Swimming pools are one of the best ways to beat the heat and humidity in Atlanta. Having a pool is a great way to increase the value of your home and entertain friends and family. Unfortunately, swimming pools come with risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 11 people drown each day in an accident. Another 22 suffer non-fatal injuries which nonetheless dramatically upend their lives. Call Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys for help following a tragic swimming pool accident involving yourself or a member of your family. One of our Atlanta premises liability lawyers will talk about the accident with you and advise whether you can seek a settlement.
Swimming Pool Injuries
The most severe injury is drowning, which of course happens far too often. Adults and children can drown if they fall into the pool and cannot swim or if they strike their head and fall in while unconscious.
But other non-fatal injuries are also serious:
- Anoxic brain injuries: A near-drowning accident can reduce oxygen flow to the brain, causing permanent brain damage. Someone could have impaired mobility, speech, or personality for the remainder of their lives.
- Concussions and neck injuries: Someone might dive into the shallow end of a pool and suffer a serious neck or head injury. Other injuries stem from tripping or slipping and striking the side of the pool or furniture.
- Chemical burns. Chlorine and other chemicals cause thousands of burns each year.
Fractures. A person can fracture a bone when they fall due to a collapsing diving board or slide, or if they slip on a loose tile around the pool.
Protection for Swimming Pools
The state recognizes that swimming pools pose a hazard. In particular, legislators are worried that small children will wander and fall into a pool, whereupon they can drown.
For this reason, the state requires that homeowners erect a permanent barrier around their pools, such as a fence. A house might also need alarms on any door which leads to the swimming pool. There are other regulations which homeowners must meet.
Other regulations apply to public swimming pools. A public pool should either have a licensed, trained lifeguard on duty or a sign telling you if one is not on duty. Similarly, a public swimming pool should warn swimmers of any hazards to avoid.
Can You Sue for a Swimming Pool Accident?
After an accident, we receive phone calls from people asking about their legal rights. The good news is that you can hold a swimming pool owner accountable if they fail to use care to protect other people. For example, a homeowner’s fence could be falling into disrepair, and your son sneaks through a hole and falls into the pool. The homeowner is probably liable for this accident.
Call our firm so we can review the circumstances surrounding the accident. The fact that you were injured doesn’t mean the owner is automatically liable. For example, you might have been injured by horsing around. If you ignored signs and intentionally dove into the shallow end, then the owner is probably not responsible for your cervical fracture, but everything depends on the facts.
Most private homeowners should have insurance if they have a swimming pool on the property, which is good news. This policy can kick in if the homeowner is liable and can pay compensation to an injured victim. We have made claims for medical care, pain and suffering, and lost income. Our lawyers are very experienced negotiating with these insurance companies.
Failure to Supervise Children around Swimming Pools
Some accidents happen when children attend birthday parties or other events at a friend’s home. Parents drop off their children with the expectation that enough adults will adequately supervise the children around the pool. When this doesn’t happen, children end up hurt in swimming pool accidents—and parents naturally want answers.
Call our law firm. We will need to better understand what sequence of events leading up to the accident. For example, the adults could have been distracted or looking at their phones while the children played. They might have even left young children alone at the pool while answering the door or taking clothes out of the dryer. The amount of supervision required depends on the child’s age.
What to Do after a Swimming Pool Accident
It’s terrifying seeing a child injured in a pool. What can you do?
- Help the victim out of the pool. Someone with a broken bone or chemical burns is probably conscious, but you can still help them get out of the water. And you should definitely get an unconscious person out of the pool as quickly and safely as possible.
- Call an ambulance, if necessary. You can transport someone with a broken bone or a lesser injury yourself to the hospital. But call emergency services if the victim is unconscious.
- Listen to your medical team. Medical advances have made it possible to help even those with serious brain and head injuries, but you’ll need to lean on your team’s knowledge and experience. Many victims are facing years of grueling physical therapy to help them recover as much as possible.
- Document the accident. Swimming pool accidents are so traumatic that many people panic. That is perfectly normal. It’s unrealistic to expect a parent to document an accident minutes after finding their child injured. Instead, write down what you remember when you get a quiet moment later. Note who was near the pool.
- Seek legal help promptly. Georgia’s statute of limitations gives victims only two years to bring a personal injury lawsuit, so reach out to a lawyer. Those injured in a public pool get even less time to sue the municipal government.
We Can Help Protect Your Family and Your Legal Rights
Swimming pool accidents are tragic for many Atlanta families. In this difficult time, it’s important to know that experienced lawyers are standing by to help you navigate the insurance claims process. Please call Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys today, (404) 529-3476, to schedule a complimentary meeting.