Swimming Pool Accidents Attorney in Hollywood, FL
Despite the fact that most people believe they are safe when they visit public or private swimming pools, a significant number of people are severely injured and killed in swimming pool accidents each year. Florida has one of the highest fatality rates in the nation when it comes to pool and spa accidents.
If you or a loved one were injured in a swimming pool accident that was someone else’s fault, you might be entitled to significant compensation. Rosen & Ohr is here to help.
As demonstrated by the high-value results and positive client testimonials, our swimming pool accident lawyers are committed to providing clients with the legal services they need and the customer service they deserve.
Don’t wait to seek justice and compensation after a swimming pool accident. Contact Rosen & Ohr today to schedule your free consultation.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Injuries
Accidents and serious injuries can occur around any type of swimming pool or spa. For example, nearly 30 percent of fatal drownings of children younger than five happen in above-ground or portable pools like inflatable kiddie pools.
Some of the most common causes of swimming pool injuries for people of all ages include:
- Submersion or nonfatal drowning
- Defective pool equipment
- Slippery conditions around the pool
- Diving in shallow water
- Lack of adult supervision
- Loose tiles, damaged pavement, or other pool deck hazards
- Excessively shallow deep ends
- Broken or poorly maintained lights in the pool
- Getting trapped in suction outlets, drains, or circulation equipment
- Damaged pool surfaces
- Lack of proper fencing, barriers, alarms, or safety doors around pool
- Parents or adult supervisors distracted while they are talking, reading, texting, or engaging in other activities
- Failing to cover a pool or spa in off seasons
- Unmarked depth changes
- Improper training of water safety staff
- Missing or inadequate warning signs
- Use of drugs, alcohol, or other substances
- Failure to secure hazardous pool chemicals
- Improper installation of pool equipment
- Lack of anti-entrapment devices
- Unsanitary pool conditions
- Poor lighting in areas around the pool
- Faulty ladders or railings
- Defective or broken fencing, gates, or doors leading to pool or spa area
- Lack of safety or emergency equipment
- Improper pool maintenance
- Defective pool toys
- Broken or faulty motion sensor alarms
- Missing, loose, or broken drain covers
- Inadequate number of lifeguards
Some of the most common injuries that these accidents cause include:
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures, brain damage, and other head injuries
- Illness or poisoning from improperly treated pool water
- Spinal and bulging disc injuries
- Skin irritation
- Soft tissue damage
- Eye injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Internal organ damage
- Chemical burns
Who Is Liable for Swimming Pool Related Accidents?
Around 50 percent of fatal drownings of children under 15 occur outside the child’s home at places like hotels, community pools, water parks, summer camps, apartment complexes, and friends and neighbors’ pools. Who is liable for a swimming pool accident depends on the location where the injury occurred, in addition to other details of the accident.
Some parties that might hold responsibility in a swimming pool related accident include:
- Swimming pool owners or managers. Under Florida’s premises liability laws, property managers and owners are required to take reasonable measures to provide a safe environment for any legal visitor to their premises.
Possible liable parties in this category include private homeowners, apartment managers, owners of rental properties, and managers of neighborhood pools. Other potentially liable parties include owners or managers of commercial facilities like hotels and waterparks, managers or supervisors of gyms and aquatic centers, and directors of country clubs or overnight camps.
These individuals and companies must regularly inspect their pool and surrounding areas and act quickly to fix any hazards. They must also provide adequate supervision, warn visitors of potential dangers, and provide proper emergency equipment.
In addition, they’re required to install reasonable safety features like fences, self-latching gates, barriers, and motion sensor alarms to prevent the likelihood of children entering the area unsupervised.
- Local municipalities. If an accident happens at a community pool, a local government agency might hold some responsibility for the accident if they were negligent in some way.
- Product manufacturers. Manufacturers of pool equipment and safety devices might be liable if a defect contributed to the accident. For example, if a swimmer is injured because a rescue device failed or a drain malfunctioned, then the manufacturer might hold some responsibility.
Victims can make claims against companies that manufacture, sell, or design pool products for negligent actions, such as faulty design, defective manufacturing, and lack of proper warning on packaging.
- Other parties. If another party, such as another individual in the pool, causes the accident, then they might hold responsibility for the victim’s injuries. For example, if a victim is injured after another individual forces them into the pool or holds them underwater, then the person who acted wrongfully, negligently, or carelessly might be liable.
In most cases, Florida premises liability law does not protect people who are injured while they are trespassing on someone’s property or engaging in other illegal activities. However, the law has provisions to protect children and people with underdeveloped mental capacity who are harmed in swimming pool accidents. Under “attractive nuisance” rules, property owners or managers might still be liable for injuries to vulnerable parties like children – even if they were trespassing on the property when the accident occurred.
Compensation for Swimming Pool Accidents
The exact amount of compensation that swimming pool accident victims can claim depends on the details of the specific case and the severity of their injuries. The kinds of economic and non-economic damages these victims can recover typically include compensation for costs like:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Disabilities, disfigurement, or permanent injuries
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Wages lost during recovery and loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Disability accommodations
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- In-home care or rehabilitation
If your close relative died in a drowning or other swimming pool accident, then you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. While no amount of money can ever truly make up for the loss of your loved one, compensation in these types of suits can help you cover expenses and losses, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium and loss of support services that the deceased provided
- Medical costs
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the deceased’s income
In order to claim compensation for swimming pool injuries, victims must prove that another party was liable for the accident that led to their injuries and that this individual or company caused the accident through some type of wrongdoing, negligence, or carelessness.
Additionally, victims must prove that the accident happened through no fault of their own. Otherwise, the courts or insurance might significantly reduce the amount of compensation that the victim can receive.
Through Florida’s comparative negligence rules, victims can still claim compensation if they were partially at fault for an accident, but the amount of money they can get will usually be reduced by their percentage of the blame.
Victims must also file a claim before deadlines imposed by Florida’s statute of limitations. Under these rules, victims typically have four years from the date of their swimming pool accident to file a personal injury claim.
In addition, survivors of family members killed in swimming pool accidents usually have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim. After these deadlines pass, victims and their loved ones often cannot pursue compensation in swimming pool lawsuits.
However, depending on the specifics of your accident and injuries, there are multiple narrow exceptions to these laws that might give you additional or less time to file a claim. An experienced Florida swimming pool accident attorney can help you understand which laws and timelines apply to your case and help make sure your claim is filed on time.
Does Liability Insurance Cover Pool Injuries?
Whether someone’s liability insurance covers pool injuries will depend on the details of their policy. Some homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover certain types of pools, only provide a limited amount of coverage, or require owners to purchase additional coverage.
Additionally, many polices only cover swimming pool accidents if the policyholder has taken steps to reduce their risk like installing a fence and other safety features.
Injured in a Swimming Pool Accident in Florida? Get Legal Help
If you were injured in a swimming pool accident, contact Rosen & Ohr today. You won’t pay us any legal fees unless we secure money for you. To schedule your free consultation, contact us by phone or online.