Las Vegas’s hot, dry environment makes swimming pools a popular feature of many homes, hotels, and community centers here. Residents and visitors flock to pools to exercise, cool off, and lounge about. Those who prefer natural settings or boating may also gravitate toward the lakes and reservoirs within driving distance of downtown.
All of which makes drowning a real hazard in Las Vegas, despite its reputation as a desert city. Numerous people die or suffer severe injuries in Las Vegas drowning accidents every year, many of them children.
If you or someone you love suffered harm in a drowning accident in the Las Vegas-area, Nevada law may entitle you to pursue insurance claims and lawsuits for compensation from a property owner, facility manager, or other at-fault party. The Las Vegas-area drowning accident lawyers at Edward Bernstein and Associates want to help you explore your rights. Contact us today to learn more.
Las Vegas Drowning Accident Guide
- What Qualifies as a Drowning Accident?
- How Do Drowning Accidents Occur in Las Vegas?
- Common Injuries in Nonfatal Drowning Accidents
- Seeking Compensation for a Las Vegas Drowning Accident
- Protect Your Rights By Following These Tips
- Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Drowning Accident Lawyer Today
Who We Are
Edward Bernstein and Associates is a team of award-winning trial lawyers who represent personal injury victims in and around Las Vegas. For more than 40 years, we have committed ourselves to the mission of securing top-dollar compensation for people who suffered harm because of someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing.
As Las Vegas has grown, so has the number of cases our firm handles involving accidental drownings. We have the experience, resources, and staff to hold anyone accountable for negligent conduct that led to a drowning accident, even giant resort operators and major insurance companies. Our clients trust in our professionalism, responsiveness, and total dedication to seeing justice done and fair compensation paid for their losses.
How We Can Help Las Vegas Drowning Accident Victims
Hiring an attorney promptly after a drowning-related injury or wrongful death in Nevada protects your rights and puts you in the strongest possible position to secure compensation. At Edward Bernstein and Associates, we understand the ins-and-outs of Nevada law and how to navigate the judicial and insurance system to ensure you receive the money you need to pay bills, heal from loss, and return to living your life.
The actions we may take on behalf of a Las Vegas drowning victim vary depending on our client’s needs and priorities, but can include:
- Determining who was liable for the accident and the insurance policies available to compensate the victim.
- Establishing a claim value that considers the past and future financial and non-financial impacts on the injured party or their family members.
- Communicating with the at-fault party’s insurance provider about the claim to entertain and negotiate settlement offers.
- Filing a lawsuit within the state’s two-year statute of limitations to protect our client’s right to have their claim heard in court.
- Gathering the evidence and witness testimony needed to prove the claim and the documentation necessary to justify the claim’s value.
- Taking a case to trial in front of a Las Vegas judge and jury.
- Collecting and distributing the proceeds of a negotiated settlement or court award.
We routinely represent our clients at Edward Bernstein and Associates on a contingent fee basis. That’s an arrangement in which we do not charge upfront fees or hourly rates. Instead, we collect a fee only out of the money we secure on our client’s behalf. If we don’t get you results, you pay us nothing.
What Qualifies as a Drowning Accident?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define drowning as any respiratory impairment stemming from submersion or immersion in liquid. We tend to think of drownings as fatal—and all of them are—but first aid resuscitates many drowning victims. Those who survive drowning accidents can sustain severe injuries that cause a lifetime of disability and health complication.
In the U.S. there are around 11 drowning deaths and 22 nonfatal drownings daily. Children aged four and under are the most common victims of drowning accidents. According to the Southern Nevada Health District, drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death for children younger than four in the Las Vegas area.
How Do Drowning Accidents Occur in Las Vegas?
Drownings can happen in a variety of ways in Las Vegas, but the two principal scenarios involve accidents at swimming pools and open water recreation accidents on lakes and rivers.
Two common contributing factors feature prominently in both types of accidents:
- The victim’s inability to swim; and
- Alcohol consumption by the victim or someone else present.
These are not, however, the only two causes of drowning accidents in Las Vegas. Here’s an overview of some other common factors in Las Vegas drownings.
Drowning Accidents at Swimming Pools in Las Vegas
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Vegas area contains around 110,000 residential pools and around 3,400 commercial pools and spas.
Drowning accidents often happen at pools of all types because of:
- Lack of fencing and pool/spa covers to prevent children from having unsupervised access, in violation of local regulations.
- Lack of close supervision for young children and nonswimmers of any age.
- Inadequate safety equipment around swimming pools.
- Improper depth signage in swimming pools.
- Fall hazards on pool decks, including slippery surfaces or cracked cement.
- Lax maintenance of pool features like railings, slides, or diving boards.
- Malfunctioning in the pump, lights, or other equipment that electrocutes swimmers or bathers.
Owners and managers of swimming pools—whether residential, commercial, or public—have a duty to keep swimmers and other visitors safe from unreasonable hazards. They may face legal liability if failure to take reasonable measures to ensure safety leads to a drowning accident.
Lake and River Recreation-Related Drowning Accidents
Many natural lakes in and near Las Vegas, such as Lake Mead, offer the opportunity for residents and visitors to swim, fish, kayak, jet ski, water ski, and boat.
Drowning accidents can happen on these bodies of water because of, for example:
- Lack of lifeguards at designated swimming areas.
- Lack of warnings about known underwater hazards.
- Failure to wear life jackets during water recreation like boating, water skiing, or jet skiing.
- Failure to ensure safe weather conditions or water levels before engaging in recreational activities.
- Inexperience driving a motorboat, jet ski, or other watercraft.
Drownings also frequently accompany boating accidents, such as collisions and running aground. According to the Review Journal, Nevada sees more deaths from boating accidents than any other state in the nation, with nearly 130 boat crashes resulting in death, injury, and/or property damage per 100,000 boaters each year. Alcohol consumption tends to play a prominent role in boating accidents.
At Edward Bernstein and Associates, we carefully examine the facts of drowning accidents that harmed our clients, to determine how they happened and who should bear the blame. Often, we discover that fault lies with someone other than the drowning victim, making that party (and its insurer) legally liable for the victim’s losses.
Common Injuries in Nonfatal Drowning Accidents
Surviving a Las Vegas drowning does not necessarily mean avoiding harm. Nonfatal drowning accidents can cause severe injuries.
The most common and serious nonfatal drowning injury is a hypoxic brain injury, which occurs when drowning restricts the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in damage to brain cells. The severity of the injury depends on how long the victim goes without oxygen and how quickly they receive medical intervention.
Effects of a hypoxic brain injury can include:
- Gross and fine motor impairments
- Impaired coordination and balance
- Communication difficulties
- Cognitive impairments
- Emotional impairments
- Memory loss
These can be catastrophic injuries that leave a drowning accident victim permanently disabled and unable to live independently. Victims may need prolonged medical treatment and around-the-clock care, for example.
At Edward Bernstein and Associates, we understand the profound life disruption that drowning accident injuries—and particularly hypoxic brain injury—can cause. We fight to make sure at-fault property owners, insurance companies, and others pay for the harm drowning victims have suffered.
Seeking Compensation for a Las Vegas Drowning Accident
Las Vegas drowning accidents may result in a tragic death or severe injury. In either case, Nevada law generally entitles those harmed to seek financial compensation from at-fault parties and insurance companies.
Depending upon where and how the accident happened, those parties might include, for example:
- The owner, manager, or maintenance contractor of the pool where the drowning accident happened, including a homeowner, hotel operator, or public entity
- The manufacturer of water safety equipment that malfunctioned
- The negligent driver of a boat in a boating accident
Edward Bernstein and Associates routinely handles the process of securing compensation on behalf of drowning victims and their loved ones.
Drowning-Related Wrongful Death Claims
After a fatal Las Vegas drowning accident, the victim’s legal estate or surviving heirs often have the right under Nevada law to seek compensation from the party at-fault (and that party’s insurer) through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The compensation recoverable for a wrongful death in Nevada can include:
- Medical expenses for the deceased victim’s medical treatment
- Costs of a funeral and burial or cremation
- Loss of the deceased victim’s income and benefits
- Loss of the companionship, comfort, care, and affection of the deceased victim
- A surviving heir’s grief and sorrow
- The deceased victim’s pain and suffering between the time of the injury and the time of death
At Edward Bernstein and Associates, we recognize that no amount of money can compensate for a life cut tragically short. But the financial support a wrongful death lawsuit can achieve often helps our clients pay expenses, overcome current difficulties, and plan for their future. Contact our compassionate, knowledgeable team today if you lost a loved one to a drowning accident in Las Vegas.
Nonfatal Drowning Accident Injury Claims
If a nonfatal drowning accident injures you or your child who is under age 18, Nevada law typically permits you to seek compensation from the at-fault party and its liability insurance carrier.
Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, the team at Edward Bernstein and Associates can often secure payment for your:
- Past and future medical care in treating a drowning accident injury
- Costs of living with or adapting to your injury
- Past lost earnings from missing work
- Loss of future earning capacity, if permanent injuries prevent you from working
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Inconvenience and life disruptions
- Loss of enjoyment of activities and relationships
In some cases, we may also convince a Nevada court to award you additional, punitive damages if the at-fault party engaged in extreme or malicious conduct. Contact us today to learn about the potential types and ranges of compensation you might demand for your Las Vegas drowning accident injuries.
Protect Your Rights By Following These Tips
The actions you take after a drowning accident can affect your rights to compensation. Consider following these tips to safeguard your ability to seek payment for your losses.
Seek Medical Care
Never assume that you’re okay just because you survived a drowning scare. Call 911 or go to the doctor immediately for an evaluation. Prompt medical intervention can protect you against some of the most severe impacts of hypoxic brain injury, for example.
Report the Drowning Accident Immediately
Tell the property owner, someone in charge, or emergency medical personnel about the drowning accident right away. Doing this puts the owner or manager on notice of the incident, and helps keep others safe from drowning hazards.
Beware Quick Settlements
If someone’s insurance company contacts you offering to settle your potential injury claim quickly, be cautious. The amount of any offer made to you directly stands a good chance of falling far short of what you have the right to receive. Instead, leave all settlement discussions to an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who can represent your interests and secure the maximum compensation available.
Get Legal Help Right Away
In most cases you have, at most, two years from the drowning accident (and potentially as little as a few months if the claim involves a government entity like a public pool or beach) to take legal action for damages. The sooner you contact a skilled attorney, the lower your risks of missing a critical deadline that could impact your rights.
Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Drowning Accident Lawyer Today
With more than 42 years of experience helping Nevadans secure compensation for their injuries, Edward Bernstein and Associates is ready to tackle even the most difficult Las Vegas drowning accident cases. For a free evaluation of your right to pursue a Las Vegas drowning accident claim, contact us or call (702) 840-5103 today. Enough said. Call Ed!