Drowning Remains a Leading Cause of Death for Children
Unfortunately, drowning is once again the leading cause of death for Florida children aged one to four years old, according to Naples Herald. No other state sees this number of tragic drowning deaths for children under five years old. In 2015 alone, 84 children died in Florida, from drowning. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, “These deaths were 100 percent preventable. Anytime that a child dies, it is a tragedy, but it is especially painful when a child’s death is preventable.” Many of these fatalities occur when the child is at home, unsupervised and the family has a pool or lives next to a body of water. However, many of these deaths also occur during boating accidents when the child was not wearing an approved life jacket or after a violent crash caused other injuries.
Open Water Drownings By the Numbers
The younger the child, the higher risk there is for a swimming pool or bathtub drowning. However, as children age, the percentage of drowning deaths that occur during use of boats or other water vessels sharply increases. While swimming pool deaths are the leading type of drowning death for very young children and babies, open water or natural water is still a common cause as well. For children under the age of five years old, 15 percent of drownings occur in open or natural water. That percentage rises to 33 percent children aged five to nine years old, and 27 percent for children 10 and over, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Determining Who Was at Fault
There may be a few possible areas to pursue when attempting to get to the bottom of a wrongful drowning death. You and your attorney will need to find out what went wrong and the following questions need to be answered: Did the pool have a proper release valve to prevent drain suction drownings? Was there a proper fence/barrier between the child and the pool or other body of water? Was there a water vessel roll over or capsize? Was there an impact with another boat or fixed object? Was the operator distracted, drowsy, drunk, or not properly abiding by a law? Did the child fall out of the boat? Was a proper rescue attempted? Was the child wearing a life jacket? If your child was under the supervision of another person who failed to ensure that your child was wearing a life jacket while aboard a water vessel, that person may be found negligent for wrongful death. As per Florida law, while aboard a water vessel less than 26 feet in length, children under the age of six years are required to wear a type I, type II, or type III Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. Additionally, children of all ages, and adults, are required to wear a life jacket when being towed in a floatation device, or on water skis or a wakeboard, as well as when using a personal watercraft.
Call a Lawyer Today
In the tragic event of a wrongful death, call the Miami Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. today at 305-359-1999 for immediate legal assistance. We are prepared to help you recover the compensation that you deserve after experiencing this tragedy.