Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of death among children under 14? And according to the Centers of Disease Control, 3 children die every day due to drowning. That’s shocking news.
And it gets worse! Drowning is only one of the horrifying consequences of swimming pool accidents. Read on to find out more
So who is at fault? You would think it’s the owner of the pool, and that may well be the case. Still, it’s not always an easy question to answer. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a swimming pool accident, don’t go it alone. You need an experienced swimming pool accident attorney at your side who can help you unravel the case and get you the compensation you deserve.
How Do Swimming Pool Accidents in Texas Happen
Before we get to the different kinds of accidents and their gruesome consequences and who is at fault, let’s start by looking at the factors that are involved in drowning in the first place.
Some victims lack the ability to swim or they have failed to wear a life jacket. New parents or new pool owners may simply lack the experience to cope with rambunctious kids or toddlers around the pool. There may have been a lack of adequate supervision with too many children there. Even alcohol use and seizure disorders can cause drowning.
But that’s not all. There are other things that can cause serious accidents in and around a swimming pool, for example slippery surfaces, defective equipment, and unsafe diving.
The Property Owner’s Obligations
Property owners are obligated to keep their property safe for visitors and others they permit to spend time on and use their property. They must warn visitors and other users of any areas that are potentially dangerous. When it comes to trespassers though, their only duty is to not cause injury through gross negligence.
There is also something called the “attractive nuisance doctrine,” which means that if the property owner has a hazardous object such as a swimming pool on their property that could attract kids, they are obligated to prevent access to it by an effective barrier like a high fence with a solidly locked door.
If property owners leave their pool insufficiently protected or unsupervised, they are liable for any accidents that may occur, even if they are not present when the accident happens.
There are also specific safety items that are required for residential pools, including a fence that’s at least 4 feet high, self-closing and self-latching gates, a throwing rope, a cover for the pool, and a reaching pole. Their absence also qualifies as negligence.
Lifeguarding is an extremely important part of making a pool safe for those who swim in it. However, sometimes, lifeguarding is not taken as seriously as it should be.
If lifeguards don’t properly carry out their duties, it is considered negligent lifeguarding. Examples of that include that there are not enough lifeguards present for the pool size and the number of people in it, that they’re not watching high-danger areas such as diving boards, drains, and slides, or that they’re being distracted by cell phones or by socializing with pool guests.
It also includes hiring untrained and uncertified lifeguards, or simply not hiring enough of them, which can lead to fatigue among the few that are there, and not providing them with appropriate rescue equipment.
Some of the worst injuries caused by swimming pool accidents happen because of improper and unsafe diving. The most common injuries caused by unsafe diving include broken necks, which often result in paralysis, cracked skulls, traumatic brain injuries, as well as death.
The Victim Can Be Negligent Too
It’s not always the owner of the pool who has been negligent. Sometimes, it was the victim of the swimming pool accident, for example by swimming while drunk or high, swimming alone, or engaging in horseplay in or around the pool.
If the victim was less than 51% responsible, they may still be able to recover damages.
Children under 6, however, cannot be considered negligent, and children from 6-14 are judged by the standard of what would have been negligent in someone their age.
Injuries Caused by a Near-Drowning Incident
Severe injuries can also happen when someone nearly drowns. Among the worst is brain damage and severe emotional trauma.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Swimming Pool Accidents?
The first place to look for a responsible party is the owner of the swimming pool where the accident occurred. If it was a private pool, that would be the homeowner. Then there are pools owned by corporations, such as pools in gyms, hotels, and apartment complexes. Public pools, and pools in schools are owned by government entities.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Liability
As you would in any personal injury case, you should gather evidence to support your claim. This could include police reports, medical records and bills, photos and videos of the scene where the accident occurred, and statements from eye witnesses, among other things,
Talk to a Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Next, you should seek out an experienced swimming pool accident attorney and arrange for a free consultation. Personal injury cases can be very challenging and you’ll need a skillful lawyer at your side who will go out of his or her way to help you get compensated for your pain and suffering.
Call us or email us today to arrange a free no-obligation consultation. We will be happy to talk with you.