Water safety is essential to review with your family and friends before enjoying your own or another’s swimming pool. It only takes a second before someone is involved in an accident or worse, a fatality. Being proactive and knowing what causes these types of accidents and even how to avoid them will mitigate some of these risks.
According to the Red Cross, ten people die each day from unintentional drowning, and on average 2 of them are under age 14. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children ages one to four than any other cause of death, except birth defects. Additionally, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
To mitigate the risks of these tragedies, here are the top 4 common causes of swimming pool accidents.
Slip and Falls in or Near a Swimming Pool
Slip and fall accidents shouldn’t happen as often as they do if there is proper supervision. Slip and fall accidents typically occur on wet surfaces. The liability lies with the homeowner or facility where the pool is located to ensure there are mats, non-slip surfaces, and gating to prevent these incidents.
If you are a homeowner, it is your responsibility to remind your guests that the area around your pool is slippery and wet. You should make sure there is always someone supervising your guests, especially children. If an injury occurs, and you are a victim of a swimming pool accident in Florida, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the owner. Homeowners should do everything to ensure the safety of their visitors while using their pool.
Near-Drowning Accidents in Private and Public Pools
When a person nearly drowns, this can be a frightening experience that can also leave long-term effects on the brain and incur high-cost hospitalization damages. Most near-drowning accidents in Florida simply occur because of neglect. If you are intoxicated while using a pool or fail to supervise children or people with disabilities who cannot swim, a near-drowning could occur on your watch and you may be liable for damages. Whether a near-drowning occurs in a public or private pool, victims may be able to hold the parties who acted negligently legally liable. These types of lawsuits can lead to large damage awards when successful.
If a person needs to be hospitalized because of hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the brain, the severity of the damage can range from simple low oxygen levels to permanent brain damage. The Home Safety Council projects medical costs for a near-drowning victim can range between $75,000 and $180,000 a year for long-term care. Even worse, a single injury from brain damage caused by near drowning can be in the millions of dollars.
Drain Entrapments Can Cause Injuries
In 2008, Congress passed legislation called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act to prevent the hazards of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools and spas. These accidents occur when a limb, hair, jewelry, or clothing is caught in a drain, which can cause serious bodily injuries, including broken bones and lacerations. A person may also drown or nearly drown if they get stuck.
Swimming pools equipped with anti-entrapment devices will decrease the likelihood of these accidents, but you should also consider having backup devices. An established pool management group highly recommends having a backup device in case your anti-entrapment devices fail. Having regular maintenance on your pool devices will also decrease the risk of these accidents. Even with all these precautions, however, close supervision is the key to keeping everyone safe.
Lack of Pool Safety Fencing
Having a safety fence for your pool is another top way to decrease unwanted accidents. Safety fences and other security measures can keep people out of the pool when there is no one available to supervise them. Children, in particular, are at a high risk of falling into a pool and drowning. A fence can help keep them safe. Safety fences are not always easy decisions because of cost and other possible manufacturer issues that may arise; however, the effort and cost that goes into erecting a pool safety fence is well worth it.
Get on the Road to Recovery with a South Florida Pool Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries from a swimming pool accident in South Florida, be sure to contact the top-rated personal injury attorneys at Baker Legal Team. Attorney Robert Baker has secured millions of dollars of compensation for injured clients throughout his legal career and can help you gain peace of mind after a serious accident.
Robert is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and an Avvo rated “Top 10.0 Superb Personal Injury Attorney.” To schedule a free case review, complete an online contact form or call today at (561) 599-5568.