What to Do if You’ve Suffered a Drowning Accident
According to the Center for Disease Control, ten people die every die from a drowning. Drowning is actually the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury death. If a loved one has suffered from a drowning accident then there are a number of steps you need to take. For more information, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free consultation with a drowning accident attorney.
Get copies of all accident reports from the police department
Obtain copies of all accident reports from the police department. Find out if you can get a copy of the 911 emergency call. If the 911 operator walked the caller through CPR procedures then this call could be tantamount to your case.
Gather as much information as possible about the witnesses
Try to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any and all witnesses of the drowning. If you can, interview the witnesses and ask them for details on what they saw and heard. The police will do their own investigation but their priorities are different than yours.
Get photographic evidence
You’ll want photos of the accident site, including any signs posted, fences, gates, the pool or body of water itself, any related pool equipment – especially faulting diving boards, defective drain grates, broken ladders, etc. – and a photo of the exact location of the drowning. If the victim has sustained visible injuries then you’ll want photos of that too.
Preserve all the evidence that you can
If the drowning accident was caused by faulty or defective equipment, then be sure to do everything you can to preserve it in the state it was in when it the accident occurred. If the equipment is out of your control, then it’s essential you contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas right away. We may be able to get a court order that prohibits any destruction or repairs to the evidence.
Write down every detail of the accident
The information may seem burned into your brain at the moment, but you may be surprised by how the details slip out over time. Take the time to write down everything you can about the accident. This should include:
- Specific circumstances
- The names of everyone present
- Any statements from before, after, or during the event
Retain notes of every step of the process
You’ll want notes of every single interaction you have regarding the drowning. That includes conversations with emergency response personnel, healthcare providers, other witnesses, and the police. Make sure you retain all records of treatments performed, medications taken, and all medical appointments.
Speak to an attorney before you speak to any insurance company
It is absolutely essential that you have spoken to a personal injury lawyer before you speak to your insurance company or the insurance company of the other party. Drowning accidents are traumatic and emotional for everyone involved. The legal issues that relate to them are complicated and can be especially complex for a grieving family. That’s why we recommend you contact us at 909-982-0707 as soon as possible. Let us help you through this trying time.