Obtaining Compensation for Swimming Pool Injuries
Swimming pool drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 4. Just a few moments under the water may cause a permanent or fatal brain injury.
Chemical poisoning is also a possibility at swimming pools. Cleaning chemicals contain chlorine and other harsh ingredients. If the chemical levels are too high, swimmers may experience severe chemical burns. On the other end of the spectrum, if the chemical levels are too low, dangerous bacterial infections may flourish.
In both these situations, a Brandon personal injury attorney may be able to obtain substantial compensation. Typically, this compensation includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
The above-described swimming pool injuries are often premises liability matters. Swimming pool owners and other property owners may have a legal responsibility to keep visitors free from injury. The extent of this responsibility depends on the relationship between the victim and owner, as follows:
- Invitees: These individuals have permission to be on the land and benefit the owner. That permission could be direct or indirect, and the benefit could be economic or noneconomic. Since victim and owner are close, the owner has a duty of reasonable care to keep the property safe.
- Licensees: People who have permission to be on the land but do not benefit the owner are in a lesser category, as far as legal duty is concerned. In these situations, owners must only warn about latent (hidden) defects. Guests of tenants that swim in an apartment pool are probably licensees.
- Trespassers: These people have no permission, and there is no benefit. Pool party crashers are probably trespassers. Because there is no relationship, there is no duty.
Some exceptions to the trespasser rule, such as the attractive nuisance doctrine, protect child swimming pool drowning victims.
These owners are not negligent unless they knew about the property hazard or potential danger. Evidence of knowledge could be direct or circumstantial.
Negligence Per Se
The Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act includes a number of mandatory safety provisions for private swimming pools, such as:
- Self-latching gate which operates from the pool side,
- Unclimbable barrier which surrounds the pool,
- Alarms on any doors or windows which open to the pool area, and
- Safety cover or water alarm.
Similar rules apply to public pools. These facilities must have certain lifesaving equipment within easy reach. Additionally, the pool’s mechanics, like pumps and drains, must meet certain standards. The same thing applies to chemical levels in the water.
If the owner violates any part of these laws and that violation substantially causes injury, the owner might be liable for damages as a matter of law. Examples of violations include non-working alarms, holes in the fence, and non-working latches.
Contact Aggressive Attorneys
Swimming pool drowning victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).