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Drowning and Premises Liability

We are in the midst of the dog days of the summer and the weather is scorching. During these conditions, many of us enjoy swimming, or just cooling off in the water. If you are one of these people, you must do so with caution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recently found that around ten people, every day die from unintentional drowning. As a matter of fact, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States.

If one of your loved ones drowned on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation may include, but is not limited to, medical expenses, related expenses, and loss of consortium. To increase your chances of being awarded this compensation, it is important that you hire an attorney for your case.

Drowning is Not a Rarity

The CDC further reports that from 2005 to 2014, the average number of annual drowning fatalities was 3,536. These were not boating related. CDC found that there were about ten deaths per day. Of these, around one in five people who drown are children aged 14 and younger. Occasionally, a child will wander off onto a neighbor’s property and drown in the neighbor’s pool.

Recently, a two-year-old boy’s body was discovered in his neighbor’s swimming pool. The Coroner’s office found the cause of death to be accidental drowning. An unsecured fence surrounded pool. The child’s aunt was caring for the child at the time the child wandered into his neighbor’s yard. The aunt was mowing the yard and was unaware of the child’s wondering.

Illinois Premises Liability

Suppose the above tragic event happened to your child or loved one. You may be entitled to compensation. Your case would be brought under theories of negligence and premises liability. Here, the court will look to see if the injured party was invited to enter the property, if he or she was a licensee or whether he or she was a trespasser on the property.

Some states recognize an attractive nuisance doctrine. This doctrine holds a landowner may be held liable for injuries caused to a trespassing child if the injuries were caused by a hazardous condition or object on the land that attracted the child and the child was unable to understand the risk(s) involved.

The Illinois Supreme Court, in the case of Choate v. Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. Co., held that Illinois does not recognize attractive nuisance in the same way as other states do. In Illinois, a landowner does not owe a duty of care to trespassers. Yet, Illinois Supreme Court did find that a landowner owes a duty to children to warn them of latent (hidden) dangers that the child may not reasonably apprehend. Thus, in Illinois, a landowner owes no duty to trespassing children with respect to obvious harm.

Take Action

If you or a loved one were injured while on the property of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. You should contact an experienced premises liability lawyer of Levin and Perconti. Call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.

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