Recovering Compensation After a Drowning Accident in New Jersey
Uploaded on: May 12, 2023
Duration: 4.29 Min

Video Description

For most of us, when we think about a day by the water, we imagine fun: relaxing in a hot tub, sunning on a lounge chair, playing “Marco Polo” in the pool with the kids. Unfortunately, there are countless ways a fun day by the pool, in a lake, or out at the beach can lead to serious injury or even claim a life. 

There are two types of drowning accidents: fatal and non-fatal. This distinction becomes significant when seeking compensation, as different legal rules will apply depending on the accident’s outcome. While the tragic consequences of fatal drowning accidents are well known, the harms associated with non-fatal drownings are frequently overlooked. 

Though it is generally good news when a drowning victim survives, unfortunately, there’s more to the story. The CDC reports that over 50% of near-drowning victims treated in hospital emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These victims are often left with life-altering injuries, such as brain injury and heart damage, as well as non-physical issues like anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are two general types of lawsuits you can file, depending on the outcome of the drowning accident. If the drowning accident was fatal, you will file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the drowning accident was non-fatal, your lawsuit will be a personal injury claim. 

New Jersey defines a wrongful death as when a death is “caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another.” A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by the deceased person’s estate whenever the deceased person would have been otherwise able to bring a lawsuit based on their injuries had they not resulted in death. This compensation is usually intended to support eligible surviving family members for things like:

  • Lost financial support 
  • Lost companionship
  • Lost value of household services done by deceased
  • Medical, funeral, and burial expenses

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action brought by someone personally harmed by someone else’s acts or failures to act. The purpose of the lawsuit is to recover compensation from the at-fault party. The damages in a personal injury lawsuit are intended to compensate the victim for their losses, including:

  • Lost wages 
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress

In determining who’s responsible for a drowning accident, we examine all the relevant facts of a case. 

Consider this hypothetical situation. Imagine a 12-year-old child fatally drowns at an uncle’s house. Suppose the child was being watched by the nanny at the time. But the child only got into the pool because the uncle had failed to install a barrier, which is required by New Jersey’s state law. Both the uncle and the nanny agree that the child was an excellent swimmer. The uncle thinks the child only drowned because the pool light came loose, causing electric shock. Who is responsible?

The nanny?

The uncle?

The company who installed the pool light?

The manufacturer of the pool light?

Without further investigation, it’s hard to say. The point is that many people could conceivably carry responsibility for a drowning accident, but at the same time, it’s unclear who of those people can be held legally responsible. It is really a matter of examining the facts and how they square with the law. 

It’s our job to figure all of this out for our clients. So, if you or someone you love have been involved in a drowning or near-drowning accident, contact Rosenblum Law so that we may begin the process by answering your questions and, ultimately, getting you the compensation you deserve. 

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