Who Is Liable if Someone Drowns in Your Pool?
A pool owner or operator is liable for someone drowning in their pool if the accident is entirely or in part due to their negligence. Some examples of negligence include a failure to properly maintain and operate the pool or a failure to adequately supervise those using the pool.
In fact, the negligent pool owner or operator can be responsible for other accidents that occur around the pool area, including slip and trip and fall accidents. If your loved one drowned or was injured because of a pool-related accident, then you may be able to seek compensation.
Pool owners must provide safe conditions for swimmers
Pool owners have a duty to address potential hazards in and around the pool, taking steps to prevent foreseeable accidents and the possibility of drowning.
The National Safety Council (NSC) provides recommendations for decreasing the risk of drowning. NSC-recommended safety measures include:
- Always supervising the area when individuals—especially young people or those who struggle to swim—are in the pool
- Ensuring that children and other at-risk individuals are not in parts of the pool where suction devices are present
- Keeping emergency aid kits stocked and easily accessible
- Hiring a designated lifeguard for an event where there are many people in the pool
- Ensuring that at least one CPR-trained individual is present when appropriate
- Discouraging those who have been consuming alcohol from swimming
- Discouraging swimmers from jumping on or dangerously wrestling with others
Pool owners must also install a fence or other barrier around the pool or around the property that houses the pool to prevent people, especially children, from inadvertently falling in the water and possibly drowning.
Other parties who may be liable for a pool injury accident
While pool owners may be more commonly liable for injuries, other responsible parties may include pool service providers or even pool equipment suppliers.
For instance, if a pool maintenance crew leaves equipment where pool users may trip and fall, they may be liable for negligence.
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You can seek compensation for the losses involved in a pool accident injury
In the case that a drowning incident is not fatal, it may be referred to as “near-drowning,” according to Healthline. After experiencing oxygen deprivation during near-fatal drowning, victims may experience short- and long-term complications, per Cleveland Clinic. These include:
- Brain damage
- Lung damage
A near-drowning can go on to have many effects on your life or a loved one’s life. Damages after a near-drowning incident may include:
- Experiencing pain and suffering
- Losing cognitive function
- Requiring around-the-clock care
- Being unable to work at all
- Being unable to work as you did before
- Being financially dependent
- Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or other emotional injuries
A lawyer from our team will review how the drowning incident occurred and take appropriate action to seek compensation. This may mean bringing either a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
If you lost a loved one to a drowning accident, our lawyers can help you seek compensation for the many emotional and financial losses of a wrongful death.
How to prove that a pool owner or another party is liable for a drowning accident
It is one thing to say that the pool owner was careless, and it is another matter to prove that the owner owes you compensation. That is our job when we represent victims of pool injuries or families who lost a loved one to a drowning accident.
To seek compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death case, we will need to prove that the four elements of negligence existed in your situation:
- The owner had a duty of care
- They breached that duty of care
- This caused your injuries or your loved one’s injuries
- You suffered injuries and damages as a result
In other words, we will need to show a direct causal relationship between what a pool owner did (or failed to do) and the resulting injuries. We will also need to have evidence of the damages and losses that resulted due to injuries or the fatality.
Essentially, we will need to build a case based on compelling evidence. We can gather evidence from sources like video camera footage, records of past violations by the owner, accident reports, witness statements, and more.
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Common complications involved in proving liability
Even in cases where a defendant may not appear to be clearly liable, we can fight hard to prove their liability and obtain compensation. Liable parties and their representatives will often push back.
Some common complications in a claim or lawsuit may include:
Claims that the injured party was at fault
Some lawyers or insurance companies will try to show that the victim caused their own injuries or was even responsible for their drowning. However, we will use evidence of the incident to counter this argument.
Claims that the injured party was not seriously hurt
Even when a victim is clearly suffering from substantial harm, you could face claims that the injuries were more mild or moderate—and therefore require less treatment and medical costs.
Using medical records and statements from a doctor that can prove the injuries, we can argue against this claim.
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Our lawyers will fight for you or your loved one in an injury case
Whether you were injured in a near-drowning or lost a loved one, you should seek a consultation with our law firm to discuss your rights. A lawyer from our team will advocate on your behalf and pursue a claim or lawsuit to seek monetary damages on behalf of you or your loved one.
Some services that our lawyers will provide include:
- Collecting evidence of your drowning incident
- Determining liability for your incident
- Determining the extent of your injuries and resulting pain and suffering
- Determining the value of your losses
- Filing a lawsuit
- Handling the trial of your case, if necessary
You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, psychological trauma, the costs of current and future medical care, lost earnings, and other losses that resulted from a drowning accident. A lawyer from our firm will fight to obtain the award that you deserve.
The scope of drowning injuries and fatalities in the United States
Drowning can happen to people of all ages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paints a picture of drowning in the United States, reporting that:
- Approximately 3,960 people die from drowning each year in the United States
- Drowning is a leading cause of death for children between ages 1-14
Because of the well-documented risk of drowning, homeowners and others responsible for pools must take proactive steps to prevent drowning accidents.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a drowning accident, you are not alone. Our lawyers can help.
Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates today for a free consultation
Pool owners and operators can be held liable when a drowning, near-drowning, or other pool injury accident occurs. Our injury attorneys have won millions for victims of injury and their families, and we can help you seek compensation. We fight for you to get the best outcome possible.
We represent clients throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates today to learn about how we will protect your rights.
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