As an Aventura injuries to minors attorney, I have written several times about the dangers to young children from unattended swimming pools. I am sorry to say that the city of Delray Beach saw another such accident Dec. 29. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a three-year-old boy and a boy and a girl, both two, somehow got into a neighbor’s backyard around 5:30 p.m. as they were visiting a family friend. One of the boys was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, while the other children were in stable condition. Delray Beach police are investigating how the accident occurred.
The boys are brothers and the girl is their cousin, according to family friend Manette Joseph. Both of their mothers were visiting Joseph’s home while Joseph was working that day. It was unclear whether an adult was watching them when they were outside, but a neighbor, Matilda Corona, had warned the children and a teenager to stay away from her own pool earlier in the day. When the children were found in another neighbor’s pool, Corona’s daughter-in-law, a nursing student, was called to perform CPR. Because the pool was murky and dirty, a Fire-Rescue dive team was called to ensure that there were no more children in it.
The nursing student told the Sun-Sentinel that she didn’t see a screen around the pool. If so, it suggests that the unnamed neighbor may have violated Florida law by failing to erect a fence sufficient to keep small children out. Swimming pools are a leading cause of accidental drowning in toddlers, taking the lives of about 300 children under five each year. For that reason, state law requires owners of new swimming pools to erect a fence around their pools high and secure enough to keep young children out. Failure to follow this law can result in a criminal charge, as well as clear liability in any West Palm Beach child injury lawsuit. This is entirely separate from the issue of whether the children were adequately supervised by adult family members. If they were not, both parties would be at fault and any financial recovery for the family would be reduced accordingly.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn takes special pride in representing families affected by the death or severe injuries to a child. In these cases, the financial cost of the injuries may be severe, but it’s almost always overshadowed by the emotional cost to the family. Our Pompano Beach injuries to children lawyers represent these families with understanding and compassion in our own meetings, but fierce dedication during settlement negotiations or court proceedings with the other side. Especially when a young child is injured, our goal is always to get our clients the fullest possible financial compensation for their costs and their injuries, including the cost of all future medical and personal expenses. With more than 25 years of experience helping injured people, we understand how to calculate and prove these complex expenses so our clients never end up without the medical and personal care they need.
If your family has suffered a catastrophic accident to a child or teenager and you believe it was someone else’s fault, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn. To learn more about your rights and your options, please contact us through the Internet or call our main office in Broward County at (954) 431-8100 today.