Beach & Pool Injuries: Who is Responsible?
Swimming pools and beaches are places families go to relax, but they aren’t free from the influence of unfortunate events, such as riptides, drownings, and accidents. In some situations, you can walk away wiping your brow and being grateful that no one was seriously injured, but in some cases, families are doing the exact opposite when their loved one ends up in the hospital.
Even premises where a lifeguard is on duty are not completely safe. A lifeguard is supposed to have special training so that they can identify dangerous situations before they escalate into someone getting hurt, and they are also supposed to intervene to save lives when a swimmer is struggling to stay above the surface.
If an adult or child has gotten seriously injured at a swimming pool or beach, their claim for compensation depends on if a lifeguard was present because the duty of a lifeguard is taken very seriously in the eyes of the law. It may be the lifeguard who is at fault for a beach injury.
While it may be seen as a glamorous position in the movies, an actual lifeguard needs to be attentive, reactive, and trained in CPR. They aren’t supposed to spend time looking at their phone and talking to friends, and if they are, they are being negligent in their job.
Additionally, lifeguards in California are also liable under Good Samaritan laws where they have to try to save a drowning person even if they are off the clock; failure to use their specialized lifesaving skills just because they are on a break or on a day-off can result in a personal injury claim being placed against them.
If a lifeguard responds quickly to the accident at hand, yet they cannot properly administer lifesaving aid, then they can be held responsible for additional injury or death.
Limitations on Lifeguard Liability
It’s important to note that lifeguards are not automatically legally liable for all beach and swimming pool injuries. Our personal injury attorneys know that adults have to give consent before any care is administered, so this may limit your lawsuit.
As for personal injury claims involving children, lifeguards are supposed to assist no matter what. If you want to contact an injury lawyer because your child has been injured, you can file a claim on their behalf.
Does Lifeguard Liability Extend to Accidents on Land?
LIfeguards are liable for the entire premises of the area they are watching. If you slip and fall on the concrete around the pool or cut your food on a broken bottle in the sand, the lifeguard should be obligated to assist you if you are hurt.
Just like with any accident injury lawsuit, you aren’t automatically entitled to compensation. Our public pool accident lawyer will tell you that you as a guest are expected to exercise a reasonable duty of care when on the premises. There’s always going to be a risk of slippery surfaces near a pool and beach lifeguards can’t scour the sand for any sharp objects.
Pool Accident vs Beach Accident
In California, most beaches are public, so the city can be held accountable for not maintaining the beach and ridding it of dangers or hazards. If there were problems that were called into the city reported but never fixed, those unattended to hazards will add strength to your injury claim.
Pools can be public or private, and who you need to file your lawsuit against varies depending on the pool. Like a public beach, you can sue the city for failing to maintain and properly train lifeguards at a public pool. Private pools often don’t even have lifeguards and have “swim at your own risk” signs disabling most personal injury torts.
If you or your child were hurt at a swimming pool or beach, contact our accident injury law firm. We will work to turn your devastation into compensation by fighting for you in civil court. We offer free consultations, so why wait? Call (310) 579-9082 now.
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