Role of Negligence in Drowning & Water Injury Lawsuits - Zayouna Law Firm
Jul 9 2023 | Zayouna Admin

The Role of Negligence in Drowning and Water Injury Lawsuits

Drowning and water-related injuries can have tragic consequences, causing devastating losses for individuals and their families. In such cases, understanding the role of negligence is important for pursuing legal action. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or death. When negligence is a factor in drowning or water injury incidents, legal action can be taken to hold responsible parties accountable.

According to the Red Cross, drowning is the second leading cause of wrongful deaths among Canadians. Between 1991 and 2010, an average of 482 water-related fatalities occurred each year across Canada. These incidents encompass a range of settings, including swimming pools, natural bodies of water, and other aquatic environments.

Many drowning and water-related injuries are preventable, and often affected parties have the right to take legal action to seek compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has been involved in a water-related accident, don’t wait to contact Zayouna Law Firm to book a free consultation to discuss your case. 

Common Causes of Drowning and Water Injuries 

Drowning and water injuries can occur in various environments and situations. Generally, unexpected falls into water are the most common cause of drowning and water injuries. Most at risk in these cases are children under age 5, highlighting the importance of proper fencing and supervision.

Several factors contribute to a higher risk of water injuries and drowning like lack of proper supervision, lack of adequate infrastructure, and improper life jacket use. Alcohol consumption tends to play a significant role in accidents involving people older than 15, playing a contributing role in 38% of accidental falls according to the Red Cross’s assessment of water-related deaths

Taking a few precautions can greatly reduce the risk of water-related accidents and help keep you and your loved ones safe this summer. 

Private and Public Pool Accidents

Accidents at swimming pools, both private and public, are unfortunately common. In Ontario, regulations such as Ontario Regulation 565/90 set safety standards for public pools and Ontario’s Bill 74 sets safety standards for private pools. However, negligence or lack of proper maintenance often still contributes to accidents. Factors such as inadequate supervision, lack of safety equipment, failure to maintain pool facilities, or insufficient warnings can all lead to drowning or water injuries.

Boating Accidents

Despite regulations, boating accidents are still relatively common occurrences due to various factors, including operator negligence, alcohol impairment, speeding, equipment failures, or inadequate safety measures. These accidents can result in drowning, injuries from collisions, or falls overboard.

Natural Bodies of Water

Swimming or recreational activities in natural bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, or ponds, also present risks. Hazards such as strong currents, sudden changes in water depth, underwater obstacles, or submerged debris can lead to tragic accidents. Additionally, the lack of designated lifeguard supervision and unpredictable conditions increase the chances of drowning and water-related injuries.

Other Water-Related Incidents

Beyond swimming and boating accidents, various other water-related incidents can result in injuries. These may include accidents at water parks, slips, and falls near water features, diving accidents, or incidents involving defective water-related equipment. In many cases, negligence in maintaining premises or providing proper safety measures can contribute to such incidents.

The Role of Negligence in Drowning and Water Injury Lawsuits

Negligence plays a central role in drowning and water injury lawsuits. In a personal injury case, negligence refers to the failure of an individual or entity to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or death. Proving negligence is an essential step to establishing liability and seeking compensation for the damages suffered.

Proving Negligence 

To prove negligence in a drowning or water injury lawsuit, several elements must be demonstrated. These include:

  • Duty of Care: A duty of care refers to the legal obligation to act in a manner that ensures the safety and well-being of others. In water-related activities, various parties may owe a duty of care, such as pool owners, lifeguards, boat operators, or property owners. Establishing a duty of care is the first step to determining the standard of conduct expected from these individuals or entities.
  • Proving a Breach of Duty: Once a duty of care is established, it must be shown that the responsible party breached that duty. A breach occurs when the individual or entity fails to meet the expected standard of care. 
  • Establishing Causation: Causation establishes the link between the breach of duty and the resulting harm or injury. It must be proven that the negligent actions or omissions of the responsible party directly caused or significantly contributed to the drowning or water injury incident. This requires showing that, had it not been for the breach of duty, the incident would not have occurred. 

Time Limitations for Drowning and Water Injury Lawsuits

It is important to note that, in Ontario, the general limitation period for personal injury claims, including drowning and water injury cases, is two years from the date of the incident. This means that individuals have two years from the date of the accident or injury to commence legal proceedings. 

When to Contact an Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer 

To give your case the best chance of success, it is best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Proving negligence in a drowning or water injury lawsuit requires a thorough investigation, the gathering of evidence, and expert analysis. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer will make the whole process much easier and greatly improves your chances of success. Your lawyer will assess the circumstances, evaluate the strength of the case, and develop a compelling argument to establish negligence. 

The lawyers at Zayouna Law have decades of experience helping Ontarians navigate the complex legal process of drowning and water injury lawsuits. Their experience will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zayouna Law Firm today to book a free consultation to discuss your rights and options for pursuing compensation.

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