Discussions about the risks of boating often focus on the possibility of someone dying. Drowning incidents are a leading cause of death in maritime environments and also a common source of death among recreational boaters and swimmers. People get hit while swimming, exhaust themselves or get thrown overboard from a vessel without personal flotation devices and tragedy ensues.
The high likelihood of individuals dying when they drown has led to a misconception about the right to pursue compensation after a boating incident. Specifically, many people in Connecticut are under the inaccurate assumption that they can only pursue a claim if someone dies when they end up going overboard or get hurt in the water because of a boating collision. However, a drowning incident does not need to prove fatal to have permanent, actionable consequences for an accident victim.
How near-drowning affects human health
One of the most immediate concerns for an individual who aspirates water in a near-drowning is the possibility of an infection. People can become very ill and may require hospitalization to treat the respiratory infections that develop after near-drowning experiences. The other, often more expensive, concern is the possibility of brain damage following a near-drowning incident. The longer someone is in the water and the more time it takes to resuscitate them, the higher their risk of brain damage. After roughly five minutes and the water, the possibility of permanent brain damage becomes a serious concern.
Oftentimes, those who experience near-drownings retain full cognitive function but report motor deficits as a result of a brain injury incurred in a drowning incident. Those motor function symptoms could leave someone unable to continue working in their chosen profession, especially if they have a blue-collar career. They may also require extensive medical support and possibly rehabilitation care to adjust to life with their new functional limitations.
The cost of recovering from a near-drowning and a related brain injury could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes even more. Pursuing a personal injury claim against a negligent business owner or a drunk boater is one of the ways for victims to recoup their costs following a near-drowning that leads to massive personal expenses.