Child drownings are tragic and often preventable. In 2011, for example, 20 children died by drowning in Tennessee. Children aged 1-4 experience the highest drowning rates, and most of these drownings occur at home pools. Even if a drowning accident in East Tennessee is not fatal, it may cause severe brain damage that changes a child's life forever and encumbers them with long-term disabilities, ranging from learning disabilities to a permanent vegetative state. If your child was harmed in a swimming pool accident, Maryville child drowning lawyer Mark Hartsoe and the Hartsoe Law Firm are ready to help you pursue damages. Representation by a swimming pool accident attorney in negotiations or litigation is essential to asserting your rights.Pursuing Compensation for a Child Drowning Incident
Factors that may contribute to a child drowning include a lack of supervision, a lack of barriers and fences, the location of the pool, or a failure to wear a life jacket. When a child drowning is a result of someone else's negligence, a property owner's failure to repair a dangerous condition, or a defective product, such as a defective fence or pool drain, it may be possible to recover compensation.
Premises liability claims are brought when it is a property owner or pool operator's fault that a child drowned or nearly drowned and suffered serious injuries as a result. You will need to establish that the property owner or operator was negligent and that they knew or should have known about a dangerous condition regarding the pool.
Most of the time, property owners have a duty to keep their premises in good repair for lawful visitors, such as people who pay to use a public swimming pool or social guests. Moreover, Tennessee recognizes the attractive nuisance doctrine, under which a child trespasser or their parents may recover compensation from a property owner even if the child was not a lawful visitor. This doctrine applies to hold a property owner liable for the near-drowning or drowning of a child trespasser if you can establish that:
- The property owner maintained a hazardous condition and knew or should have known that it presented a risk of serious bodily injury or death to a child trespasser;
- The property owner knew or should have known that it was likely that children would trespass;
- The hazard was not obvious, or the child was unlikely to appreciate the risk;
- The utility of keeping the hazardous condition was outweighed by the enormity of the risk to trespassing children; and
- The property owner did not use reasonable care to eliminate the danger.
Sometimes a child's drowning is a result of a defective product, such as a pool drain that traps a child underwater or defective safety equipment. In Tennessee, manufacturers and sellers may be held liable under the Tennessee Product Liability Act. Often, strict liability or breach of warranty theories are used to hold a manufacturer accountable. It may be necessary to retain an expert to establish that there was a defect.
While nothing can bring back a lost child, a lawsuit may compensate the parents for medical bills and funeral and burial expenses. It may also be possible to recover compensation for noneconomic losses like pain and suffering and mental anguish, both of the parent and of the child.Consult Maryville Lawyer Mark Hartsoe For a Child Drowning Case
If your child was harmed in a swimming pool, Maryville child drowning attorney Mark Hartsoe can evaluate your situation and potentially represent you in a claim or lawsuit. To arrange a free consultation, call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us online. Child injury lawyer Mark Hartsoe represents victims and their families throughout East Tennessee, including in Blount, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.