Swimming Pool Accidents
Spending some time in the pool is almost mandatory given the steamy summers we enjoy in Delray Beach. Swimming is typically very safe, but a lot depends on the circumstances, such as whether a person is a good swimmer and the condition of the pool and the surrounding area.
If you or a loved one was injured in a swimming pool, then the property owner might be to blame. Owners owe a duty to those using the pool to make it reasonably safe. When a hazard on the property causes injury, victims should pursue their legal rights.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
Children and adults can be injured in a variety of swimming pool accidents, including:
- Slip and falls or trip and falls. Poorly maintained areas around the pool could cause a person to fall and become injured.
- Defective drains. People can get body parts or clothing caught in drains. Some people can drown.
- A child could drown if they gain access to the pool and the owner does not have a pool cover, barrier, door alarms, or other safety device.
- Reckless behavior. Someone in the pool could behave dangerously, such as cannonballing and landing on top of someone, causing injury.
- Defective life jacket. If the pool owner supplies a life jacket that is defective, then a person could suffer injury.
There are many ways to become injured in and around a swimming pool. An attorney should review all of the circumstances to determine whether the owner used reasonable care.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents are not rare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there were 3,536 non-boating drownings from 2005 to 2014, roughly 350 a year. Almost 20% of fatalities are for children under the age of 15.
The number of injuries is even higher. For example, five times as many children are treated for a nonfatal injury each year in the emergency room. Adults are also injured in the pool, even when they are experienced swimmers. For example, they can break bones and suffer traumatic brain injuries when they fall or dive into the shallow end of the pool. People who survive drowning might also suffer from permanent brain injury due to oxygen deprivation.
Florida recognizes that many people are injured in swimming pools. Accordingly, our state has responded by requiring that homeowners install at least one safety feature to new pools. Fla. Stat. § 515.27 requires one of the following:
- An enclosure at least 4 feet high
- An approved safety cover
- Exit alarms equipped on all doors and windows that provide direct access to the pool from the home
- Swimming pool alarm that sounds upon an unauthorized or accidental entrance
- Self-latching doors that grant access to the pool
However, the rules apply only to new residential swimming pools and hot tubs. Pre-existing pools did not have to install a safety device, so many pools continue to be dangerous.
Contact Us Today
Swimming pool accidents can be terrifying. Fortunately, many victims and their family members can seek compensation. Earnhart Law has brought premises liability actions for more than 30 years, and we are eager to help. Call our Delray Beach premises liability attorneys at 561-265-2220 to schedule a free consultation.