There’s an overwhelming number of Americans interested in swimming. In total, there is about one swimming pool for every 31 Americans including both residential and public ones.
Considering how common pools are, it makes sense that there are a ton of swimming pool accidents every year, too. Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents can cause permanent and even life-altering injuries. These injuries can lead to long-term financial losses.
While swimming is a thrilling recreational activity, it does come with some inherent risk. If you injure yourself being reckless, then you may not have much of an option for recovery. If you get injured as a result of someone else’s negligence at a pool, though, then you might have legal options.
To learn more about your options based on the circumstances of your accident, it’s best to talk with an Atlanta swimming pool accident lawyer. Below, we’ll provide a general overview of Atlanta swimming pool accidents, the common injuries and losses associated with them, and how an attorney can possibly help you seek out a claim and recover financially.
Swimming pools are relatively safe, but all recreational activities do come with some risks. Since swimming pools are bodies of water, there’s always a small risk of drowning, swallowing water, or other water-inhalation injuries. Aside from that, there are a few other types of risks that often lead to swimming pool accidents including:
- Drowning incidents
- Submersion accidents
- Secondary drowning (water inhalation)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injuries from defective pool toys
- Diving board injuries
- Injuries from unsafe diving maneuvers
- Drain entrapment
- Electric accidents
For the most part, these risks can be mitigated with the right precautionary measures. For instance, no children should be anywhere near a pool without an adult watching them. For another, the right level of maintenance can protect swimmers from over-chemicalization, bacteria, and other water-borne illnesses.
Serious Injuries That Can Result from Swimming Pool Accidents
Unfortunately, the right precautionary measures aren’t always followed strictly, so accidents happen, and injuries are the result. Here are some of the most common types of serious injuries that can result from swimming pool accidents:
- Submersion injuries (pulmonary edema, ARDS, organ failure, neurologic injury, lack of oxygen to the brain)
- Spinal or neck injury
- Brain injuries
- Sprains, strains, fractures, or broken bones
- Cuts or bruising
- Chemical injuries
In the worst situations, these injuries can be fatal. Even when injuries aren’t fatal, though, they can cause permanent and life-altering symptoms, like disabilities or permanent disfigurement. If you or a loved one sustained severe injuries in a pool accident, then it’s important to figure out what caused the accident. The answer to that will impact your options for financial recovery.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents
Almost every swimming pool accident is the result of human error on someone’s part. At times, the swimmer themselves may take on too great of a risk or willingly behave recklessly, but at other times, swimmers are unintentionally injured by the carelessness of someone else. Here are some of the leading causes of swimming pool accidents:
- A lack of supervision
- A lack of proper barriers
- Failure to install anti-entrapment devices
- Failure to post effective signs to warn swimmers of dangers
- Over-chemicalization or under-chemicalization of the water
- Defective diving boards or pool parts
- Inadequate depth markers
- Design violations
- Poorly lit pools
It’s important to determine what caused your swimming pool incident to protect yourself and other swimmers in the future. Once you know the cause, you’ll be better prepared to decide how to handle your situation moving forward.
Premises Liability Laws in Georgia: An Overview
One of the reasons you’ll want to figure out what caused your accident is because that factor will determine your legal options for recovery. In general, you can’t seek out any type of financial compensation for your losses if your own carelessness or recklessness caused your accident. When someone else’s negligence played a role, however, you may have an option to file a claim against them.
Under premises liability laws in Georga, property owners have a legal duty to provide for the safety and care of guests they invite onto their property. That being said, any private property owner or public swimming pool owner is obligated under the law to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety as a swimmer. A failure to take these steps could amount to legal liability.
If you’re not sure whether premises liability laws might apply in your situation, then reach out to an Atlanta swimming pool accident lawyer that can help.
Duty of Care for Public Swimming Pool Owners
Public swimming pool owners have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to secure the safety of swimmers. They need to provide lifesaving tools, ensure that all the pool equipment is maintained, ensure the pool has adequate supervision or posted notices, handholds, ropes, depth markers, barriers, and more. A full list of specific safety features (https://www.dca.ga.gov/sites/default/files/dph_rules_regs_public_swimming-pools-spas-waterparks_chapter_511-3-5.pdf) can be found on the state government’s website.
Responsibilities and Liabilities of Private Property and Pool Owners
Private property and pool owners aren’t held to the same level of scrutiny as public pool owners, but these individuals still have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to secure the safety of guests. Under the law, private pool owners need to warn pool users about any potential dangers that aren’t obvious. They also need to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of swimmers.
Swimming pools are also legally classified as an attractive nuisance, which means property owners have the additional legal duty of securing the pool so that children and uninvited guests can’t wander onto the property and get injured. If you have questions about your legal duty as a pool owner, then consider consulting with an Atlanta swimming pool accident attorney for more information.
Lifeguard on Duty Requirements for Public Pools
One important consideration for all public pool owners is whether or not it’s necessary to hire a lifeguard to monitor the pool. Under Georgia’s laws, all public swimming pools must have lifesaving equipment and other features, but a lifeguard is not necessary. If no lifeguard is present, then the owners must put out a “WARNING – NO LIFE GUARD ON DUTY” sign, though. They should also post the public pool’s rules near the sign.
These actions are considered reasonable steps to ensure a swimmer’s safety because swimmers should be able to read the signs and take heed to the security measures. The swimmers are also knowingly assuming the risk of swimming without a lifeguard present.
How to Seek Out a Legal Claim for Compensation after a Swimming Pool Accident
If you recently experienced a swimming pool accident that led to injuries and significant losses, then you might be considering pursuing a claim for compensation. In order to do so, you need to follow a few specific steps. Below, we’ll go over what to do.
1. Get the Care You Need
After you experience a swimming pool accident, the first thing you need to do is get the proper medical care. Sometimes, a swimming pool accident requires emergency services. When that’s the case, it’s appropriate to call 911. This might hold true if someone has drowned, gone unconscious, experienced a spinal or brain injury, or otherwise seems like they need immediate medical care.
When a pool accident isn’t an emergency, it’s still best to visit the doctor to get a full physical and diagnosis of any injuries. Your doctor can help set you up with a care plan and also fully inform you regarding the extent of your injuries. What’s more, they’ll provide you with proof of your injuries through a diagnosis and medical bill.
2. Analyze Your Losses
Next, you’ll need to consider the extent of your losses. Sometimes, it’s easy to move on from a swimming pool accident. For instance, if you fell and only sustained a few scrapes, then you don’t really need to take the situation any further. You won’t really need medical care, and you won’t experience any losses. At other times, though, you’ll sustain serious injuries that lead to long-term losses. When that’s the case, you need to start adding up what you’ve lost.
Common Types of Compensation in a Premises Liability Lawsuit
In general, you can pursue the following types of compensation in a swimming pool accident injury claim:
- The cost of medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- The costs of becoming disabled
- A loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- A loss of financial support
When the injury is fatal, surviving loved ones can seek out a wrongful death claim. This type of claim can help the family recover from expenses like burial costs, a loss of support, and pain and suffering.
3. Find an Atlanta Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
If you’ve analyzed your losses and decided that it’s worth pursuing compensation, then your next step should be to schedule a consultation with an Atlanta swimming pool accident lawyer. The right attorney will help you determine what caused your swimming pool accident and whether you have any legal recourse.
Are You Ready to Speak With an Atlanta Swimming Pool Accident Attorney?
Have you or a loved one recently experienced a traumatic swimming pool accident in Atlanta or a nearby area? Are your losses stacking up as you attempt to recover from your injury?
If you believe that someone else’s negligence contributed to or caused your accident and your losses are significant, then it may be worth your time to invest in an initial consultation with an Atlanta swimming pool accident lawyer. Most attorneys will meet with you for free to discuss your situation and potential avenues for financial recovery.
If the lawyer thinks that you have the basis to seek out a claim, then they can help you take the next steps towards pursuing compensation. You’ll need to prove the other party was negligent, the extent of your injuries, and the costs associated with your losses. Once you have a solid claim, you can file the proper paperwork and start negotiating with the other party.
Are you ready to get started? Schedule a consultation with our office now to learn more about how we can help.