Who is Liable in a Swimming Pool and Drowning Accident? (Premises Liability, Injuries & More)
While you may be aware that car accidents are the leading cause of death in children, what you might not know is that drowning follows close behind as the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. Drowning is also one of the leading causes of death for adults and the elderly as well. If you have recently lost a loved one as a result of a swimming pool accident, drowning or you suffered an injury in a water-related accident, contact a Florida drowning accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve!
Learn more about the primary risk factors, types of drowning accidents, causes and injuries, common drowning locations as well as who is liable in these cases right here.
6 Primary Risk Factors Shared by Most Drowning Deaths
Everyone is potentially at risk for drowning but knowing the risk factors can lower that risk. Here are the factors which increase the risk for accidental drowning and other unintentional injuries in the water.
Gender – Males are at a higher risk of drowning, having twice the mortality rate of females, as well as a greater chance of being hospitalized in non-fatal drownings and other injuries in the water.
Age – Around the world, children aged one to four have the highest drowning rates, followed by children five to nine years of age. Lack of adult supervision, along with the fact that children often misjudge their swimming ability and fail to realize the dangers of water play.
Alcohol or Drugs – Since the use of alcohol and drugs impedes reaction time, judgment, and physical abilities, swimming or boating under the influence puts you at higher risk for drowning.
Water Access – Individuals who live close to the water and have greater access are at higher risk simply because they spend more time in and on the water.
Medical Conditions – Certain medical conditions make it riskier to be in the water alone.
Floods – As flooding disasters become more frequent, more accidental drownings result.
Common Types/Causes of Drowning Accidents
In Florida, swimming pools are in abundance, whether at private residences, at resorts, or amusement parks. Water activities are also quite popular given the plethora of lakes, rivers, and top-rated beaches. However, many drowning accidents occur in swimming pools, leaving families heartbroken. Typically these are negligence cases caused by the pool owner or the manufacturer of the product.
While there are guidelines, regulations, and laws in place to prevent drowning accidents, they still occur. The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (RSPSA) begins by acknowledging that avoiding death by drowning is most effectively achieved with the supervision of a responsible adult. Given that many swimming pool accidents occur with no adult present, the RSPSA requires swimming pools in Florida to have a minimum of one of the following safety measures installed:
- Pool must have isolated access from the home according to pool barrier requirements
- Pool barrier must be a minimum of four feet in height and not easily climbed
- Pool must be equipped with an approved safety cover
- All doors and entrances to the pool area must have self-closing, and self-latching devices at 54 inches or higher
- Any doors/windows with direct access to the pool must have exit alarms
- Pool must be equipped with a pool alarm that sounds when water is entered
Property owners who fail to comply can face criminal charges. If you’re unsure about an RSPSA guideline, contact Florida Drowning Accident Lawyer who can walk you through the entire legal process!
Common causes of drowning accidents may include:
- Slip and fall incidents on the pools surrounding surfaces
- Broken pool exit ladders or pumps
- Diving accidents
- Inappropriate water levels
- Negligent lifeguards
- Poor equipment maintenance
- Out of place emergency safety and floatation devices
- Poor overall construction
Without appropriate supervision and safety equipment water activities become dangerous.
Drowning accidents bring devastating emotional trauma, pain, suffering, as well as tremendous expense. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a drowning accident, and you believe another party was responsible for your loss, by law you are entitled to compensation. To recover the compensation you deserve, you will need the guidance of an experienced Florida accident drowning lawyer.
Common Locations of Accidental Drowning Incidents
It only takes one inch of water to cause an accidental drowning incident. The most common locations for accidental drownings are:
- Swimming pools
The elderly and infants have a greater risk of drowning in the bathtubs, though individuals aged five to 64 also drown in bathtubs. Never leave a child under the age of six unsupervised in the tub as they may slip and fall and be unable to pick themselves up or call for help.
Though adults do drown in tubs (a result of falling, sleeping, or passing out), they more often drown in swimming pools, natural bodies of water, and hot tubs. Alcohol or drugs, which impair judgment, balance, and coordination, are often a contributing factor to adult accidental drowning. Pre-existing medical conditions, like seizure disorders, can also increase the risk of drowning.
Who is Liable in a Drowning Accident?
If you believe another party is liable for your loss, you will need a knowledgeable drowning accident lawyer who understands the law and can analyze your case to determine liability. It is also important to note that if you are considering a personal injury or wrongful death claim against those you believe to be liable in the accident, you need to do so within the statute of limitations of the state of Florida. If injured in a swimming pool accident, the statute of limitations is four years to make a claim. If you experience the death of a loved one in a drowning accident, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is best to act as soon as possible after the accident and contact Florida drowning accident lawyer at SteinLaw.
Who is liable in a drowning accident is dependent on a number of factors, including where the accident happened and if a product involved in the accident was defective. In regard to the location of the accident, the following parties can be found at-fault:
- The property owner or tenant of the property
- Neighborhood Associations
- Recreational Centers
- Day Camps
- Hotel or Resort
- And more!
These parties are required by law to ensure safe conditions to protect guests who visit their property, and when they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
In the same way, a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer may be liable if a defective product resulted in a drowning accident. For example, if a life jacket or other safety device failed, causing an individual to drown.
In a swimming pool or drowning accident, the key to recovering compensation is determining liability and proving negligence. An experienced Florida swimming and drowning accident lawyer can help you by investigating your claim, gathering the needed evidence, and representing you in your claim.
Contact Our Swimming Pool Accident & Drowning Lawyers Today
If you have suffered a personal injury or lost a loved one in a swimming pool accident, you need to have an expert by your side who cares and understands liability and negligence. Contact a trusted, experienced Florida drowning accident lawyer to guide you through the process while protecting your rights and ensuring you recover the compensation you deserve for your tragic loss.
If you need guidance following the loss of a loved one in a drowning accident, schedule your free case evaluation today with the professional legal team at SteinLaw to get the compensation (medical costs, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, lost wages, disability, and more) you deserve!