POOL ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Call (800) 863-5312 to Speak with a pool accident attorney
There are countless swimming pools all over the United States, with many homeowners having access to their own swimming pools in their backyards. The ready availability of swimming pools means an increased risk of swimming pool accidents.
Swimming pool accidents can occur from improperly maintained pools or the negligent behavior of pool owners; even visitors to pools can cause tragic pool accidents resulting in serious harm or even death. In the case of a pool accident, the best course of action for a victim is to contact a pool injury lawyer to evaluate the case.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in someone else’s pool and you need a personal injury lawyer, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation and to find a personal injury attorney near you.
swimming pool accidents
With temperatures rising in the coming summer months, the excitement of jumping into a refreshing pool is something we have all experienced. Unfortunately, this popular recreational activity can also be the cause of injury and tragedy.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
Evidence gathered by the USA Swimming Foundation and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that at least 148 children under the age of 15 died due to drowning between the dates of Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2018. While children are especially at risk for pool accidents and drowning, adults can suffer serious injuries as well.
From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually across the United States. This amounts to about ten deaths per day. About one in five drownings are children aged 14 and younger. More than half of all drowning victims require hospitalization if the accident was nonfatal.
common swimming pool injuries
While poor swimming skills could lead to tragedies such as drowning, other pool-related injuries often result from poorly maintained facilities or pool operator negligence. The following are the most common types of pool injuries due to negligence:
- Concussions or spinal injuries from diving or falling into shallow pools
- Drain suction injuries, such as being pulled down and trapped
- Lacerations from sharp pool edges
- Skin or eye irritation from pool chemicals
- Slip and fall injuries
- Wrongful death due to drowning
Near-drownings can also cause devastating injuries. Nonfatal drowning can cause brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities which could include memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functions. Brain damage can begin to occur in as little as four minutes of submersion.
causes of swimming pool injuries
Many factors could lead to a swimming pool injury. Some of these factors can and should remedied so that accidental drownings can be prevented. For example, many pools may lack basic features needed to keep swimmers safe from harm. Some safety hazards include:
- Deep ends that are unexpectedly too shallow
- Faulty ladders or steps entering the pool
- Lack of anti-entrapment devices on suction drains
- Lack of proper fencing or barriers
- Loose tiles
- Textured flooring to prevent unnecessary slipping
While many pool accidents can happen in backyard pools, public pools may not necessarily be safer. Public pools face the increased risk of design defects mentioned above, as well as lifeguards who may become inattentive; other negligent staff members may also contribute to unsafe swimming conditions somehow.
who is responsible for pool accident injuries?
The person or people responsible to you for compensation for your injuries depends on who is liable for your injuries. For swimming pool accidents, up to three legal theories may be used to determine who is to blame or at least who was involved: negligence, premises liability, and products liability.
Negligence is a legal theory that is the primary basis for many personal injury claims. Negligence is the failure to do what a normal or reasonable person would have done under the same or similar circumstances. A judge or jury will look at the facts surrounding the case and determine whether a person was acting reasonably or was acting negligently. If they were negligent and this caused your injuries, you may have a claim for damages.
One example of negligence could be failing to make the pool safe. This may include improperly installing equipment, not hiring qualified lifeguards, or not having proper safety devices available. An employer, equipment installer, or someone else at the pool could be liable to you for these kinds of negligence.
Some states may require certain laws or ordinances be followed if you own a home pool. These laws likely require fencing that completely surrounds the swimming pool, locking gates, pool covers, or drain covers; failure to follow these laws may give rise to a negligence claim. An experienced pool injury attorney near you will be familiar with the laws applicable to pool ownership and maintenance in your jurisdiction and state, and he or she will know how to help you determine whether your pool accident was caused by someone’s negligence.
Premises liability is the idea that a property owner is liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition on the property that the owner knew about or should have known about. A pool owner has a responsibility to make sure their pool is reasonably safe for others to use if others are invited to use it.
Premises liability may apply to:
- Owners of government property such as city swimming pools open to the community or school swimming pools
- Owners of private, residential pools
- Owners of property with private or commercial pools such as hotels, gyms, or apartment complexes
An owner may be held liable to you if they knew about a hazard and did not warn you either by posting warning signs or by blocking off a dangerous area. This may include blocking off the pool during cleanings or when the chemical levels are being regulated. If there is no lifeguard on duty, signs addressing this and warning to “swim at your own risk” may be needed, and the pool depth should be clearly indicated; if there are hidden shallow areas, “no diving” signs may be necessary.
Owners also have a responsibility to maintain the pool and safety equipment. Ladders and handrails should be sturdy and pool steps should be clearly marked to avoid tripping or falling in. Pool water should be clean from debris.
Products liability is a strict claim reliability; this means that it is not required for anyone to be negligent to be able to recover damages. A manufacturer or seller of a product is responsible for making sure the product is reasonably safe for use. If faulty pool equipment is the cause of a drowning or injury to you or someone in your immediate family, the manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler may be liable to you.
The three main types of defects include inadequate safety warnings, design defects in how the product is made, or manufacturing defects that occur in the making of the product. Products should be made reasonably safe against any foreseeable use by a consumer.
For example, underwater pool drains without any cover or drain grate, with suction that is strong enough to pull someone under, would be unreasonably dangerous. If there are shallow or deep areas of the pool that are not clearly marked and the transition from shallow to deep is not easy to see, this could give rise to a dangerous condition and design defect. Products that are used in or around the pool could also cause injuries; flotation devices, water slides, or other water features, pool toys, or any product meant for use in the pool could give rise to products liability claims if they are found to be unreasonably dangerous.
pool safety tips
In order to keep children and adults safer around pools, consider the following CPSC pool safety tips:
- Install drain covers
- Install fencing around pools
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults
- Learn how to swim and teach your children how to swim
- Never let children play in pools unsupervised
- Warn children and adults to stay away from pool drains to avoid entrapments
For young children, consider having them wear a life jacket or other flotation device and only let them play in shallow wading pools. Keep fun flotation devices such as pool noodles or inflatable innertubes handy for children or adults to use while in the pool.
do i need a personal injury attorney?
In any accident, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact cause of fault. A skilled pool accident attorney can help assess the personal injuries you suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you were injured on someone else’s property in their pool, then your pool accident lawyer can draw on evidence from witness testimony or other sources. A personal injury attorney is someone who can help recover damages if you are hurt due to someone else’s actions.
what kind of compensation is possible?
Damage awards for a pool accident can vary and depend on the injuries suffered. Each person will have a unique set of injuries and complications. Our experienced pool accident lawyers can discuss your options for recovery whether they are for physical, emotional, or mental damages.
Get Help from pool accident lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our pool injury attorneys are experienced and have handled many cases involving victims of swimming pool accidents. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help you recover the best possible outcome for your case.