If you live in California, chances are you probably own a swimming pool, have visited a local municipal pool, or one owned by friends and neighbors. Due to California’s warm weather, there are over 1 million swimming pools in the state. While most people have nothing but fun at a pool, tragic accidents occur now and then, especially regarding children.
In fact, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for young children in California, and over 30 kids die annually from accidents taking place at swimming pools. If you or a loved one have been injured while using a swimming pool, it is important you contact a Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney to determine if your case merits filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The Importance of Working with a Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
According to the state’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS), drowning is the leading cause of death among children. While adults also suffer from preventable swimming pool accidents, kids experience them at higher rates. DDS issued a report regarding just how devastating drowning accidents can be. The department found:
- Boys are 2x more likely to drown in a swimming pool compared to girls
- May and August are the highest months where fatal accidents occur
- Drowning is the leading cause of death in toddlers ages 1-4
- There are often no splashing or warning sounds associated with drowning
As the victim or concerned family member, you’re likely to be experiencing high levels of stress. A swimming pool accident lawyer can help you make sense of the legal repercussions and whether it’s best to file a personal injury or wrongful death suit.
It’s our priority to make sure that you recover, get the proper compensation, and the negligent party is held liable. Not only does this firm have a reputation for getting clients the results they need, but also for:
- Having a proven track record
- Providing one-on-one contact with clients
- Not charging fees unless the case is won
- Taking a personalized approach to every case
Don’t wait and lose your opportunity to file a claim for compensation. Instead, give us a call at 310-362-6740 or email us at email@example.com.
When swimming pool accidents occur, the focus turns to what is known as premises liability. This refers to the steps a property owner must take to ensure their property is safe for others and is often a determining factor in how courts ultimately rule in these cases. In California, owners must keep “reasonably safe conditions,” as pools are considered legally “dangerous.” If you feel an injury took place due to pool owner negligence, hire a swimming pool accident lawyer to handle your case.
For additional information on liability following swimming pool accidents, you can refer to this article.
Swimming Pool Safety Act
In California, the Swimming Pool Safety Act is a law that requires residential swimming pool owners to enact various safety measures around their pools. To be in compliance with this act, a pool owner must have at least two of seven acceptable safety measures. These can include:
- Removable mesh fencing
- Self-latching and a self-closing gate
- Pool cover
- Alarms that indicate unauthorized entrance into the pool
- Other related precautions
If no safety measures were in place at a pool where your accident took place, discuss your case in more detail with an experienced Sherman Oaks pool injury attorney.
County and State Laws
In addition to strict state laws, there can also be county laws that place even more restrictions on safety measures and how a pool can be constructed on a person’s property. In most cases, a county public health department will be in charge of enforcing such guidelines.
However, it is not uncommon for pool owners to either be unaware of these additional requirements or to simply ignore them, which immediately puts others at risk of injury or death. Since these cases can turn on even the smallest of details, rely on a public pool accident lawyer to determine if the pool where you were injured failed to meet local and state building codes.
Public Swimming Pools
Just as it is with residential pools, public swimming pools must also adhere to certain guidelines. Based on the California Building Code and the California Code of Regulations, various standards must be met for a public pool to be considered safe. A few examples of these standards include:
- Proper placement of nearby electrical outlets
- Using slip-resistant materials
- Having required signs and enclosures in place
Should a public pool fail to meet these or other requirements, you most certainly should hire a knowledgeable public pool accident lawyer to examine the evidence in your case and represent you in court.
Pool Accident Defenses
When pool accidents do occur, a number of defenses will be used by the pool’s owner in an attempt to say you or your loved one were responsible for the accident that led to the subsequent injuries. While you may initially think they have no case against you, it is important to remember that California does base many decisions in these cases on pure comparative fault.
That means the more a victim is found to be at fault for their injuries, the less money they will be entitled to when seeking compensation for damages. The investigation will take a closer look at your safety equipment, such as a raft or floaties that caused the accident. In that case, you can sue the company that made the defective product.
It is vital you hire a Sherman Oaks accident lawyer who understands pool accident cases and how to present arguments in court that allow victims to gain the compensation they deserve. It is imperative that your swimming pool accident lawyer show you in no way contributed to your injuries.
When you are injured in a swimming pool accident, it is likely the injuries you or a loved one sustained will be pretty serious. When these accidents happen, victims usually suffer:
As a result, substantial compensation should always be sought to pay for current and future medical expenses and replace lost wages from work. If the injuries are very severe, your Sherman Oaks swimming injury attorney can show gross negligence took place on the part of the pool’s owner. Punitive damages for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other damages may also be rewarded.
Statute of Limitations
Whenever an injury occurs at a swimming pool, victims and their families are of course very focused on seeking medical treatment and trying to figure out what to do next. In these situations, it is crucial that they also remember there is a statute of limitations that gives them only a specific window of opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- In California, this timeframe is two years from the date of the accident.
- If it occurred at a city-owned pool, victims must file an “administrative claim” within only six months following the accident.
Rather than make mistakes along the way, or lose out on the chance to gain compensation for a swimming pool accident, schedule a consultation immediately with a Sherman Oaks community pool accident lawyer who will listen to your concerns and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming Pool Accidents
Can I file a lawsuit for slipping and falling at the pool?
If you got hurt at or near a pool, the owner must compensate you for your injuries. But to determine if they were responsible for the conditions that led to your slip and fall accident, you’ll need to speak to a skilled lawyer. Personal injury cases are seldom straightforward.
Are swimming pools considered an attractive nuisance?
Yes, swimming pools are considered an attractive nuisance. This term means that there is a potentially dangerous condition on your property that is likely to draw a child’s attention. While swimming is a popular pastime, it could cost you thousands or millions in liability expenses if a minor gets hurt.
Should neighbors put up a fence around their pool?
Anyone who has an attractive nuisance should take precautionary measures to prevent injuries from happening. That includes putting up a fence around the pool to keep unwanted guests out – especially if there are no pool watchers or lifeguards present.
I signed a hotel waiver. What happens if I get hurt in a swimming pool?
Waivers are designed to protect property owners from being liable for injuries that happen at the pool. If you signed a hotel waiver, you might still have a chance to file a lawsuit. At Okhovat Law, we can help make sense of your rights and the type of solutions available to you.