Lifeguard Negligence Attorneys
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH LIFEGUARD NEGLIGENCE LAWYERS FOR FREE
As much fun as it may be to go for a swim at the beach or in a swimming pool, the water is always a dangerous place. We expect lifeguards to watch and protect swimmers. However, when lifeguards fail to live up to this expectation, their negligence may cause injuries or even death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a lifeguard, you should call the experienced lifeguard negligence lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
LIFEGUARD NEGLIGENCE STATISTICS
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 6,700 children are treated in emergency rooms annually for nonfatal swimming-related injuries. Over 40% of child water-related injuries occurred in public locations. Meanwhile, there are over 3,500 unintentional drownings in the United States every year, while approximately one in five drowning victims is a child age 14 or younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC also notes that for every one child who dies from drowning, another five children will receive medical care for submersion injuries.
While drownings and swimming-related injuries may be caused by a variety of factors, lifeguard negligence may be responsible in many cases where these injuries occur at beaches or in public or shared pools. Importantly, these statistics on drownings and water submersion-related injuries imply that with over 40% of submersion and water-related injuries occurring in public locations, many such injuries or drownings may have been prevented had lifeguards met their applicable standard of care. Unfortunately, many of these lifeguards may breach this duty of care often as a result of negligence, improper supervision, or improper training.
EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENT LIFEGUARDING
Lifeguards, often young and even inexperienced, have a great deal of responsibility entrusted to them in protecting swimmers and preventing tragedy from striking if possible. Unfortunately, lifeguards may fail to meet their standard of care in many situations, such as:
- The lifeguard took an unauthorized break or was otherwise absent, leaving the water unsupervised
- The lifeguard was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- The lifeguard had not been properly trained in CPR or first aid
- The lifeguard failed to properly pay attention to the water
- The lifeguard did not have the necessary life-saving devices available such as flotation devices or first aid kits
- A reasonable lifeguard would have reacted faster to an emergency
- The lifeguard was otherwise fatigued or fell asleep while responsible for supervising the water
WHAT MAY AN ATTORNEY DO FOR ME?
An experienced personal injury attorney may help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to after being injured as a result of a lifeguard’s negligence. An attorney is often needed given the relative complexity of proving liability in a lifeguard negligence case, especially considering the potential problems that may arise in these cases, such as when the lifeguard is a minor or cannot afford to fully compensate you for your injuries, or if the other party attempts to claim you contributed to your injuries.
By hiring a thorough lifeguard negligence attorney, you may better understand your legal options after an accident. Additionally, your attorney may thoroughly investigate the accident and search for any evidence proving the lifeguard’s negligence, such as witness statements or any video documentation that may show the lifeguard’s unreasonable behavior. Further, your attorney may negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf so the lawyers at the large insurance companies don’t take advantage of you.
HOW TO PROVE LIFEGUARD NEGLIGENCE
To prove lifeguard negligence claims, similar to most negligence claims, your lawyer will generally need to prove four elements:
1. Duty of Care
First, your lawyer will generally have to prove the other party owed a duty of care to prevent your injuries. Lifeguards generally have a duty to rescue people from drowning and prevent other water or swimming-related injuries from occurring.
2. Breach of Duty
When a lifeguard breaches this duty of care, serious life-threatening injuries or even death may occur. A lifeguard may breach the duty of care to swimmers by failing to watch for drowning swimmers or being improperly trained to rescue or provide CPR to swimmers.
However, even if the lifeguard breached the duty of care to the swimmer, this breach must have actually caused the swimmer’s injuries, like when a victim drowns because the lifeguard was on an unauthorized break.
Finally, the victim must have suffered damages from the lifeguard’s breach of the duty of care that caused the accident. For example, medical expenses related to the accident may often satisfy this requirement, while in accidents involving a death, the damages requirement is also generally satisfied.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR INJURIES CAUSED BY LIFEGUARD NEGLIGENCE?
The lifeguard may be the most likely party to be liable for injuries or deaths caused by lifeguard negligence. The lifeguard may have been negligent in a variety of ways, such as taking an unauthorized break, failing to properly supervise the water attentively, or coming to work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Meanwhile, other lifeguards that are present at the time of the accident may also be liable. Many beaches or pools may have multiple lifeguards on duty, and each lifeguard may be liable for any injuries that could have been prevented had any of the present lifeguards responded appropriately.
As in many personal injury cases involving an employee’s negligence, the owner of a pool may be liable for injuries suffered in the pool if the lifeguard on duty was responsible for those injuries or damages. The owner may be held liable for negligent hiring of the lifeguard if evidence existed of the lifeguard’s negligent behavior before the accident. The owner may also be held liable for failing to properly train the lifeguard or provide necessary life-saving equipment such as flotation devices or first aid kits.
Finally, the lifeguard’s supervisor or employer may also be liable for any water-related injuries. The supervisor may be held liable for failing to properly supervise lifeguards to ensure the lifeguard did not take unauthorized absences or fail to keep necessary life-saving devices readily available, as well as for failing to properly train lifeguards in life-saving techniques.
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH LIFEGUARD NEGLIGENCE LAWSUITS
As with many other negligence claims, there may be potential problems that complicate the lawsuit even if you can prove the other party was liable for your injuries. An experienced lifeguard negligence attorney may help you navigate these complexities and improve your chances of receiving compensation. Potential issues or arguments that may make it more difficult for you to seek compensation may include:
The Lifeguard May Be Underage
In many instances, the lifeguard may be a minor, as lifeguarding is a popular job for many high schoolers. If the lifeguard is a minor, this could complicate your case and make liability more difficult to prove as the minor is held to a much lower standard of care than an adult. If the lifeguard is a minor, the minor’s actions will be judged based on the much more lenient standard of how a reasonable child, rather than a reasonable adult, would have acted or responded in the emergency situation. As a result, a court or jury may give the young lifeguard more lenience in determining whether the lifeguard’s actions were negligent. This increased lenience, in turn, makes it crucial to hire an experienced water injury attorney to strengthen your case and determine your best options, including whether to instead focus on holding fellow lifeguards or the manager, property owner, or lifeguard supervisor liable for your injuries.
The Lifeguard May Not Have Resources to Compensate You
Many lifeguards may also often not have sufficient resources available to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages, especially if the lifeguard was a minor as well as given the relatively low rate of pay for most lifeguards. Even if your attorney successfully proves the lifeguard was liable for your injuries, you may still need to consider additional options to seek compensation. As with lifeguards who are minors, this problem may often lead your attorney to suggest filing a claim against the manager or property owner where the pool is located, or against any lifeguard supervisor who may have been liable for negligent supervision or training.
The Lifeguard May Argue You Contributed to Your Injuries
Finally, the lifeguard, similar to the liable party in many negligence lawsuits, may attempt to claim you were either partially or wholly responsible for your injuries. For example, the lifeguard may claim you contributed to your injuries because you resisted the lifeguard’s rescue efforts or because you ignored or failed to follow posted warning signs, such as those prohibiting diving. In some states, this argument could prevent you from successfully pursuing any compensation at all, while other states may instead reduce your compensation proportionally to your percentage of fault. An experienced lawyer may help you successfully defend against these claims.
CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our water injury attorneys may help you with your accident claim. Our attorneys have years of experience helping our clients seek the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after they or a loved one has been injured in a water-related accident caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior of a lifeguard.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.