Can I Sue Someone if I am Injured in Their Swimming Pool?
While swimming pools are a great way to beat the heat, they can be extremely dangerous. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death each year and remains the leading cause of death for children. While children are at a higher risk, anyone can drown. The CDC reports that 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings occur each year– that is an average of 11 drowning deaths per day.
Navigating the aftermath of a swimming pool injury, such as drowning, can be intense and overwhelming. However, there are legal avenues to pursue compensation. Here, the team of expert attorneys at Peter Angelos Law provides insight on how you can seek justice if you or someone you love is injured in a swimming pool.
Types of Swimming Pool Injuries
Spending time in or around a pool is associated with a high amount of risk. While fatal drowning is the most common swimming pool injury, there are other potential traumas to be aware of. Nonfatal drowning occurs when a victim survives a drowning incident with a range of outcomes, from no injuries to very serious injuries or permanent disabilities. These devastating injuries can include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), disembowelment, and evisceration. TBIs most commonly occur when a swimmer dives into a pool and hits their head and are more likely to happen in pools with diving boards, slides, or in pools that lack proper display of water depth. It is also important to be aware of the injuries that could be sustained on the pool deck., such as slip and fall injuries such as sprains, fractures, and concussions.
All of these injuries can come with negative impacts beyond impaired physical wellbeing. Medical bills and loss of wages as a result of time missed at work can compound the strain on you and your family following a swimming pool injury.
Risks of Swimming Pools
With the wide array of potential injuries that can occur at a swimming pool, it is important to understand what risk factors you or your loved ones may be exposed to.
Diving Boards and Slides
Diving boards and slides pose an extreme amount of danger. According to a report published by ABC News, nearly 6,500 adolescents to do the emergency room each year for traumatic diving-related injuries. Diving boards and water slides must be placed in deep enough water. In the state of Maryland, a one-meter diving board is required to be placed over at least 10 feet of water, preferably over 12 feet.
If a diving board is installed over an insufficient amount of water, swimmers are more likely to suffer a TBI as a result of colliding with the bottom of the pool.
Lack of Lifeguards
One of the biggest risks a swimmer can take is entering a pool area without a lifeguard present. Private pools and hotel pools often lack a lifeguard, exponentially increasing the risk of injury or death. While this scenario may be more dangerous for children or those who are unable to swim, it is risky for anyone to enter a pool area without supervision.
Slippery Pool Decks
The dangers of pools extend beyond the water’s surface. Pool decks can easily become hazardous surfaces as water is splashed out of the pool, and slip and fall accidents are common.
Improper Chemical Storage
Pool maintenance requires the use of potentially dangerous chemicals. If stored unsafely or improperly, these chemicals can cause harm or even death if they are ingested or handled incorrectly. This is especially important to be aware of if there are young, curious children frequenting the pool area. Chemicals should be securely stored in a cool, dry place out of reach from children or pets.
Unfenced Pool Decks
A pool that lacks proper security measures can be extremely dangerous. Many states, including Maryland, require property owners to construct adequate barriers around residential swimming pools. Fences are the most effective way to prevent young children from entering a pool deck unsupervised.
Drain covers are an extremely dangerous element of pools. Older or faulty drain covers present a serious risk– small children, loose clothing, long hair, and jewelry can easily become entrapped in them potentially resulting in drowning, nonfatal drowning, or disembowelment.
What are my Legal Avenues if I am Injured in a Swimming Pool?
Typically, swimming pool accidents are governed by the general principles of negligence and premises liability.
Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that an individual of ordinary prudence would have exercised in a similar circumstance. In the instance of a swimming pool injury, this may include an adult who fails to watch children while they are swimming or stores chemicals in a location that small kids can reach.
Premises liability stems from negligence but is more closely tied to the condition of a property. It requires a property owner to use ordinary care to reduce or eliminate unreasonable risk or harm on their properties. For example, in most states, a fence or barrier is required around a pool. If a pool owner fails to install or maintain the pool fencing and a child wanders into the pool and drowns, there may be a premises liability claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer if I Was Injured in a Swimming Pool?
Consulting with a legal team who is well versed in personal injuries, negligence, and premises liability laws will allow you a better chance at recovering compensation. Your attorney will help you gather facts and evidence regarding your case and will present these findings in court. In addition, a lawyer will help you navigate the complicated and confusing insurance and medical bills that may pop up following an injury.
Contact an Experienced Baltimore Attorney Today
There’s nothing better than taking a dip in a pool on a hot day. But, these refreshing oases can be filled with dangers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a swimming pool accident, you have avenues for justice. Contact our team of experienced attorneys at Peter Angelos Law today.