Los Angeles Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Swimming pools can pose serious dangers when there is a lack of supervision or negligent maintenance creates hidden hazards. If you or a loved one has experienced injury or loss of life, call The Salamati Firm today to learn about your legal rights.
In the aftermath of a swimming pool injury or drowning, choosing legal counsel is a crucial decision. Through a comprehensive investigation of the circumstances of your case, the Los Angeles premises liability attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm can determine if faulty equipment, unsafe conditions or negligent supervision contributed to your family’s tragedy. Pool owners and other parties may be legally liable for the harm that was done to you and your loved ones. Monetary compensation obtained through civil litigation can help restore victims both financially and emotionally, holding responsible parties accountable for the life-altering damage they have caused. For a free and confidential discussion of your case, and to get expert information about your legal rights in the state of California, please call us today at 888-259-4060.
Swimming pool accident statistics
The World Health Organization lists drowning as the number one cause of accidental death around the world, with an estimated 372,000 fatalities per year. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control reported some 3,500 people died from drowning between 2005 and 2014.
Pool drowning statistics
- There are almost 400 deaths a year attributed to drowning in swimming pool accidents.
- Almost three-quarters of all deaths by drowning in the U.S. involve children under the age of five. Three-quarters of these fatalities involve children under three.
- Almost 10 percent of deaths involving pediatrics happen in portable pools.
- Over half of near drowning victims are hospitalized.
- Near drowning has resulted in long-term health problems, including learning, cognitive and memory issues.
- Three-quarters of deaths involving victims 15 or younger happen at a private residence such as a home or neighbor’s pool.
- For victims younger than 14, near drowning injuries accumulate costs ranging anywhere between $8,000 and $250,000 a year.
- Brain damage as a result of swimming pool accidents can cost, in the long term, up to $5.5 million.
Causes of swimming pool accidents
Liability in swimming pool accidents can differ depending on whether the accident takes place at a residence or public property. Overall, owners are accountable if it can be proven the accident was the result of negligence. This means proving a swimming pool accident could have been avoided if the owner had acted responsibly.
- The most likely cause of pool accident is diving, including from boards. Diving can be fun, but too many people do not understand the hazards. People have injured themselves leaping into the water incorrectly or hitting the bottom.
- Slip and falls are always a danger in and around pools. Seniors and children are victimized by slippery surfaces more than any other age group, but it can happen to anybody. While individuals have hurt themselves on hard surfaces, it is not unusual to fall into the water and find yourself disoriented. Pool owners should take precautions to minimize slip and falls, including using non-slip surfaces.
- A major cause of swimming pool accidents is lack of supervision. Children and pets in pool areas with no adults watching, an inattentive lifeguard at a public pool or lack of signs that there is no lifeguard on duty all greatly increase an owners’ liability.
- Ineffective bordering can be construed as negligence. Pool owners should have a proper barrier to prevent anyone from accessing the pool. Barriers have been shown to greatly decrease the possibility of accidents.
- Owners should have sufficient anti-entrapment devices. Drains can grab hair, limbs and clothing, especially in regards to small children who cannot fight the drag of a drainage system. This is true even in wading pools.
Is too much chlorine in the pool dangerous?
While chlorine is important for safe water, an over-chlorinated pool can become a body of harmful chemicals. Contact with skin can result in irritation and burning. Water in the eyes and ears can lead to discomfort and itchiness. There can be vomiting and nausea, burning in the throat, breathing difficulties and chest pain. While this isn’t necessarily life threatening, extended periods of exposure can lead to mild or moderate chlorine poisoning.
Types of swimming pool injury
Spinal cord injuries are common when individuals dive into shallow water, especially from a diving board not installed to support the water’s depth. Burns from too many chemicals – including chlorine – are a risk. A swimming pool head injury can lead to brain damage, concussion and/or victims being knocked unconscious, increasing the possibility of drowning. Swimming pool suction injury is also a common threat, especially among inexperienced swimmers and small children.
Swimming pool drain dangers
Often pool drain entrapment happens because swimmers – especially children – do not take the power of the circulation system seriously. While many are caught in the suction accidentally, others have explored the drain and gotten caught.
Why is pool drain suction so dangerous?
The force of a suction drain can be up to 350 pounds of pressure. This is an incredible pull that can hold a victim until they drown. While rare, individuals who have sat on the drain have been eviscerated. Body parts, hair and jewelry catch in the drain, leaving victims to hope someone sees them in time. One way to avoid accidents is to replace a single drain system with dual main drains or using a safety vacuum release system which shut off pumps if there is excessive vacuum buildup.
Hot tub dangers
Hot tub drowning happens in the United States once a day. Drain suction is a major cause of drowning here, as well as overheating that has caused users to pass out. Things like fencing and proper supervision should be implemented in the same manner as pools.
If a child drowns in a pool, who is responsible?
If a child drowns in pool water, the pool owner can be held liable. Even if the victim uses the pool without permission, injury or death that result may still fall under the liability of the homeowners, especially if proper maintenance and construction to minimize swimming pool access (locked gates, covers, etc.) have not been implemented.
Do I need to call a swimming pool accident lawyer?
If there has been a swimming pool accident and someone has been hurt or worse, an early consultation with a swimming pool accident attorney will be critical. There is a statute of limitations determining how long after an accident you can file a claim, and if you wait too long, you lose the chance to hold negligent parties legally responsible. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm can walk victims and their families through the complex legal process from start to finish.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a drowning, we urge you to contact us to discuss your legal options.
More information on swimming pool hazards
- American Red Cross, Home Pool Safety, http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/water-safety/home-pool-safety
- Kids Health, Water Safety, http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/water-safety.html
- Patch, Children and Swimming Pools: What Every Adult Should Know to Avoid a Summer Tragedy, http://patch.com/new-jersey/wayne/summer-brings-it-potential-pool-drownings-injuries