Swimming is a popular pastime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s the fourth most popular recreational activity in the U.S. and the most popular activity for kids and teens between the ages of 7 and 17.
Though fun, swimming can be dangerous. Besides drowning, there are a number of injuries that can occur in and around swimming pools. Not only can injuries happen in public and private pools, but portable pools, wave pools, and water parks as well.
If you or a loved one was injured at a swimming pool, you may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation for your injuries and damages.
Whether your injury occurred at a private pool or a public one, you should schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Heintz Law.
Most swimming pool accidents are the property owner or manager's fault, especially when they fail to maintain their pool to the standards required by Florida law. In some cases, the swimmer or their guardian may be at fault. As a swimmer, not putting yourself at risk will make it easier to prove the property owner or manager is at fault.
As personal injury attorneys, we often see swimming pool accidents occur as a result of:
Drowning is the most common swimming pool accident in the U.S. and is more common in children than adults.
According to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 4. Children under 5 years old account for 76 percent of drownings every year.
The majority of drownings in children under 15 occurred in private or residential pools. Portable, or kiddie pools, are dangerous as well. Nine percent of pediatric deaths happened in portable pools.
Adults and children who survive drowning can face numerous medical complications that cost thousands of dollars to treat. That is why you should contact a personal injury attorney to help get your family the compensation they need.
Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs are the second most common injuries from swimming pool accidents. They occur when the swimmer’s brain is deprived of oxygen from being underwater too long. TBIs are also caused by blows to the head, resulting in brain swelling and loss of function.
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are also quite common. These injuries happen when vertebrae are cracked or shattered from diving into shallow water, hitting the side of the pool, or striking a diving board. While some spinal cord injuries can be repaired with surgery, others may leave the swimmer partially or completely paralyzed.
Swimming pool injuries can also result in:
Whether private or public, pool owners must adhere to a strict set of laws to keep their property safe. There are three types of pool users, called entrants, that pool owners have to be aware of:
Public pool owners or managers must do the following in order to protect their invitees:
Failing to complete these steps opens the owner up to lawsuits and fines by the state.
Private pool owners must do the following in order to protect their licensees:
Failure to adhere to these rules could result in lawsuits against the private pool owner as well as a second-degree misdemeanor charge.
If the pool owner does not obey the law and someone is injured, there are a number of lawsuits they could face. Below are some of the most common lawsuits associated with swimming pool accidents:
When talking about swimming pools, premises liability includes things like failing to post warnings, provide safety equipment, install fencing/alarms, or provide adequate supervision. Public and private pool owners have a responsibility to take all reasonable precautions necessary to protect their licensees or invitees. Almost all swimming pool accidents fall under premises liability.
This lawsuit is filed when the pool itself, or equipment in and around the pool, causes an injury. If this is the case, you may be able to sue the manufacturers, retailers, or distributors of the defective product.
You can claim that the pool owner or manager was negligent in certain circumstances. For instance, if a diving board is improperly installed and injures someone. Another example would be if the pool owner or manager hired a lifeguard who lacked the training and certifications required to adequately protect swimmers.
Young children who don’t understand the risks associated with pools cannot be held liable for their actions. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, pool owners must exercise extreme caution and ensure that no child could get into their pool without supervision. For an attractive nuisance lawsuit in Florida to be valid, the following must be true:
Whether any of the above forms of liability are present or not, assumption of risk is one situation in which the swimmer, or their parent or guardian, could be held responsible for the accident or injury.
Assumption of risk occurs when the swimmer knows there is no lifeguard on duty. It is even more relevant if there are “swim at your own risk” or “no lifeguard on duty” signs posted at the pool. If this is the case, a judge or jury could argue that the swimmer was warned of the risks of swimming unsupervised and did it anyway. This could make the swimmer partially, if not totally, responsible for their injuries and expenses.
If you or your child was injured in a swimming pool accident, the personal injury attorneys at Heintz Law can help. Our personal injury attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after a swimming pool injury. Call us to schedule your free consultation at 941-748-2916.