Pool Safety 101: When a Pool Accident Becomes a Personal Injury Claim
It looks like we’re in store for a nice summer weekend! Although today is rainy and less than perfect, Jersey City is expected to have some sunny and high temps on Saturday and Sunday. You may be considering going to the community pool, soak up the rays and taking a dip.
But before you do, you better be careful — a day of fun in the pool can quickly become a personal injury claim.
Pool Accident Statistics
You may think that a pool accident doesn’t happen every day. But you’re wrong.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day at least ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of those people, two are children under the age of 14. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of intentional injury in the United States. And for every child who dies in a drowning incident, another five receive hospital care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
And these numbers don’t include exposure to chlorine. Fortunately, more and more swimming pools are trying to do away with chlorine cleaning chemicals. However, if your pool still uses chlorine as a cleaning agent, it can put you at risk of asthma, respiratory problems, and even cancer.
Your Legal Options After a Pool Accident
It’s a hot day and you decide to bring your child to the community pool. It’s filled with people and the lifeguards are busy with their phones more than doing their jobs. As your child starts playing in the pool, someone jumps into the pool near by. The ripple in the waves puts your child under water. Not a very strong swimmer, she struggles to make it to the surface. The lifeguards don’t notice the pool accident. You dive in and save your child. She is crying and sputtering. You call 911. Do you have a legal case?
Yes, this is definitely a premises liability case. Because the lifeguards have failed in their duty of care, they are liable for your child’s injuries.
Of course, the case we outlined above is an extreme example. But let’s change the scenario and say this was a neighbor’s backyard pool. Can you sue your neighbors? This can be a little more tricky. Like in a slip and fall case, homeowners are responsible for any accidents that occur on their property. Yet, unless it is a commercial or multifamily residence, you are unable to bring a claim against a single-family homeowner because that owner does not have a duty to keep the area safe for visitors. Tricky, huh?
Pool Safety Tips
If you’re planning to take a trip to a community pool any time this summer, stay safe with these tips:
- Keep an eye on children around the pool, especially if they aren’t the strongest of swimmers.
- Keep your children away from pool drains, pipes or any other openings that could entrap a child.
- After you’re done swimming for the day, take a quick shower to wash the chlorine off your skin and swimsuit.
- Always make sure if there’s a lifeguard on duty.
- Teach your child how to swim or enroll him/her in lessons. Join in if you don’t know how!
And if you do get into a pool accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone. We will outline your legal options and let you know if you have a personal injury claim.