Everyone knows that going swimming has a little bit of risk, that’s part of the fun. We learn how to swim so that we can safely play in pools and do fun tricks in the water. But when someone gets injured, all the fun stops. Whether that someone slipped and twisted their ankle or nearly drowned in the deep end, everyone gets out of the pool. The lifeguard does their best to help the injured party on-site and an ambulance is called if needed.
The unfortunate truth is that most swimming pool accidents can be avoided if the person responsible takes the proper care. This is why so many swimming accidents will become an issue in the courtroom. If someone who was supposed to make their swimming pool safe failed to do so, and then someone gets hurt, they are just as liable as an employer or theme park owner in the same situation.
If you’ve been in a swimming accident, we’re here to help you determine if your situation really is a legal liability issue where the pool owner or manager may need to step up and take responsibility for your injuries. Let’s start by taking a look at the type of injuries that usually occur around a pool.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
Anyone who owns a pool needs to be acutely aware of the many ways people can get injured in and around pools. A swimming pool can be a great deal of fun, but it is also a source of slippery tiles, deep water, and the temptation to try things we normally wouldn’t. So it’s important to take precautions to prevent the usual collection of swimming pool related injuries.
Anyone can suffer one or more of these injuries as a result of your time near a swimming pool if safety measures aren’t in place.
Slips and Falls
Pools and wet tile go hand in hand. Not only do enthusiastic swimmers like to splash water out of the pool, but filling and maintaining the pool also often leaves large slippery puddles on the tile and surrounding concrete. This leads to an increased risk of slipping and the injuries that come with falling.
Neck injuries, head injuries, and spinal injuries are all unfortunately common along with the usual scrapes and bruises from less damaging falls. Sprains and strains are also highly likely because of how your foot twists under pressure after a slip.
Diving Board Injuries and Drowning
Both low and high diving boards are a serious injury risk for anyone who does not know exactly what they are doing. Jumping wrong is one thing, but it’s usually the landing that causes real damage. Landing wrong after an attempted diving trick can lead to anything from skin contusions to serious spinal injuries.
This is because the water acts a lot like a hard surface as you hit it. There is significant resistance and the way you fall from a diving board really matters. Some people also get injured by not jumping far enough and hitting the diving board on the way down. This is one of the leading causes for broken bones and concussions.
Drowning can happen even to people who know how to swim if they are sick, medicated, or hit their head.
Pools are not as clean as we’d like them to be. Unfortunately, there’s a fair chance that an open wound can become infected because of a bacteria or virus that has been surviving in the pool environment. If a pool is not properly maintained and regularly cleaned, the chance of infection becomes much higher.
Finally, electrocution can happen if someone has an unsafe pool maintenance machine or drops something into their pool that delivers a dangerous electrical current. While it is rare, it’s also possible to suffer electrocution injuries in a swimming pool.
Who Could Be Liable
Sometimes, swimming accidents can be prevented. It is the responsibility of whoever owns or manages the swimming pool to make sure that no one gets hurt during reasonable activities. The way the pool is designed, the rules they enforce, and how the pool is maintained can all help to prevent accidents. The responsibility for accidents flows upward from hired supervision to pool managers to the owners of the property.
A lifeguard’s job is to keep an eye on swimmers and sunbathers while they use the pool. They are tasked with enforcing the house rules and responding to emergencies. A lifeguard may be liable if they fail to one or both of these two things; either by allowing dangerous activities without giving warnings or by failing to rescue someone.
If a pool is run like a business or has a manager, they may be liable for the decisions they make. A poorly maintained pool, for instance, might cause an infection or drowned due to broken equipment. This is likely the fault of the pool manager and the pool business is liable.
Lifeguard management is another example of pool manager liability. If the lifeguards are forced to work in heat-stroke conditions or for unhealthily long shifts, the manager may be at fault.
The owner of the pool holds the ultimate responsibility for how the pool is built, maintained, and managed. They are the ones who must OK major repairs and upgrades, like safety rails and new pool ladders. They can determine how rigorously the pool is kept clean and chemically balanced. And if a pool has no employees or lifeguards, they are the only ones responsible for what happens on their property.
Filing a Personal Injury Case After a Pool Accident
For anyone who has recently experienced a swimming pool accident, there’s a good chance your injury could have been prevented. The question is who was ultimately responsible for the breach in safety that concluded in your injury.
A personal injury lawyer will be the most capable of helping you put together the details and make a strong case for damages if someone failed to do their part in preventing your injury. To consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in swimming pool cases, contact us today.