Swimming Pool Accidents
Operators of public pools and water parks, and owners of private pools in back yards, are responsible for protecting the safety of all guests. This legal duty involves preventing hazards, warning guests of them until they are fixed, and providing a safe recreational environment. When they fail, pool owners can become defendants in premises liability claims by the injured victims.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 3,500 people die each year in unintentional drowning accidents in the United States — about 10 each day. Most of them happen in and around swimming pools and other public facilities. The highest drowning rates occur to children under the age of four years, and most of these drowning accidents happen in “residential” swimming pools, characterized as homes and apartments by the CDC. This underscores both the importance of having adequate fencing and other protective measures around residential pools and the heightened legal exposure of home/apartment owners when they do not
The Types of Accidents and Injuries That Happen around Swimming Pools
Though great exercise and a fun activity for most everyone, swimming carries certain risks. A variety of accidents can happen in and around swimming pools, including:
- Drowning and near-drowning – For every child who dies from drowning, another five are treated for non-fatal submersion injuries, according to the CDC. Oxygen deprivation (called hypoxia) from a near-drowning can cause brain damage ranging from mild to severe, with accompanying physical and mental disabilities, depending on the amount of time the brain is oxygen-starved.
- Slip-and-fall accidents – Serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, and fractures often result from poolside slips and falls.
- Drain injuries – When a swimming pool drain is not properly covered, the suction can trap swimmers underwater – especially weaker and smaller children – and damage soft tissue and internal organs or cause drowning/near-drowning.
- Diving accidents – Divers can also suffer traumatic brain or spinal cord injury and other serious harm when they hit their head or other body parts on underwater obstacles while diving. Sometimes defective diving boards cause these types of accidents.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents?
Our New York swimming pool accidents lawyers have represented many clients throughout New York City and Long Island who struggle with injuries and wrongful deaths from swimming pool accidents. We help surviving family members seek fair and just compensation. We also understand why the negligence of others can contribute to a swimming tragedy and how to properly investigate them, which is a key element in winning fair damages for suffering victims.
In the interests of diligent oversight, both the City of New York and New York State have created requirements and safety guidelines for swimming pools. These principles clearly outline what represents negligence by property owners when they allow dangerous conditions to exist in and around any pool.
It makes no difference whether the accident occurred in a privately, commercially, or government-owned pool or recreation area. When an accident occurs, and an investigation reveals that owner-negligence is at the bottom of it, injured victims have a clear claim for damages that may include payment for medical bills, lost income (both present and future), pain and suffering, wrongful death if one occurred, and punitive damages if appropriate.
Expensive Claims Mean Higher Stakes and the Need for Legal Counsel
If you have been injured in a swimming pool accident, or if your child drowned due to some form of owner negligence, compensation comes from an insurance company that covers the public pool or homeowner. But if the pool owner is a municipality or another governmental entity, the claims process – not to mention taking the entity to court – can present unique challenges which require an especially experienced injury law firm.
Swimming pool accidents – especially if small children suffered traumatic or overly-debilitating injury – can trigger much higher than an average injury claims. And insurance companies tend to aggressively resist or wholly deny them — yet another reason why an experienced swimming pool lawyer needs to be protecting your family.
The seasoned New York Swimming pool accidents lawyers with Kaplan Lawyers, PC aggressively represent swimming pool accident victims in New York City and Long Island against those who resist their rightful legal compensation claim or lawsuit. If you or a family member is injured or suffered a tragic wrongful drowning from a swimming pool accident, please call us at (516) 399-2364 or fill out this contact form as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation. Our firm is here to help. And if we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.