Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers in Orange County
Swimming pools are great places for fun in the summer, but they require an immense amount of maintenance. Pool owners must regularly drain, clean, and disinfect their pools, and put up fencing to keep out wandering children. When property owners neglect their obligations, a serious accident can occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an OC swimming pool, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the liable parties and receive financial compensation that covers your medical expenses, lost income, and other costs following the accident.
There are different state and federal laws covering the maintenance of swimming pools for public use. When a property owner fails to follow these laws, his or her guests are at risk for devastating injuries. Swimming pools carry several different hazards, such as:
- Drowning: Any children playing at a pool, whether at a private residence or in a public park, must have adult supervision. Drowning claims thousands of lives in the U.S. every year, as oxygen deprivation only takes a matter of minutes to be lethal.
- Contaminated water: Having proper sanitation is vital for all pools. While many pool owners will use chlorine as an effective disinfectant, if there is not enough of the chemical in the water, swimmers are at risk for a host of bacterial diseases.
- Falls: Water often splashes over the edge of the pool and can create a slick surface for anyone who may be walking by. It’s all too easy to slip and fall if you are not taking extreme caution. Slip-and-fall accidents can result in severe head trauma, bone fractures, and other serious injuries.
- Diving: Without prior practice or the ability to see where you are going, diving into the pool is a reckless activity that can end in paralysis. If there are no posted warning signs and you cannot tell the depth of the pool prior to your dive, or if there are any obstructions in the way, head injuries can also result.
- Electrocution: Broken pool lights, frayed wires, and other malfunctioning electrical systems may be sitting in water, which is highly conductive, and can cause an electrical current to flow throughout the pool. Electricity can do extreme damage to our internal organs and systems, leading to shock, cardiac arrest, and severe burns.
- Suction: When pool drains lack the proper safety measures in place to control their pressure, they can easily pull in swimmers with long hair or loose clothing. With the immense suction force, the swimmer is trapped underwater and will drown within minutes, or suffer lifelong brain injury from anoxia.
Swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on where they are located and what they are used for, different pools pose different risks to patrons. For instance, an above-ground pool in a friend’s backyard surrounded by grass isn’t going to have the same risk of a slip-and-fall accident as a city pool. But homeowners and public pool managers are required to guard against foreseeable accidents, regardless. The most common locations for swimming pool accidents include:
- Private residences
- Apartment complexes
- Public parks
- Gyms & exercise areas
Swimming pool accidents fall under the category of premises liability. In the state of California, pool owners, both private and public, have a responsibility to keep their pools clean and reasonably safe. Under California law, anyone who visits a premises is grouped into one of three categories, and the pool owner’s liability will vary depending on what it is:
- Trespassers: Anyone who enters a premises without the consent of the owner. Property owners are generally not liable for their injuries, though Orange County courts consider these on a case-by-case basis.
- Licensees: A licensee is an individual who is on the property with consent from the owner - either express or implied. So long as owners don’t willfully attempt to harm the licensee and provide them with proper warning of non-apparent dangers, they will not be held liable.
- Invitees: These people are specifically invited by the property owner to come onto the premises. Property owners have a duty to prevent harm to their invitees and provide proper warning of any dangers.
When you go to community pools, swim laps at the gym, or are invited to our neighbor’s pool, any injury you receive could be the responsibility of the owner or municipality. Premises liability cases can quickly become complex, and when you are dealing with the consequences of a tragic swimming pool accident, it’s a wise decision to work with a team that has the experience and knowledge to help you fight your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, we are here to help. At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we will identify the liable parties and file a claim to recover your damages. We understand how difficult this time can be, which is why we are dedicated to helping you through each step in the legal process. Contact an Orange County injury attorney at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation.
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