Swimming Pool Accidents
One of the more tragic aspects of premises liability law is swimming pool accidents. Other than Florida, California has more private and publicly owned swimming pools than any other state.
Thousands of children and adults are injured or drown in swimming pool accidents each year. Injuries can include traumatic brain injuries from lack of oxygen or hypoxia, paralysis from diving into shallow pools and damage to internal organs.
A swimming pool accident can occur within moments. Even though most toddlers who are injured or drown are accompanied by an adult, it only takes seconds for a child to enter a pool, disappear below the surface and to suffer permanent brain injury, developmental disabilities or death. Intoxicated adults or those who fail to check the pool’s depth before diving headfirst may suffer debilitating injuries from spinal cord trauma.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident or drowned, contact the California swimming pool accident attorneys from The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian.
Liability for Swimming Pool Injuries
A property owner, including homeowners with swimming pools, are responsible for any injuries sustained in a swimming pool from negligence or from creating or allowing an unsafe or hazardous condition. Owners have a duty to take reasonable care or precautions to prevent drownings or from having people gain easy access to the pool who have no permission or authority to use the facility.
This duty of care extends to private owners, hotel and motel owners, municipalities that own and operate pools for the public or anyone who rents out a pool. In some cases, there may be a product defect claim against a manufacturer for a negligently designed pool, defective drain grate or faulty diving board.
Why Accidents Happen
Many accidents or drownings occur from improperly secured pools that have unlocked gates or short or incomplete fences that violate local or state safety standards that regulate pool safety and allow unauthorized persons to trespass, especially children or intoxicated persons. Other pools may not have firm coverings that can trap someone underwater. An improperly maintained pool can have murky water that hides the pool’s shallowness and lead to someone diving and suffering a spinal injury.
If the situation warrants it, the owner must post warnings regarding pool depth or that no lifeguard is on duty. The signs must also be conspicuous and warn of the danger. Pool safety and rescue equipment needs to be on hand and maintained in good and usable condition such as poles and tubes.
At parties or social gatherings, owners need to ensure that children are supervised and constantly watched. Many times, no one is watching the children or because alcoholic drinks are provided, the adults are too intoxicated or distracted to see that a child has disappeared. A pool deck that becomes too slippery or has toys or other objects lying around can lead to severe fall injuries.
Municipalities that hire lifeguards must ensure that they are properly trained and that they adequately supervise the pool area. Too often, poor supervision and overcrowding lead to drownings and family tragedies.
Statute of Limitations
Negligence, product defect and premises liability claims all must be settled or the claims filed in state court within 2 years of the accident in most cases. If your claim is against a municipality that owns or operates a pool where the injury occurred, you have a more limited time to give statutory notice to the appropriate agency or governmental entity or you may lose your right to any compensation.
In any case involving a municipality or private owner, do not hesitate to promptly contact an attorney regarding your legal rights.
Retain The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian
Pool accidents can change your life forever. These cases are often complex with complicated issues of liability and damages. Call the California swimming pool accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian today for a free, confidential consultation. We have the resources, experience and knowledge to handle swimming pool accident cases.