The Bradenton area is known for its wonderful weather for much of the year, making swimming a favorite and common pastime here. Many families have pools installed in their yards. Pools are also found in apartment complexes, recreational facilities and hotels. While swimming is supposed to be fun, pools present a variety of dangers. Depending on where and how someone is hurt in or around a pool, that person or their family may have legal rights.
There are many ways to be hurt while using a pool. The most obvious is drowning. Florida has the highest rate of swimming pool drowning deaths in the country — 440 Florida residents drowned in the state during 2013, although this number includes drownings in pools and elsewhere. Nonfatal drownings, also known as near-drowning events, are also a large risk, especially among children. A near-drowning event can mean that the brain is deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, resulting in brain damage and other complications.
People can be hurt by slipping or falling on wet surfaces around a pool, and they can suffer back, neck and spine injuries when diving or jumping into the water.
Pool accidents can often be prevented. Making sure that children are supervised at all times can greatly reduce the risk of drowning. Similarly, installing fences around pools can often keep both residents and trespassing children from ending up in danger.
When the negligence of a pool owner or manager contributes to an accident or causes a swimmer to become injured, the swimmer or their family may be able to bring a personal injury claim against that pool owner to recover damages including compensation for medical expenses. Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires residents to keep their pools covered or fenced in. A failure to do so can make the owner liable for injuries whether or not they were negligent.
If a loved one has been injured or drowned in a pool, speak with the dedicated pool injury attorneys at the Manatee County law firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to learn about your legal options.