Drowning

Legal Guidance for Injured Individuals in the Baltimore Area

Accidents involving water can be extremely dangerous, and sometimes deadly. Unfortunately, drowning happens more often than you might think. Even when victims do survive these accidents, their lives are often changed forever because of long-term harm, such as brain damage from the lack of oxygen suffered in the incident. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our capable injury attorneys have assisted many people from Baltimore and other Maryland communities in seeking compensation after drowning accidents. We also have helped grieving families who have lost a loved one pursue the justice they deserve for their loss.

Asserting Your Rights after a Drowning Accident

Drowning accidents can happen in a variety of places, including private pools, hotels, parks, beaches, and cruise ships. These claims typically fall within the premises liability area of injury law because they often occur due to inadequately maintained or secured property.

Negligence plays a role in many drowning and near-drowning accidents. This is a legal term for carelessness or recklessness by a person or entity that causes avoidable harm to someone else. To prevail in a negligence claim, an injured individual must show the following four elements:

  • The defendant owed the victim a duty to exercise care;
  • The defendant breached that duty with some careless action;
  • The defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of the drowning accident; and
  • The victim or the victim’s family incurred damages, or quantifiable costs and losses.

To prove that the breach led directly to the harm, the victim usually needs to show that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had adhered to the proper standard of care. The harm also must have been a reasonably foreseeable result of the breach. The standard of care may vary in certain instances according to whether the victim was legally on the property where the accident happened. Property owners owe a greater duty of care to people who are lawfully on their premises than to trespassers, except in some situations involving children.

Damages in a negligence lawsuit are designed to put the victim or the victim’s family in the same position as if the accident had not occurred. Some of the injuries that may result are devastating and permanent, such as spinal cord damage or brain trauma. Typically, an individual who succeeds in a negligence claim will be able to seek compensation for medical costs, lost income and benefits, rehabilitation treatment, pain and suffering, and any other economic or non-economic damages arising from the drowning accident.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness, you can potentially seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. These actions permit surviving family members and dependents to be compensated for expenses such as funeral and burial costs, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, and types of damages based on their relationship to the victim.

Enlist a Prince George’s County Attorney to Seek Compensation

While water activities are often fun, they pose a very real danger to people, especially children. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our knowledgeable lawyers can guide residents of Prince George’s County through wrongful death and other accident claims. We represent injured individuals and bereaved families throughout Maryland. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 888-952-9669. We offer all of our prospective clients a free, no-obligation initial consultation.