Swimming Pool Accidents: What to Know + How to Avoid Them

Posted on May 7, 2018

Everyone looks forward to spending some relaxing time in the pool during summer. However, a day of fun and relaxation can easily end up in tragedy. Swimming pool accidents are very common in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 3,500 people die from drowning accidents each year. These accidents are mainly due to slips, falls, and improper diving. Swimming pool accidents can occur in public or private pools or even at a private residence.

Many swimming pool accidents occur when property owners fail to take necessary safety measures as required by the law. The law stipulates the number of life guards a public pool must have depending on the number of people in the pool. Property owners must take the necessary safety precautions and follow their state’s regulations to ensure safety.

What are the main causes of swimming pool accidents?

Lack of supervision

Lack of supervision is a very common cause of swimming pool accidents especially when young children are involved. When a lifeguard doesn’t have the proper training, or there is no lifeguard on duty chances of an accident occurring are high.

Intoxication

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that about 70% of swimming pool deaths involve alcohol. When you are intoxicated, you suffer from impaired judgment and a lack of co-ordination.

Defective Equipment

Pool equipment needs to be functioning properly at all times. Defective equipment can cause serious accidents or even death. Federal law requires that all pools should be equipped with anti-entrapment devices to prevent a swimmer’s clothing or limbs from being trapped in the drain.

Damaged Property

An accident is more likely to occur when pools are damaged. Damaged floors can create a tripping hazard resulting in slips and falls. An unmarked or non enclosed swimming pool can also be quite dangerous to young swimmers.

How do you avoid swimming pool accidents?

  • Use safety equipment
  • Perform regular pool maintenance
  • Avoid shallow water diving
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Know your swimming level

Who is responsible for a swimming pool accident?

Premises Liability

Premises liability law dictates that a property owner should be held liable for all injuries caused due to a dangerous or hazardous condition of the property that the owner knew or should have known about. The property owner should take reasonable precautionary measures to protect anyone using the property. A property owner can be held liable for:

  • Lack of fencing
  • Non-installation of warning signs.
  • Negligent supervision
  • Lack of maintenance

Negligence

Negligence is failure to do what a normal person would do. Various people may be held liable if their negligent acts lead to an accident or drowning. An employer may be held liable for a lifeguard’s negligence. Equipment installers are liable for wrongly installed equipment. Different states have enacted laws that state requirements and restrictions in the construction of residential swimming pools. This may include perimeter fences and locked gates. Failure to do this can have the property owner charged for negligence or strict liability.

Product Liability

A manufacturer or seller of a defective swimming pool or equipment may be held strictly liable for the defective product and be held responsible for any accidents or death caused by the part.

What should you do in the event of a swimming pool drowning or accident?

You should ensure that you seek medical attention for yourself or your loved one. Preserve all evidence as well as document the events and any injuries.

Whether fatal or non-fatal it is important that you consult an attorney in case of a swimming pool accident. This is because in many cases these accidents are caused by a property owner’s negligence or defective equipment. We will begin an investigation immediately to ensure that all evidence is preserved and any and all experts are retained to assist in handling your case. Time is often of the essence in successfully resolving cases like these so do not delay in consulting counsel.

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