Swimming pools are fun. However, they can also be dangerous. If a private homeowner, resort operator or government entity that owns a swimming pool fails to take risks seriously, and visitors are harmed as a result of their negligence, those visitors have a right to seek just compensation for their losses.
The law firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., has experience with premises liability cases that involve swimming pool accidents. We can put that experience to work for you and seek the compensation you are due.
To learn more, contact attorney Frank M. Eidson today by phone or through our online form. We would be glad to provide you with a free consultation.
Swimming Pool Accident and Injury Risks
Florida has the nation’s highest rate of drowning deaths among children between ages 1 to 14. The rate is 2.67 per 100,000 people, according to Florida Department of Health statistics. The most recent statistics show that drowning was among the top six accidental causes of death for all age groups in Florida.
Children who cannot swim or are too young to recognize the risk of drowning are at high risk of drowning in swimming pools. Older children can easily overestimate their ability to swim and find themselves in trouble. Adults, too, can drown if they cannot swim or if they are impaired while swimming. They may also suffer an additional problem such as a seizure, cramps or injury while in a pool.
In addition to drowning, being submerged and cut off from oxygen for an extended period of time – a near-drowning – can lead to severe brain damage that causes long-term disability, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
Slipping and falling on a pool deck or diving into shallow water can cause a blow to the head that results in traumatic brain injury (TBI) or neck and spinal cord injury. A person knocked unconscious could also drown or suffer a near-drowning.
Swimming pool drains can be dangerous as well. Defective or improperly installed drains can create a suction force that traps and drowns swimmers or causes internal organ damage, with young children facing a particularly high risk.
Florida Regulates Private, Public Swimming Pools
Florida law requires swimming pool owners to equip their pools with a variety of safety features, including:
Fences/barriers of at least 48 inches tall that surround the pool and are designed so that a small child cannot squeeze through or under them
Gates that open outward and away from the pool and which are self-closing and equipped with a self-latching locking device
Ladders or steps that are capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access or surrounded by a barrier as described above
Exit alarms on all doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool
A safety pool cover approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Among the many requirements for commercial or public pools in Florida are:
Fences of at least 48 inches in height, with self-closing and self-latching lockable gates that open away from the pool
Steps, swim-outs, recessed treads and/or ladders at every 75 feet of the pool’s perimeter, with a minimum of one at each end of the pool
Slip-resistant decks and walkways that are unobstructed and at least 4 feet wide
Anti-entrapment systems or devices that comply with American Society of Mechanical Engineers/American National Standards Institute standard
An equipment room or enclosure protected from unauthorized entrance, and a place for storage of chemicals in well-ventilated area, under a roof and protected from access by unauthorized persons.
Take Legal Action After a Swimming Pool Accident
Those who choose to install swimming pools for private or public use in Florida are made aware of the above rules and regulations they are required to follow.
Homeowners and owners of resorts, hotels, motels, waterparks and other amusement parks who neglect their duty to safeguard or supervise a swimming pool as required may be liable for injuries that occur in swimming pools on their property.
Other ways commercial or public pool owners might be negligent for several lapses that could cause injury include:
Failing to staff the pool with qualified lifeguards
Lifeguards negligently performing their duties
Allowing drains, decks, ladders, fences, diving boards or other equipment to fall into a state where they no longer function properly
Allowing access to caustic chemicals that are used to treat pool water.
A lawsuit against a swimming pool owner would have to show that the property owner failed to meet the owner’s responsibility for keeping the pool and/or its users safe, and that an injury was the result of this negligence.
Keep in mind: A residential swimming pool typically is deemed to be an “attractive nuisance.” This is because children may be drawn to the pool by their curiosity while, at the same time, failing to recognize the danger it poses. The owner of the swimming pool has a duty to keep children out. The owner may be held liable if a child – even as a trespasser – suffers harm as a result of the owner’s negligence.
Even if a swimming pool owner is a friend or neighbor, you should not hesitate to take action. Compensation would be sought through the pool owner’s liability insurance such as a homeowner’s insurance policy – not from the owner’s personal assets.
Contact an Orlando Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a swimming pool accident in Orlando, Winter Park or elsewhere in Florida, you may be able to obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses.
Attorney Frank M. Eidson is an experienced premises liability lawyer who will aggressively protect your right to full and fair compensation after a swimming pool accident. Contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A., today to discuss your case in a free consultation.
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