There’s nothing quite like getting out on one of Minnesota’s beautiful lakes, or taking a dip in a cool, refreshing swimming pool on a scorching summer day. But while these activities are obviously fun, there are times where they can also be dangerous. Accidents happen, unfortunately, and they can lead to catastrophic injuries as well as tragic fatalities.
The boating and swimming attorneys with Sand Law obviously don’t want you to deny yourself or your family members the joy of getting out on the open water, or using a swimming pool. We just want you to have an understanding of some of the dangers involved in these activities, and be extremely careful. If you are hurt in a water-related accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we’ll be here to help you obtain the money you deserve.
Types of Water-Related Accidents
Here are just a few of the more common water-related accidents that occur every summer.
This is one of the most tragic occurrences imaginable, and can happen on a lake, a pond, a pool, or any other type of water. While swimming is a great deal of fun – and it’s also a great form of exercise, there are too many people who don’t take the proper precautions. What’s especially tragic is when a child dies due to drowning – and it happens far too often.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a drowning death occurs every 10 minutes in our country – and 20% of those deaths are children. In fact, drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14.
There are many instances, however, where drowning doesn’t result in death. Even then, however, the damage can be devastating. Drowning victims can suffer irreversible brain damage in just a few minutes. This can result in severe cognitive and emotional issues, including aggression, memory loss, difficulty learning and more.
Who doesn’t love taking their boat out on the lake on a beautiful summer day? Whether you’re fishing by yourself, or you’re taking your family for an outing, there’s nothing better. But boating can be risky, leading to accidents that can result in horrible injuries.
There are actually many similarities between boating and car accidents, at least from an injury perspective. Both of them can, for instance, result in severe back and neck injuries that often lead to permanent paralysis. Whiplash, an injury caused by sudden, severe twisting of the neck, can happen as well.
Jet skis are incredibly exhilarating, and can give you a good workout as well. As is the case with any type of recreational vehicle, however, there are some inherent risks associated with jet skiing. Occupants can easily be thrown from a jet ski, striking the water with an incredible amount of force. The impact can cause them to lose consciousness and possibly drown. Severe orthopedic injuries can also occur.
Jet ski operators will sometimes lose control of their watercraft, suffering terrible injuries in the process. But negligent boat operators can also be to blame, crashing into a jet ski and severely injuring the operator. Equipment or mechanical failures can also cause a jet ski accident.
Slip and Falls
Slipping is one of the most common causes of severe swimming pool accident injuries. The most common reason is usually horseplay, but anyone – of any age – can slip at the side of a pool. Pool owners can help reduce the risk of this happening by posting signage warning people not to run near a pool, as well as making sure children are constantly supervised.
Locations Where Water-Related Accidents Occur
A serious accident can take place on just about any type of body of water. Drownings involving children, for example, usually occur in pools that aren’t supervised. This could be a community center pool, a neighbor or family member’s pool or anywhere else. This is why proper supervision is so critically important.
But drownings and other accidents can occur on open water as well, such as a lake. When people don’t wear life vests when boating, they’re basically inviting danger. When they consume too much alcohol, the dangers get even more pronounced. People who are drunk tend to not have as many inhibitions, and may be more likely to jump into a lake without any protection.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Water-Related Accidents
The two most dangerous types of mishaps involving water are swimming pool drownings and boating accidents. Thankfully, by following a few simple rules you can greatly reduce the chances of either of them happening to you or someone you love.
When boating, always operate the vessel sober and follow all speed limits. This will especially be true at night, when visibility is obviously limited. Always wear a life jacket, and tell all of your passengers to wear them as well. That could make the difference between someone surviving a near-drowning or suffering a tragic death. Also, make sure you have a first aid kit on hand whenever you go out on the water.
If you’re swimming in a pool, never run around the outside, and always make sure someone is watching any children who may be present. Keep the pool gate locked when no one is swimming, so that no neighborhood children can sneak in when no one is there to supervise them.
Who’s at Fault if…
…I Was Injured?
If you’re hurt in a water-related accident, there will be a lot of factors that will go into determining responsibility. You’ll need the help of an experienced attorney so they can conduct a detailed investigation to determine what happened.
…My Child Was Injured?
You’ll need an attorney in this instance as well. For example, if your child suffered an injury in or near a swimming pool, your attorney will determine if negligent supervision occurred. This basically means that someone who should have been watching the child, such as a lifeguard or a responsible adult, wasn’t where they were supposed to be. You may be able to take legal action against them as a result.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Talk to a Sand Law attorney as soon as possible if you or someone you love has been seriously hurt in a water-related accident that was the fault of some other party. You can contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free consultation.