Common Factors in Pool and Water Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Jan V. Hinson with Tilton & Tilton LLP.
Pool owners and those responsible for pool management and maintenance have a responsibility to ensure safe conditions for anyone in the vicinity of the pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) unintentional drownings as a result of non-boating pool and water accidents averaged about 10 deaths per day from the years 2005-2014. Even when fatalities don’t occur, adults and children receive medical treatment for submersion injuries every day.
Broken bones, head trauma, lung infections, and hypothermia are just a few common injuries in pool and water accidents, and the effects of each on a person’s life can cause lasting damage. As we strive to maximize the safety for ourselves and our children when using a pool or interacting with water, it can help to understand some of the common factors in pool and water accidents.
Common factors in pool and water accidents include:
- Defective safety parts or equipment in or around the pool
- Unmarked or improperly marked depths
- Lack of safety signs
- Defective diving boards
- Inadequate pool maintenance
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of adequate training for pool staff
- Absence of a lifeguard
- Damaged, defective, or absent ladders
- Slippery surfaces
- Insufficient swimming abilities
- Lack of adult supervision
- Failure to wear life jackets
- Defective or improperly sized life jackets
- Alcohol or drug use
- Seizure disorders
If you notice any of the above factors it’s wise to report them to the pool owner or management before an injury occurs. If an injury has already occurred, it’s a good idea to take a picture documenting any of these or other factors which could have contributed to the situation in which the injury occurred.
Common injuries sustained in pool and water accidents include:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Brain damage due to water entering the lungs, causing oxygen deprivation
- Recreational water illnesses (RWIs)
- Diving board injuries
- Aspiration pneumonia due to infections
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
Injuries sustained in pool and water accidents can be severe, and often lead to other problems. Many of these injuries have the potential to affect a person for the rest of their life and even to cause fatalities.
If you or your child were injured in a pool or water accident due to another party’s negligence, you could be eligible for compensation.
Pool owners and management have something referred to as a “duty of care” to the people who use their pool. This means that if they do not provide a safe environment, whether through accidental or intentional negligence, they can be held liable if another party is injured in their pool. Pools and other water sources can provide a refreshing way to have fun and cool off from the heat of summer, but can also present significant dangers when not properly maintained and/or when safety measures are ignored.
If you or your child suffered an injury in a pool or water accident, seek legal counsel to learn more about your rights and eligibility to seek compensation.