Florida’s climate makes swimming pools an attractive feature in houses, apartment complexes, mobile home parks and other living communities. Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents can lead to devastating consequences.
If you or a loved one were injured in a swimming pool accident, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Property owners and swimming pool accidents
Responsibility for swimming pool accidents depends on the individual circumstances of the accident. Most claims are based on a theory of negligence. To prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff, they breached that duty and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual harm.
These types of accidents often lead to premises liability claims, which is a type of negligence. Property owners are required to maintain their premises to ensure they are safe, and warn of any dangers.
Furthermore, Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires pool owners to use at least one pool safety feature. This includes pool covers, alarms for fences, doors or windows with pool access, self-closing and locking mechanisms for surrounding fences and a four-foot barrier around the entire pool. If the owner fails to meet one or more of the RSPSA safety standards, the plaintiff simply has to prove that the owners were in violation of the act when they were injured. This is called negligence per se, in which violating a law creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence.
Other sources of liability
Generally, property owners are usually held responsible for swimming pool accidents. However, if someone is engaging in negligent or reckless behavior around the pool, such as running on wet concrete, shoving people or drinking excessively, they could be held liable.
For more information about swimming pool accidents and recovering damages, contact a seasoned Sarasota, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.