Near-drowning incidents can cause serious psychological problems and cause life-changing injuries and health problems. Importantly, if you or a loved one has been involved in a near-drowning accident due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a near-drowning accident claim for compensation for your suffering.
Our team can help if you’d like more information about claiming compensation for near drowning. As part of a no-obligation initial consultation, we’ll consider your case and review any evidence to work out your legal options. If a claim is viable, one of our personal injury solicitors might agree to act on your behalf. As they work on a No Win No Fee basis, you should find the claims process much less stressful.
Call us on 0800 6524 881 today to discuss your case or read on for more information about how near-drowning accident claims work.
Table of contents
- What Is Near-Drowning?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Near-Drowning Accident Claim?
- Types Of Negligence That Can Lead To Near-Drowning Accident Claims
- How Much Compensation For Near-Drowning Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Near-Drowning Accident Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Near-Drowning Compensation
- Starting The Near-Drowning Accident Claims Process
Near-drowning is the term used to describe when somebody nearly dies due to suffocation while underwater. Asphyxiation is the term used to describe being deprived of oxygen. Although near-drowning is not fatal, it can cause significant health problems.
Some of the main symptoms associated with near-drowning include:
- Bluish or cold skin.
- Chest pain.
- Breathing problems and coughing.
- Abdominal swelling.
- Extreme fatigue.
In addition to these physical symptoms, near-drowning can result in flashbacks, sleep problems and other psychological injuries.
The level of suffering caused by near-drowning will depend on how long the injured party was deprived of oxygen. Some of the common complications that can be linked to near-drowning include:
- Brain damage.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
- Permanent vegetative state.
- Fluid and chemical imbalances in the body.
The level of suffering endured following near-drowning will need to be considered when claiming compensation. While many near-drowning accidents involve children, such incidents can affect people of any age.
Generally, to be eligible to claim compensation for near-drowning you’ll need to prove that:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- A negligent act or lack of action by the defendant caused you to nearly drown; and
- You have sustained injuries or been made ill because of the near-drowning incident.
As part of our initial checks, we’ll work out if you were owed a duty of care by the defendant. Therefore, this is not something to be overly worried about. You could however improve the likelihood of winning your claim by providing evidence about how the near-drowning incident occurred and how you’ve suffered as a result. Later on, we’ll consider the types of evidence you could use.
It is possible for parents and guardians to claim compensation on behalf of a child who nearly drowned. Similarly, you could claim on behalf of an adult who has lost the mental capacity to claim because of their injuries.
If this is something you’d like to do, you’ll need to apply to become a litigation friend. Our solicitors can help with this process.
After you have been approved by a court, you’ll be able to manage the claims process on behalf of the claimant. You’ll need to consider their best interests at all times.
If an agreement to pay compensation is reached, the court will check that the settlement amount is fair. They’ll also place the funds into a court account until a) the child’s 18th birthday or b) when the claimant regains their mental capacity.
As a litigation friend, you’ll be able to withdraw funds by writing to the court as and when necessary.
As shown above, you’ll generally only be able to claim compensation if you nearly drowned because somebody else was negligent. Examples of when this might be the case include:
- If a lifeguard failed to spot a child was in trouble because they were distracted.
- Where your child was allowed to enter the deep end of a swimming pool during a swimming lesson despite being a weak or non-swimmer.
- If you nearly drowned while competing in a triathlon and got trapped in excessive debris in the lake.
- If children were allowed to swim in a school swimming pool without supervision.
- Where you nearly drowned after falling off a boat with broken or missing safety barriers.
- If you nearly drowned in an oil rig accident caused by your employer’s negligence.
These are just some examples of when you could claim compensation after nearly drowning. If you’ve been injured in any other way and would like free advice on your options, please call us on 0800 6524 881.
The amount of compensation you might receive for a near-drowning incident can vary significantly due to several factors. These may include the severity of the injuries, the long-term impact on the victim’s life and the general pain and suffering experienced as a result of the near-drowning.
Therefore, general damages might be paid to cover any physical suffering if you make a successful claim. Psychological suffering such as emotional distress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or anxiety could also be awarded. Our compensation calculator shows a list of potential settlement figures for a range of relevant injuries:
Other factors that may be taken into account include:
- The cost of a professional carer if you need help with daily tasks.
- Modifying your home to improve your quality of life if you’ve been left with a brain injury or disability.
- Lost income as well as future income losses.
- Medical and rehabilitation costs.
- Travel expenses resulting form your near-drowning.
- Loss of amenity to cover loss of enjoyment of your normal activities.
To prove the extent of your suffering, you’ll need to see an independent specialist as part of the near-drowning accident claims process. During your medical assessment, the specialist will talk to you about the impact of your injuries and review any medical notes that are available. They’ll then file a report with your solicitor that will be used to try and determine the appropriate level of compensation.
Your solicitor will work through everything with you to make sure that no form of suffering is missed from your claim. If the claim is successful, you’ll either receive a lump sum payment or annual payments for injuries that will affect you for the rest of your life.
Even if you think your case is crystal clear, you’ll still need evidence to prove how and why the near-drowning incident occurred and how you’ve been affected. Otherwise, the defendant’s insurers could simply turn the claim away and refuse to pay compensation. Some examples of evidence that can make your case clearer include:
- Medical records. Medical records documenting the extent of your injuries from the near-drowning and the treatment you received.
- HSE accident reports. Reports from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if you nearly drowned in an accident at work and they investigated the incident.
- Other accident reports. If you reported an accident at a leisure centre or similar facility there should be an accident report that you could request a copy of.
- CCTV footage. CCTV footage or similar if the incident was caught on a security camera, dash cam etc.
- Photographs. Photos or videos of the accident scene, the condition of the area where the incident occurred, and any visible hazards that may have contributed to the near-drowning.
- Witness statements. Witness statements from anybody else who was present leading up to, or at the time, of the near-drowning.
Please tell us about any evidence you’ve already secured when you contact us for a free consultation. If your near-drowning compensation claim proceeds, your solicitor will use your evidence along with any further information needed to support your claim.
When making a personal injury claim for near-drowning, a 3-year time limit will apply. Usually, this period generally starts from the date of the incident. However, if you were unaware of what happened (because you were in a coma after the incident for example), the time limit typically starts from the date of knowledge.
If a loved one doesn’t have the mental capacity to deal with the claim themselves, you don’t need to worry about the 3-year limitation period. The same is true for children under 18 years of age. In both these cases, you could make a claim on behalf of your loved one at any point.
While you do have quite a while to submit your claim, we believe it’s best, in our experience, to begin as early as possible. This will usually make the claims process easier as everything should still be fresh in your mind and supporting evidence will be easier to obtain.
If you believe that you or a loved one should be compensated after nearly drowning because of somebody else’s negligence, please call 0800 6524 881 today. We will work with you to assess the merits of your claim and provide free legal advice about what action you could take.
If there’s a fair chance that you should be paid compensation, a personal injury solicitor on our team may offer to work on your behalf. Importantly, they’ll do so on a No Win No Fee basis so you won’t be asked to pay legal fees unless compensation is paid.
We can also provide advice on near-drowning accident claims via our live chat service so please feel free to use it.