ones by fighting for the just compensation you deserve in your stead. Loved ones of a recently deceased person shouldn’t be forced to endure the stress of costly funeral and other expenses on their own while also managing a legal case. Let us take the burden off your shoulders by handling the legal side of your claim so you can spend this time with the people closest to you.
Houston Drowning Accident Resources
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Why Choose Our Drowning Accident Attorney in Houston?
After losing someone due to a drowning or sustaining injuries in a near-drowning incident, you need assistance from an attorney who is not afraid to take on at-fault parties.
At the Doan Law Firm, you will be represented by one of the most respected and trusted attorneys in the Houston area. Attorney Jimmy Doan has a significant reputation for recovering major settlements and jury verdicts.
We provide personalized attention to every single case that we handle, so you will be in the hands of compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys who understand what it takes to investigate your claim.
You will always be able to get ahold of a member of our team when you have questions or concerns about your particular claim
What Are High-Risk Locations for Drowning Incidents?
There are certainly some locations that present higher risks of drowning than others. However, the highest risk locations for drowning vary by age.
For infants under the age of 1, two-thirds of all drowning incidents occur in the bathtub.
For children aged one through 4, the majority of drownings occur in a home swimming pool.
For children aged 5 through 14, approximately 40% of all drownings occur in natural water, and 30% occur in swimming pools.
For those aged 15 and older, more than half of every fatal and non-fatal drowning incident occurs in natural waters (including lakes, rivers, or oceans).
It is crucial to point out that, just because some age ranges have riskier locations for drownings than others, all parents and guardians should watch out for their children when they are around bodies of water. Any person entering the water needs to be aware of the risks associated with that particular type of water, regardless of their age. There are risks in swimming pools, just like there are risks in the oceans or lakes. We encourage the use of various flotation devices for individuals of all ages, particularly children who are just learning to swim.
If you happen to have an open body of water on your property or around your property, please be aware that your children will be naturally drawn to this body of water. They do not understand the dangers associated with going under the surface, and this could lead to tragedy.
How Will a Drowning Accident Lawyer Help Me Pursue My Case?
There are many ways in which a drowning accident attorney may be able to help an individual get the compensation that he or she is entitled to. First, legal counsel may make sure that a case is filed before the statute of limitations expires, which is two years from the accident. If the case is not filed by the time this statute expires, it may not be possible to have it heard or for a victim to obtain compensation.
In the event that a person would rather settle the case, an attorney will work as hard as possible to make sure that this happens in a timely manner. However, we do always build claims strong enough to hold up in court should trial be necessary.
Your Houston drowning accident attorney is your advocate throughout the entire course of your case. They will be there to hear your concerns or provide advice as necessary in an honest and straightforward way. It is critical to note that you are always in control of your case and how it is handled. Your attorney is there to honor your wishes and ensure that you get as favorable an outcome as possible regardless of how you choose to resolve it.
Is Drowning Always Fatal?
That person technically “drowns” if they suffer respiratory impairment caused by being submerged in liquid. Individuals can also “drown” in a non-body of water if enough liquid is inhaled into the respiratory system. However, not all drownings are fatal. Even though many victims do not survive, there are those who survive drowning incidents, but they may be left with life-changing injuries.
A near-drowning refers to a situation where a person does actually drown but is resuscitated and survives. When an individual is unable to breathe for any length of time, this deprives the brain of oxygen. If the brain does not have oxygen for more than a few minutes, this can lead to significant brain damage, even after a person is resuscitated.
A secondary drowning occurs when an individual inhales water due to struggling in the water. This often occurs with swimmers in distress. Individuals may survive the initial experience only to suffer the effects of water inhalation later, sometimes up to 24 to 48 hours after the initial incident.
Who Is Held Responsible When Someone Drowns?
The first question that you will want to answer is why your loved one drowned in the first place. In part, you will want an answer to help you get closure as well as to determine if negligence played a role in the drowning. If the drowning was just an accident, it is unlikely that you will be entitled to compensation on behalf of the deceased.
However, if negligence did play a role in the accident, our Houston wrongful death attorney will make sure that any liable party or parties are held liable for their actions.
For instance, if a camp counselor wasn’t watching your child when they drowned in a pool, the counselor, the camp, and any third party tasked with acting as a lifeguard could be held liable. If a family member drowned after a boating accident, the owner of the boat could be held liable if there were no life vests on board. The government may also be held responsible if they didn’t get to your loved one quickly enough after he or she went overboard or if other protocols weren’t followed for any reason.
Laws Determining Liability for Houston Drowning Accidents
There are various mechanisms under the law and in the court system that can help determine liability for a drowning incident. There are various routes to examine, including the liability of a property owner, management company, product manufacturer, or another party. Every drowning or near-drowning case is different, so determining liability must involve an extensive investigation into the incident.
Premises liability claim. Property owners are responsible for taking adequate measures to keep their premises safe for anyone who has the right to be there. This includes ensuring the pool is secure from children and even supplying lifeguards if the pool is open to the public.
Product liability claim. If a drowning incident is caused by a defective product, such as a pool light, pool filter, flotation device, or some other product, then the manufacturer of the product may be held responsible for the incident.
Attractive nuisance laws. If property owners fail to secure potentially dangerous hazards around their property, then the attractive nuisance laws in Texas could apply. These laws state that property owners are responsible for securing any hazard that could attract children and cause them harm.
Willful misconduct. If a drowning incident was caused by the willful misconduct or negligence of another individual, then that individual may be held responsible for the incident. For example, if individuals are horse playing, are impaired, or become violent and lead to the drowning of another individual, they may be held responsible for the incident
What Types of Compensation Can You Get For Me?
You may be able to get compensation for any medical bills that your loved one incurred before they passed. Compensation for final expenses such as having a funeral or performing a cremation might be part of a settlement as well.
There is a good chance that the deceased lost out on many years or decades of earning potential because of his or her untimely death. Therefore, it may be possible for a family to be compensated for those lost future earnings. Additional amounts may be added to that figure to help a minor child or another dependent of the deceased to live the lifestyle that he or she would have had the individual never passed.
Punitive damages may also be part of a settlement or a jury verdict, and such damages may be more likely if a corporate or government entity was liable for the death. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen in your case or that any specific types of compensation will be awarded without knowing the facts of the case.
To summarize, depending on the facts of your specific case, you may be able to receive compensation for:
Medical expenses incurred by the deceased just before they died
Funeral and burial expenses
Loss of future earnings
Loss of love, companionship, and support
Other expenses deemed relevant and necessary
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Drowning Accident
In the event you lose a loved one due to a drowning incident, and if you believe that another individual or entity is responsible for the drowning, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. In the state of Texas, a surviving spouse, child, parent, or one of those individuals on behalf of the rest is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court.
If any of those individuals fail to file a wrongful death claim within three months from the date of death, then the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the claim unless all of the eligible surviving family members have specifically requested that the wrongful death lawsuit not be filed.
A successful wrongful death claim could provide the compensation a grieving family needs to help adjust to a new way of life without their loved one. This can include lost wages, loss of value of household services, along with the loss of companionship, love, comfort, and society the deceased can no longer provide.
Notable Case Results – Drowning Accidents
It is always a tragedy when someone loses their life in a preventable drowning incident. Our firm has worked diligently to secure justice for the families of drowning victims in cases such as the following:
$5,500,000 Settlement: We secured a wrongful death settlement for the family of a championship swimmer that lost his life due to a university’s failure to maintain a safe pool.
$4,000,000 Wrongful Death Settlement: After a child lost their life in a drowning incident due to a negligent violation of city safety standards, we successfully secured a wrongful death settlement for the victim’s family.
$2,200,000 Wrongful Death Settlement: Video evidence helped us prove that this victim’s death occurred due to negligence, and we were able to win a wrongful death settlement for their family.
$1,000,000 Wrongful Death Settlement: In this case, a child passed away at a summer camp because one of the camp’s canoes did not have a sufficient number of lifejackets on board. We fought for and secured a wrongful death settlement on behalf of the victim’s family.
I can't recommend the Doan Law Firm enough! Eduardo was especially wonderful and couldn't have been kinder, more knowledgeable or more patient. The entire team went above and beyond. The Doan Law Firm is exactly who you want on your side!!
I have nothing but great things to say about The Doan Law Firm. My husband got in an accident and I reached out to the firm and they immediately started working on his case and got him the medical treatment he so desperately needed. His entire staff kept me and my husband updated every step of the way. The most important thing, they got us a great result! Thank you so much for everything!
I work with senior paralegal, Logan Erickson. He was very nice and was helpful answering all my questions. Jimmy and all of his team members were excellent and answered all concerns I had. Highly recommended!
The Doan Law firm team deserves more than 5 stars. Specifically Eduardo and his team. They went above and beyond on my daughter’s case. They were always so patient with my numerous calls asking for updates and always thorough explaining to me the process and the next steps. I will highly recommend this firm to my friends and family.
After a traumatic experience being in my 1st automobile accident with my children I was lost and confused. I searched online for an attorney and The Doan Law Firm looked awesome. Having them handle my case was honestly the best decision I've ever made!! From everyone being sincere & ready to work to Mr. Eduardo Mora & his team of paralegals just calling to make sure I was ok and everything in between was A1!! Fantastic bunch of people! Professional, PROMPT, Knowledgeable, Fearless & Compassionate! After my 1st phone call with them I knew I was in good hands. Thank you for taking the time to read this review 💓
Houston Drowning Accident FAQs
We understand that you likely have many questions after being impacted by a drowning accident. Our legal team is committed to securing justice for you and your family during this difficult time. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions relating to drowning incidents in the section below. If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, please give our firm a call. We will discuss the details of your unique case during a free initial consultation.
Where Do Most Drowning Incidents Occur?
Most drownings occur in swimming pools or natural bodies of water, such as lakes or oceans. Very young children may drown in the bathtub if left unattended, but a majority of at-home incidents occur due to swimming pools. As people grow older, the chances of experiencing a drowning accident in a natural body of water increase. Over half of fatal drownings among victims 15 years of age or older occurred in natural waters.
Who is at Highest Risk of Drowning?
Drowning can unfortunately impact anyone. Even a strong swimmer may become fatigued, suffer an injury, or otherwise unexpectedly become unable to keep themselves afloat. However, there are some risk factors that can make it more likely that someone will drown or go through a near-drowning experience. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following list of risk factors to be aware of:
An inability to swim
Missing or ineffective barriers around swimming pools
A lack of adequate supervision (especially regarding children)
A lack of lifejackets during open water activities
Use of drugs or prescription medication
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Experienced Drowning Lawyer?
At The Doan Law Firm, we take cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay any out-of-pocket legal fees throughout the duration of your case, and you will pay nothing at all if we do not secure a favorable settlement or court verdict on your behalf. If we are able to achieve a positive outcome in your case, your lawyer will receive a predetermined percentage of the final settlement amount. That amount will be agreed upon before we begin working on your case, so you can trust that there will be no surprises once your case is resolved.
When is the Best Time to Hire an Attorney?
We recommend reaching out to a drowning accident lawyer in Houston as soon as you are able to following a drowning accident that impacts you or your family. Our team will immediately begin gathering evidence and securing witnesses testimony to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. Memories of the event may fade over time and you want to be sure to file within the window of the state’s statute of limitations.
You Don’t Pay Until Your Case Is Resolved
You don’t have to pay for your consultation, for any expert witnesses, or for any other costs that may come up during the course of your case. We can also work with your doctor or other service providers to make sure that you don’t have to pay outstanding bills until you get your settlement money. This way you won’t owe anything unless we win a fair settlement for your case.
If you need a drowning accident lawyer in Houston, contact The Doan Law Firm today. Our address is 1 Riverway Drive, Suite 2500 Houston, Texas 77056, and you can talk to us anytime during normal business hours. We also provide emergency 24/7 services, so please don’t hesitate to reach out no matter what the time or day.