The Three Major Types of Swimming Pool Injuries
Every year, swimming pool accidents claim hundreds of lives. Most of these victims are children under 14. Additionally, for every one fatality, five victims are rushed to hospital Emergency Rooms. Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain, could cause permanent brain damage in less than five minutes. Most victims cannot survive much longer than that.
Due to the serious nature of these injuries, a Tampa swimming accident attorney can normally obtain substantial compensation in court. These families need this compensation to pay high medical bills. They also deserve this compensation for the pain and suffering these victims must endure. Since it’s impossible to turn back the clock and reverse the accident, financial compensation is the best remedy available.
Rather ironically, these drownings are more common in large groups than they are in small group settings. Frequently, an owner assumes that someone else is watching a child.
Generally, the Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act establishes the standard of care in these situations. All pools must have certain safety measures, such as:
- A cover,
- Self-latching gate with the mechanism on the pool side,
- An unclimbable barrier which surrounds the pool,
- Lifesaving equipment within easy reach, and
- Alarms on any windows or doors which open directly to the pool area.
If the pool owner violates this standard of care, and that violation substantially causes injury, the owner could be liable for damages.
The victim’s status and the assumption of the risk doctrine are the most common defenses to supervision-related drownings.
Florida law provides maximum protection to invitees. These individuals have permission to be on the land and give an economic or noneconomic benefit to the owner. Other victims have less protection. Some legal loopholes, like the attractive nuisance rule, protect some child victims.
The assumption of the risk defense usually involves a warning sign, like “Swim At Your Own Risk.” These signs do not conclusively establish this defense. Such signs simply make the assumption of the risk rule easier to prove.
Chlorine and other swimming pool cleaning chemicals are very toxic. If the chlorine level is slightly too high, simmers could sustain chemical burns and other serious injuries. These wounds are especially severe if the victim has a pre-existing condition.
These pre-existing conditions also affect bacterial infections in swimming pools. If the cleaning level is too low, bacteria could grow in the warm water. Many people have serious anaphylactic reactions to certain kidneys of bacteria.
Generally, defendants cannot use the victim’s physical or other vulnerability as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation, because of the eggshell skull rule.
These risk areas sometimes overlap. For example, if the swimming pool’s pipes malfunction, chlorine could build up, mix with water, and create poison gas. Other equipment-related injuries include drain problems. If the pool drain is too strong, it could cause a dangerous riptide which is invisible even to the most experienced swimmer.
Frequently, a design or manufacturing defect causes these problems. In these situations, the manufacturer is strictly liable for injury-related damages.
Reach Out to a Tough Lawyer
Swimming pool problems often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa, contact Mark H. Wright, PLLC. Home, virtual, and hospital visits are available.