Improper Lifeguard Training Lawyers
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You probably see lifeguards in the media as muscular, tanned, diligent rescuers who are always prepared; you might also know that the reality can unfortunately be quite different. Many communities hire teenagers looking for a summer job to make some money during their time off from school. While plenty of teenagers take lifeguarding seriously, there are those who might not perform the job properly or receive proper training.
Owners of pools, lakes, or beaches hire lifeguards to encourage families and guests to swim at their properties. However, a negligent lifeguard can ruin a family’s experience and even their lives. Victims might consider hiring an improper lifeguard training attorney to recover.
How does a Negligent lifeguard hurt victims?
Swimmers and other re-creationists rely on a lifeguard to see things that others cannot see and help where others may not be able to help. Lifeguards should recognize the signs of drowning and other unsafe activities to prevent accidents from worsening.
Children and others who cannot swim very well especially rely on lifeguards. Thankfully, five out of every six children who nearly drown recover after emergency care. When children survive a near-drowning, the family still suffers in the form of medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and the trauma of what may have happened, along with various other kinds of losses.
There are also the less fortunate families who experience the loss of a child or some other family member due to the lifeguard’s improper training. These families can receive additional compensation for their loss; many do so when they file personal injury claims.
Who is responsible for improper lifeguard training?
An improperly trained lifeguard can be worse than no lifeguard at all: The presence of a lifeguard promotes the illusion of safety, and parents and swimmers might be less diligent knowing that a lifeguard is on duty in case anything goes wrong. The shock when tragedy then strikes can intensify the pain and suffering of the victim and his or her family.
It can be difficult to point to one person as responsible for these kinds of incidents, and there could be many people and companies involved in training the lifeguard. The person or company responsible for training the lifeguard might depend on who owns the property at which the lifeguard works. The lifeguard or the lifeguard’s employer could also be responsible; it is helpful to look at each of these in more depth so you can see where your case might fit.
The Property Owner
The person who owns the pool, lake, or beach could be responsible for the lifeguard’s inadequate training. If the owner does not train lifeguards, then the owner might be negligent for not checking to see if the employee received requisite training to be a lifeguard before hiring him or her. If the owner does train lifeguards, then the owner could be negligent if the lifeguard did not receive proper trainings in all of the appropriate skills a lifeguard must have.
It can be difficult to go up against the owner of the property, especially if that owner is the government. State governments have strict laws defining how victims should proceed to bring suits against the government or government agency. The laws include deadlines for victims to meet certain steps, and the victim’s claim may be denied if the victim fails to correctly complete the steps by the appropriate deadlines.
There are two major categories for cases in which the improperly trained lifeguard may directly be at fault. In the first category, the lifeguard may not have been trained to step in—or swim in—often enough to prevent injuries. Ignoring signs of an accident waiting to happen could have devastating results. For example, a properly trained lifeguard knows to stop people from running along the edge of the pool.
Lifeguards in the second category have the opposite problem for the same reason. That is, they step in too often, but they are not able to properly perform the aid they are attempting to administer because they were not properly trained.
In some situations, it is possible that the lifeguard should not have tried to administer a certain first aid technique because it is out of a lifeguard’s typical scope, and in other cases the lifeguard should have received training for a technique but instead performs it incorrectly. For example, a lifeguard may not know what to do if someone has a rare allergic reaction and should call an ambulance to help. Alternatively, all lifeguards should know how to provide CPR; if a lifeguard does not know how to give CPR and administers it incorrectly, there is a strong chance he or she has been improperly trained.
The Lifeguard’s Employer or Supervisor
The lifeguard’s employer or supervisor must ensure that the lifeguard is equipped to handle the situations described above. If the employer or supervisor fails to properly train the lifeguard, it could lead to the lifeguard’s inability to handle the situations that people expect lifeguards to be able to manage.
What training should lifeguards receive?
Lifeguard training varies across the United States, and training should be molded to each trainee in a job with such high stakes; training should take into account the potential lifeguard’s age and where he or she intends to work. For example, a small community pool has much more clearly defined boundaries (such as the perimeter of the pool and the depth of the pool) than a public beach, which may only have a rope to show swimmers where the boundaries are. The community pool lifeguard probably requires less training than the public beach lifeguard.
The American Red Cross offers courses for lifeguard certification, and someone who completes all of the courses might have most of the appropriate skills to start lifeguarding. A lifeguard should at least possess the ability to swim, to administer first aid and CPR, to enforce safety around water, and to conduct lifesaving in the water.
Ability to Swim
While it may seem obvious that lifeguards must be able to swim, some lifeguards have either never been taught to swim properly, lack the stamina to swim out to rescue someone, or are incapable of swimming altogether. An employer should ensure that a lifeguard can swim in order to avoid lawsuits in the future. You might be able to hold the lifeguard, the supervisor, and the property owner accountable if your lifeguard’s inability to swim stopped you or your loved one from being rescued in a timely manner.
First Aid and CPR
Even though lifeguards are not EMTs or doctors, they are often the first respondent to crises and must attempt to provide immediate care to an injury victim while emergency help is on the way. A lifeguard should know how to provide first aid to foreseeable injuries at the pool or beach, including proper techniques for the initial care of burns, broken bones, and head and neck injuries. Additionally, a lifeguard should know how to provide CPR to someone who has nearly drowned.
Safety around Water
A lifeguard should know which dangers are likely to occur at his or her place of employment. At a pool, the lifeguard should know about slipping hazards and drain hazards so that he or she can protect guests from them. At a beach, the lifeguard should know how to protect guests during riptides; they should also know how to interpret flags and other warning devices.
Lifesaving in the Water
Finally, a lifeguard must know how to rescue those who are in danger of drowning and safely remove them from the water. If a lifeguard is not able to rescue someone who is drowning, he or she risks injuring the victim. The lifeguard also risks injuring him or herself since drowning victims tend to push down against their rescuers.
How can a personal injury lawyer help?
If it is your first time navigating the personal injury legal system, you may find it confusing. It might be beneficial for you to hire an attorney to aid in your recovery. Not only does a lawyer know how to prove the substantive elements of a negligence claim, but a personal injury lawyer can also help you with the procedural side of the lawsuit, including:
- Knowing when, where, and against whom to file your claim
- Gathering the strongest evidence possible for your case
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance companies
- Knowing what kinds of compensation you could receive along with how much compensation you could receive
Call our improper lifeguard training attorneys to determine your next steps
Improperly trained lifeguards present a risk to not only you and your family but also to anyone else swimming at the property. If you want to see if you can hold the right people accountable for their negligence, call the Zinda Law Group attorneys at (800) 863-5312. Our skilled and helpful personal injury attorneys will schedule your free consultation.
We understand the heaviness of what you could be experiencing as the result of a drowning or near-drowning, and we want to help. Our No Win, No Fee Guarantee will ensure that you will pay us nothing unless we win your case for you.