Causes of Hotel Accidental Drownings
Some causes of hotel accidental drownings include a lack of lifeguards or overall supervision, broken pool equipment, overcrowding, no or little signage, fall hazards, and poor maintenance. If your loved one passed away due to an accidental drowning at a hotel pool, you may have grounds to bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the liable party. The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can evaluate your case and determine which damages you can seek. Call (954) 633-8270 to connect with our accident lawyers.
How Accidental Drownings Occur at Hotels
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 4,000 fatal accidental drownings per year in the United States—that’s about 11 every day. As noted, these incidents can happen because of:
- A lack of trained lifeguards or supervision
- Broken diving boards, steps, or pool gates
- Defective pool drains or ladders
- Poor maintenance
- Fall hazards, like a slippery pool deck or broken diving board
- Intoxication, especially when alcohol is available on the premises
- Not knowing how to swim
If someone passes away due to one of these potential dangers, their surviving loved ones may file a claim or lawsuit against the liable party.
Knowing Who to Hold Accountable for a Hotel Accidental Drowning
Different pieces of evidence can determine who caused your loved one’s death. You could use the following to support your case:
- Photos of the hazard in question
- Photos of the accident scene
- Video camera footage of the drowning accident
- Statements from witnesses
- A police and/or incident report
- Your loved one’s medical records
- Testimony from third-party field consultants
This information can help you meet the elements of negligence, which include:
- Duty of Care: The other party had an obligation to ensure your loved one’s safety by providing a safe environment.
- Breach of Duty: The other party acted negligently, fell short of providing a safe environment, and didn’t warn anyone of potential hazards.
- Causation: This negligence led to your loved one’s accidental drowning.
- Damages: You and your family have non-monetary and monetary losses resulting from the incident.
You must satisfy the entire standard of negligence. Otherwise, holding another party liable for your losses could get difficult.
Who Generally Bears Responsibility for a Hotel Accidental Drowning?
Many people could be at fault for your loved one’s wrongful death, such as:
- The lifeguard on duty
- The hotel
- The property owner
- A maintenance company
- An equipment manufacturer
Keep in mind that you usually can’t sue an employee. For example, let’s say that the lifeguard on duty wasn’t paying attention to the activity around the pool, and your loved one fatally drowned. Generally, in that case, you would hold the lifeguard’s employer accountable not the lifeguard themself. Under the principle of vicarious liability, employers take responsibility for the consequences of their employees’ negligence.
In some cases, more than one party could hold fault for what happened. Maybe your loved one climbed up a broken ladder, slipped, and hit their head. Then, the lifeguard didn’t notice until it was too late. With that, the hotel and the ladder manufacturer could be responsible for your damages.
Possible Available Damages in a Hotel Accidental Drowning Case
Surviving family members of the deceased may benefit from damages in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Since each case comes with its own circumstances, the damages you can collect are unique to your situation. However, common forms of compensation in these cases can include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Loss of financial support or income
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Anything you spent out of pocket, like therapy
- Loss of household services
- Pain and Suffering the loved one could have experienced before they passed away
You could pursue other damages not mentioned here. A Fort Lauderdale hotel accident attorney from our team can review your case and figure out your options.
In any case, you should act quickly when seeking damages. Every state enforces a statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits. For instance, in Florida, you generally have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). You must comply with the correct deadline. Otherwise, the courts could prevent you from filing a lawsuit, leaving you with financial burdens.
Get Help From Our Lawyers After a Hotel Accidental Drowning
Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers can determine the cause of a hotel accidental drowning if you lost a loved one in such a case. From there, they can identify the liable party and hold them accountable for your damages. You don’t have to navigate this challenging time without legal assistance. Reach out to the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270 to begin your free case review. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so you pay nothing upfront for our help.