Thousand Oaks Drowning Accident Lawyer

Quirk Accident and Injury Attorneys represents injury victims in Thousand Oaks. The surrounding area is well-known for its access to the Pacific Ocean and various other waterways. While this usually means fun and excitement, it can also lead to drowning accidents. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in such an accident, contact us today for a free consultation.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Drowning or Near-Drowning?

Obviously, drowning or near-drowning is extremely traumatic. Even if you survive you’ll probably have lifelong injuries and damage to contend with. At the same time, every accident is unique. So, whether or not you need a lawyer depends on the circumstances. If your injuries are minor, you probably don’t need to bother with the legal process (although you still have the right.)

But, in the event that your injuries or accident is more severe, working with our lawyers can really help you. Here’s how we approach these cases:

  • Investigating the accident – This means looking into what happened during the accident and why it happened. For example, if the drowning happened at a public pool or lake, we would try to find out if it was because of a safety hazard, a mistake made by someone, or something else.

  • Gathering evidence and documentation – We’ll assist you in collecting important information that can help prove what happened in the accident. This might include things like medical records, witness statements, or photos of the scene.

  • Determining liability – This means determining who is responsible for the accident. For instance, if the accident happened because a property owner didn’t maintain their safety measures around the property, they might be held responsible.

  • Placing a potential value on your claim – We’ll work to determine how much financial support you should receive for what you’ve lost because of the accident. This could include things like medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, or pain and suffering.

  • Dealing with the insurance company – If you have insurance that could cover some of the costs from the accident, we’ll assist you in dealing with them to make sure you get the coverage you’re entitled to.

  • Legal guidance and options – We’ll guide you through the steps involved in making a legal claim for your damages. This includes explaining what will happen at each stage of the process and what you can expect.

  • Making things easier – Dealing with a legal case can be stressful, so we’ll do everything we can to make it easier for you and your family. We’ll handle the paperwork, negotiations, and other legal aspects so you can focus on recovering and spending time with your loved ones.

Again, it’s hard to overstate just how damaging a drowning can be. At the same time, when water is involved, there’s always the chance an accident can happen. So, it’s important to look at the underlying causes and what you need to do.

What Can Cause a Drowning Accident?

A drowning accident is extremely unique in terms of how they happen. For one, they happen around bodies of water. This sometimes complicates things, because it can happen on either public or private property. Still, they most often happen at Thousand Oaks:

  • Pools
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Ponds
  • Beaches
  • Water parks

Not only do you have to worry about where these accidents happen, but how they happen. In most cases, they happen because of:

  • Not watching closely – Not keeping an eye on swimmers, especially children or those who aren’t good swimmers, can be careless, especially in places where swimming is allowed.

  • Equipment not maintained – Not taking care of safety gear like life jackets or other safety equipment can be seen as careless, as these things help prevent drownings.

  • Ignoring safety rules – Not following posted rules, like swimming only in certain areas or following boating laws, might be careless if it leads to accidents.

  • Bad training or no certification – Places in charge of water activities should properly train and certify their staff, like lifeguards or boat operators, to avoid accidents.

  • Not fixing dangers – Not fixing known dangers, like rocks in the water or preparing for strong currents, could be careless if it causes accidents.

  • Drinking or doing drugs – Letting people who are drunk or on drugs swim or boat without watching them is careless, because it makes accidents more likely.

  • Not being ready for emergencies – Not having a plan for emergencies or teaching staff how to help during accidents could be careless if it means delays in getting help during a drowning.

How to respond

Even knowing how a drowning accident can happen doesn’t take away from the traumatic nature of it. But like any injury claim, how you respond after the accident itself is going to factor into how things play out. So, here’s what you should do to protect your health and rights after one of these accidents:

  • Get medical care – Your health is most important. Even if you feel okay, see a doctor. Some injuries might not show up right away.

  • Document everything -Take pictures of the accident, your injuries, and any damage. Also, get contact information from witnesses if you can.

  • Report what happened – Tell the police or property owners or management about what happened. This helps them respond appropriately.

  • Tell your insurance – Let your insurance know about the accident as soon as you can. Be honest when you make a claim.

  • Follow treatment plans – Go to all your follow-up appointments and do what your doctor says. Your health comes first.

  • Keep records – Save receipts for medical bills, repairs, and other costs from the accident. You’ll need them for establishing your damages.

  • Take care of yourself – Drowning accidents can have a long-lasting impact on your life. Make sure to take care of yourself and get support from friends or family if you need it.

Whenever there’s a drowning accident, your health and safety should always be the first priority. However, once you’re able to take care of that, you can start thinking about the legal process.

Legal Process After a Drowning Accident

In terms of the legal process, there’s not much that differentiate a drowning accident from others. Basically, it falls under the umbrella of an injury claim. This means a few things, firstly that liability–who is legally responsible for your injuries and damages–rests on negligence.

Similar to other accidents, negligence in a drowning hinges on four key elements:

  • A duty of care to take reasonable steps to keep you and others safe
  • A breach of that duty
  • The breach led to the drowning accident
  • A causal link between the drowning and your injuries and other damages

This, obviously, depends on the particular circumstances. However, it also opens up liability to a number of different parties:

  • Property owners for not ensuring safety measures like fences or signs.
  • Supervisors for not watching swimmers properly.
  • Individuals who act negligently.
  • Manufacturers of faulty products.
  • Government bodies for negligence in public areas.

Damages in a claim

Even if you survive a drowning, the injuries and damages that you’re left with are going to impact you and your loved ones both financially and emotionally. Fortunately, the law allows you to seek financial support for your damages, either through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit:

  • Medical costs – Covers expenses for medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and therapy.

  • Lost wages and earning potential – This category of damages takes into account any income lost due to the accident, including recovery time and potential long-term disability affecting your employment.

  • Property damage –  Addresses repair or replacement costs for damaged property.

  • Pain and suffering – Provides compensation for physical and emotional pain endured as a result of the accident.

  • Emotional distress – Covers psychological suffering stemming from the trauma of the accident.

  • Loss of enjoyment of life –  These damages are for any diminished ability to enjoy life activities due to the accident’s impact.

  • Wrongful death expenses – If the accident results in a fatality, damages are available for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional anguish.

  • Punitive damages – Additional damages may be awarded by the court in cases of extreme recklessness or intentional misconduct by the responsible parties.

Filing a claim after a drowning accident can be complicated. Our experienced Thousand Oaks lawyers can simplify the process by identifying who’s responsible and handling the legal details for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to file a claim?

You have two years from the date of the accident. Missing this statute of limitations means you won’t be able to recover damages.

You can still file a claim. However, it would be against the government agency that runs the pool or lake, like the city, county, or even state.

Because of its location and weather, Thousand Oaks sees its fair share of drowning accidents. This is due to having access to various waterways.

Thousand Oaks Drowning Accident Lawyers Will Be There For You

While any accident has the potential to be life-changing in Thousand Oaks, a drowning accident is among the most devastating. Whether it happens at a pool, lake, or some other body of water, the results are often serious injuries. At Quirk Accident and Injury Attorneys, our lawyers will be there to guide you through the recovery process. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.