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Who Is Liable for a Swimming Pool Accident?

August 5, 2019


Summer months in the Sunshine State are ideal for spending time splashing about in a swimming pool with friends and family. Whether the pool is at a private residence, a public facility or a private club, doctors in area hospital emergency rooms treat numerous pool-related injuries every year. Although an owner potentially faces liability issues if a swimmer or visitor is injured, it does not mean an owner is automatically liable for every injury that occurs. Statutes heavily target safety issue to prevent downing deaths for children ages 1 to 4.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three children lose their life every day due to drowning. Moreover, many near-drowning pool incidents result in life-changing permanent injuries. By definition, a near drowning happens when someone almost dies from suffocating under water. Since the individual was not able to breathe under water, his or her lungs were unable to receive and transfer the oxygen needed by their body and brain. People with limited swimming skills, swimmers who panic in the water, and those consuming alcohol or medications are most apt to experience a near-drowning experience.

Unfortunately, drowning and other pool accidents can lead to severe health complications, such as traumatic brain injury (TBIs). These can be the result of oxygen deprivation due to a near drowning incident or a blow to the head from striking a diving board or concrete walkway. Near-drowning accidents can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and the injured party may be more susceptible to an infectious respiratory disease like pneumonia. As the result of oxygen deprivation, many drowning incidents sadly end with the victim being in a permanent vegetative state with enormous medical bills.

Due to the high risk of slip and fall accidents, pool owners should take reasonable care to provide non-slip surfaces in critical areas. Since swimming pool negligence laws in Florida hold property owners to high standards of care, it is important to keep the pool and surrounding areas well maintained to prevent accidents from standing water or broken patches of pavement. The Sunshine State has a law called the Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (RSPSA), under which a homeowner may be negligent for failing to protect frail adults and children with at least ONE pool safety feature.

Attractive nuisance laws provide a legal loophole to traditional rules for determining liability. Pool owners in Florida may be liable for the full extent of damages under the legal theory of attractive nuisance unless all reasonable precautions were taken to prevent a child or frail adult from reaching any danger. If you or a loved one was seriously injured by a swimming pool accident, contact Schackow & Mercadante to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your specific case.

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