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Drowning & Hotel Accidents

Drowning Hotel Accident

Summer spells fun and adventure for many young people who often turn to swim pools for an exciting way to beat the heat. Many Las Vegas resorts also expect increased occupancies at this time of the year due to summer pool parties and the usual arrival of holiday visitors.

Swimming pools, however, can be deadly. Approximately 10 people die from drowning incidents every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, approximately 1 in 5 of drowning fatalities are children under the age of 14. Young children are most vulnerable to drownings because swimming pools are attractive hazards for children. In 2015, according to the Southern Nevada Health District Drowning Registry, there were approximately 44 drowning incidents involving children under the age of 14. Seven of those incidents, or approximately 1 in 6, were fatal. These unfortunate incidents often occur in public pools, such as hotel and motel pools, but can occur at residences, too.

While not all drowning incidents lead to deaths, those who survive can suffer severe, permanent neurologic disability as a result of lack of oxygen. Severe brain injury can lead to long-term disabilities, learning disorders, memory problems, and even a permanent vegetative state.

Risk Factors in Drowning

Common factors that increase risks of drowning include:

  • Lack of swimming ability
  • Lack of barriers such as pool fencing
  • Absence of close supervision

Drowning Prevention

Drowning can be prevented through strict observance of safety measures, particularly for the benefit of younger children.

  • The installation of appropriate pool fencing can significantly reduce drowning risks by keeping young children away from the water
  • Close adult supervision can also prevent unintended pool access as it only takes a few seconds for a young child to get into the pool and silently drown
  • While CPR itself does not prevent drowning, timely CPR intervention can significantly reduce the risk of brain damage in drowning victims
  • Lifeguards being stationed in public pools can also minimize drowning incidents at hotels and resorts

Liability for Drowning Accident in Hotels

Premises Liability

Owners of public pools, including hotel swimming pools, are generally liable for injuries suffered in their premises. Moreover, these pool owners are required to observe relevant provisions of the Nevada Pool Code in the construction of access barriers and the presence of licensed medical personnel or dedicated guard to remain in the pool premises.

Local regulations also require public pools to maintain sufficient area lighting to ensure illumination of the surface areas of the pool deck.

If the absence of required safety precautions is linked to the drowning incident, then the pool owner may be held liable for drowning injuries.

Product Liability

Some resort pools are equipped with motorized features designed to enhance pool experience. These include wave machines that mimic the natural waves of the sea and other similar devices. These types of equipment may be defective and lead to drowning incidents. Liability in this situation may be established against the parts or equipment manufacturer.


In drowning incidents, every second count towards saving the life of a victim or preventing severe brain injury. The brain can suffer serious and permanent damage with just minutes of being deprived of oxygen. The mere presence of a hotel lifeguard is not enough to exonerate the hotel owner from liability if it can be proven that the lifeguard unreasonably delayed in rescuing the drowning person.

Proving Negligence

Drowning incidents are complicated situations with several factors involved. It’s important for an experienced personal injury attorney to examine all angles of a drowning incident to identify parties who may have potential liability and to determine the proximate cause of the drowning injury.

It also makes good sense to hire a personal injury attorney who can take care of gathering evidence, preparing witnesses, and completing necessary paperwork to establish your claim for personal injury so that you can focus on the recovery of a loved one or heal from the unfortunate loss of a dear family member.

Value of Compensation

Where liability for drowning injuries has been established, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. Compensation may include past and future medical expenses, costs for ongoing rehabilitation or physical therapy, loss of income, as well as damages for pain and suffering. If you or a loved one is injured in a pool incident, it’s important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney immediately about your situation.

In Las Vegas, the law firm of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen has been representing injured clients and families whose loved ones who suffered a drowning incident.

We work very hard for our clients to make sure they receive the maximum value of compensation that they legally deserve. Let us help you, too.

Call us today at (702) 505-8115 to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly attorneys.

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