SUMMER CAMP DROWNING LAWYERS
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with summer camp drowning lawyers near you
For decades, parents have been sending their kids off to summer camp for a week or two. Many children look forward to a time of enhanced independence, making new friends, and engaging in a variety of fun activities. In addition to what the kids get out of it, many parents also look forward to some much-needed time by themselves. While the kids are away, parents generally trust that they are being watched over by competent adults.
This is not always true, however, and when it isn’t, the results can be catastrophic. A drowning attorney can help determine whether someone is liable for when your child drowned at summer camp. If your child has been injured in a summer camp drowning accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 and ask for a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys.
potential issues with camp lawsuits
Summer camps, for the most part, operate like a business. Most are staffed and owned by truly caring individuals; regardless, they can only continue to operate if they are able to take in more money in fees and registrations than the cost of doing business, in addition to what they may pay out in lawsuits. In order to do so, several strategies might be used by a camp in order to minimize the amount that they would need to pay if a child drowned while under their supervision.
Many parents sign a waiver of liability when they send their kids to camp that purportedly absolves the camp of any legal responsibility in the case that their child is injured. Because of this waiver, they might feel like they have signed away legal recourse that they might have had; however, this is not always true. The waiver might not cover the drowning that took place for one reason or another, and it might not even be enforceable in the first place; a summer camp drowning lawyer can give you a better sense of what your options are after the death of your child.
A summer camp might attempt to settle a case quickly by offering a lump sum of money immediately after the incident in exchange for a promise not to pursue any further legal action against the camp. Parents who are dealing with a very emotional situation or who might be short on cash could believe that the camp is acting in the best interest of the child in doing so. However, they may accept an offer quickly only to find out later that their case was potentially worth much more, and the quick settlement offer that seemed kind in the moment was actually an attempt to skate by paying as little as possible.
Another of the ways a summer camp may attempt to minimize their payment obligations is to shame parents into not filing a lawsuit by claiming that they don’t have any sort of credible legal claim or that their child was wholly responsible for their own injuries. They may also claim that being forced to pay a settlement would cause them to go under or be unable to continue their operations.
Whatever the circumstances you find yourself in or whatever communications you have had with the summer camp involved, speaking to a drowning lawyer is a good first step in working out whatever issues exist in your specific case. Someone who is unemotionally involved and unattached to either party will be able to assess whether someone should be held liable for the incident which caused the drowning of your child.
who is liable?
A critical component of any personal injury or wrongful death case is establishing who is liable. In legal terms, a party who is liable for an accident will need to pay whatever damages their actions caused. When it comes to drowning accidents that took place at a summer camp, there are a few different parties who could be partially or wholly liable.
The Summer Camp
When kids are sent to a summer camp, the camp has a general responsibility to ensure the safety of the children in their care. Parents may sign waivers of some liability, but this doesn’t allow the summer camp to act however they want to act and avoid responsibility for their actions; if the camp failed to provide adequate supervision and this lack of oversight resulted in a drowning, then they could be held liable. They could also be held liable if they failed to provide proper background checks or vetting for their employees and this failure led to the accident.
Individual counselors are often the people who are actually charged with providing supervision for children at a summer camp. Their responsibility in this position is to act according to direction given to them by their employer and make sure that the children who are assigned to them are kept safe. If they act outside of their assigned duties or fail to fulfill their responsibilities as counselor, then it is possible that they could be held liable if one of the children under their supervision drowns.
Depending on the size and structure of the camp, some of the responsibility for keeping children safe while swimming may also be passed on to a lifeguard. As one might expect, the job duties for a lifeguard primarily include keeping the people swimming in whatever body of water they are in charge of overseeing. When they don’t do this, they can be held liable for the injuries or deaths that result.
Determining liability is a critical component of any personal injury case, and this is rarely a simple, black and white process. It might be the case that only one person is liable, but multiple parties can be liable to different degrees. Discussing the details of your family’s case with an experienced drowning attorney is the best way to gain an understanding of who might be liable in your family’s situation.
how to file a summer camp drowning claim
After a drowning accident at a summer camp, parents are likely grieving and feeling indescribable pain. On top of this, they may not have any idea of what kind of compensation is available to them or how to seek it. While no two cases will ever progress the exact same way, it is helpful to have an understanding of the general steps that need to be completed when filing a claim.
1. Speak with a Summer Camp Drowning Lawyer
The first, and perhaps most important step in the process is to get an understanding of what your legal rights are and how to pursue them. There is no better way to do this than to discuss the details of your case with an experienced drowning attorney. A lawyer can help you to determine whether you have a claim worth pursuing, and what the value of that case may be to ensure that you don’t accept less compensation than you are entitled to.
2. Research and Investigation
After you have hired an attorney, they can conduct the research and investigation that is necessary. If your child drowned at summer camp, they may be looking into what kind of waiver you may have signed, the applicable laws in the state in which the accident occurred, and any other details surrounding the accident that might be legally relevant.
3. Negotiate a Settlement
Once they have the initial preparation completed, your attorney can start to negotiate your claim with the other parties involved. Negotiation of a settlement is important because most cases settle before going to trial, so this is the chance to make the case for maximum compensation.
what is my case worth?
While it can feel difficult for parents to start to think about money in this difficult situation, costs can build up. There may be compensation available for grieving parents, and a summer camp drowning lawyer can give you an idea of how much it might be and how you can pursue it. Generally, damages will fall into one of a few different categories.
Economic damages are the more objective and tangible costs that a victim or their family incurs. In a general sense, economic damages exist to put an accident victim back in the financial position that they were in before their accident. In a summer camp drowning accident, economic damages might include the cost for any emergency medical treatment that was provided at the scene or thereafter, cost for any physical therapy or rehabilitative treatment, or funeral costs.
Non-economic damages refer generally to the pain and suffering that a victim experiences as a result of an accident. In a near-drowning accident, a child may suffer from trauma-related issues like being unable to go near any kind of open water or nightmares related to the accident. If a child passes, then there may be compensation available for parents for their emotional trauma and their lost relationship with their child.
As opposed to the first two types of damages, which exist to put the accident victim or their family in the position that they were in before the accident, punitive damages are instead focused more on the wrongdoer. In cases where a wrongdoer acted in a particularly reckless or purposeful way, punitive damages may be awarded to a victim as a form of punishment for the wrongdoer or as a way to prevent other summer camps from acting in the same irresponsible way.
Call zinda law group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation
The attorneys at the Zinda Law Group have the experience necessary to assist parents who are dealing with a summer camp drowning accident. We believe that grieving parents shouldn’t also be forced to worry about their ability to afford legal representation, which is why we are proud to offer a No Win, No Fee Guarantee—you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case for you.