With Texas summer days reaching 100 degrees or more, many children head to the pool. Unfortunately, child pool injuries are all too common in Texas. San Antonio child injury attorney Jesse E. Guerra, Jr. of The J. Guerra Law Firm is an experienced pool safety litigator. If your child has drowned or nearly drowned at a day care, school, or public pool, we can help.Pursuing Compensation for Child Injuries by Filing a Negligence Claim
A child can drown in just a few minutes, and any amount of water can pose a drowning threat. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Harris, Tarrant, Travis, Dallas, and Bexar Counties were among the 10 counties with the greatest number of child drowning deaths in 2013. In fact, about 18 percent of the state’s child drowning deaths in 2013 occurred in Harris County alone.
When a child is injured or killed in a pool accident, the child’s parents or guardians can file a lawsuit on the child’s behalf. A negligence lawsuit must prove that the defendant owed a duty to the child, breached that duty, and caused the child’s injuries as well as any damages that resulted.
Day cares, schools, and other organizations have a duty to act reasonably when caring for children. There are countless ways to breach this duty, including those involving:
- Defective or missing safety gates
- Broken gate latches
- Missing emergency equipment, such as life rings, ropes, and hooks
- Missing or broken pool drain covers
- Negligent lifeguards
- Overcrowded swimming pools
These are just a few examples of unreasonable behavior or conditions that may constitute a caregiver’s breach. If a child is injured or killed because a day care or its employees acted negligently, the child’s family may have a claim against the day care or other entity caring for the child. An employer may be held liable for the careless actions of an employee if the employee was acting in the scope and course of his or her employment.
In some cases, the family of a child who drowned or nearly drowned might have other legal options. If the child drowned after wandering onto a property with a poorly secured pool, the property owner might be liable for the child’s injuries, even though the owner was not charged with caring for the child. The legal theory of attractive nuisance sometimes is used to hold a property owner responsible for acting carelessly and causing a child’s injury. The owner must have known or reasonably should have known that a child would likely trespass on the property because of a certain condition or feature, like a swimming pool.
If a lawsuit successfully proves that the defendant in the case negligently injured a child, the child may be entitled to compensatory damages. These damages can reimburse the child or the child’s parents for past medical expenses and allocate money for future medical expenses. In addition, the child may receive compensation for his or her pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other subjective injuries.An Experienced Houston Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Can Help
After a devastating accident, the family of an injured child may be overwhelmed and confused. Jesse E. Guerra, Jr. is a Houston child neglect lawyer who can help a family understand their rights and legal options. If you have suffered the loss of a child due to a swimming pool accident, The J. Guerra Law Firm may be able to help, whether you are from Laredo, Temple, or elsewhere throughout Texas. Call 877.903.8323 or visit our contact page to schedule a meeting with us.