Injured In A Swimming Pool Accident? Get Help From Our Sherman Oaks Personal Injury Lawyers.
If you live in California, chances are that either you, your friend or a neighbor owns a swimming pool or you visit a local municipal pool. With California’s warm weather, there are more than 1 million swimming pools in the state. While most people have harmless fun at a pool, tragic accidents do occur now and then, especially those involving children.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for young children in California, and over 30 kids die annually from accidents taking place at swimming pools. If you or a loved one have been injured while using a swimming pool, it is important that you contact our Sherman Oaks personal injury attorneys at Okhovat Law Firm to determine if your case merits filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The Importance Of Working With A Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
According to the state’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS), drowning is the leading cause of death among children. While adults also suffer from preventable swimming pool accidents, kids experience them at higher rates. DDS issued a report regarding just how devastating drowning accidents can be. The department found the following:
- Boys are two times more likely to drown in swimming pools compared to girls.
- May and August are the months when the highest number of fatal accidents occur.
- Drowning is the leading cause of death in toddlers ages one to four.
- There are often no splashing or warning sounds associated with drowning.
As someone who suffered a near-drowning injury or as a surviving family member after a drowning, you’re likely to be experiencing high levels of stress. Our swimming pool accident lawyers can help you make sense of the legal process of filing a personal injury claim or wrongful death suit.
It’s our attorneys’ priority to make sure that you recover, that you get the proper compensation and that the negligent party is held liable. Not only do our lawyers have a reputation for getting clients the results they need, but they also:
- Have a proven track record
- Provide one-on-one contact with clients
- Don’t charge fees unless they win the case
- Take a personalized approach to every case
Don’t wait and lose your opportunity to file a claim for compensation. Instead, give us a call at 310-579-9082 or email us to schedule a free consultation.
Typical Grounds For Liability
Regardless of whether your family member was an invitee or a licensee, certain risks are too difficult to eliminate and too detectable, such as slippery surfaces around the pool. A lawsuit like a slip and fall when the accident happened within a few feet of the pool is not likely to get far in suing the pool owner for negligence.
However, it may not be clear if a pool’s depth is too shallow for diving or if the water has an unseen obstruction in it. Failing to warn those on the property could make the owner liable for any injuries that occur.
The kind of pool also matters. A pool that is only open to invitees, such as hotel guests or club members, can be held liable if the establishment fails to provide safety equipment like life preservers. Pool accessories, like ladders and diving boards, should not fall into disrepair. A public pool that is open to the general public, like one owned by a municipality, may have stricter rules. It may be held liable for not having adequate lifeguards on the premises. Keep in mind that government agencies are sometimes protected from lawsuits through the doctrine of governmental immunity.
Private Pool Liability In Los Angeles
If you are one of the lucky Angelenos who has a pool in their backyard, then you need to have a thorough understanding of any premises liability suits that Sherman Oaks injury attorneys might try to throw at you. People who visit your pool may be expressly invited, or they may understand that they are allowed to use it. Invitees have more legal protection from injury lawyers than licensees.
Licensees are the guests who enter your pool without express permission, but they are still welcome. You should protect them from dangers that aren’t obvious. If you know that there is a safety hazard, such as a broken diving board, then you should warn others and/or fix it.
Children also have different protections from bodily injury lawyers in Sherman Oaks. If children are not properly supervised and they are injured while using your pool, then you can be held liable. Additionally, trespassing children also have to be protected. Even if they aren’t supposed to be on your property, you can be held liable for an attractive nuisance.
Attractive nuisance only applies to children, and it refers to the allure that a pool provides to kids who may be passing by. On a hot day, the pool may be irresistible to children, but if they are injured on your property or drown in the pool, then you can be held liable since you’re the landowner. Property owners have a duty to take precautions to prevent children from entering and hurting themselves on their property. If you have a pool in your backyard, you should protect it with a fence.
Public Pool Liability In Los Angeles
The owner of a public pool that’s accessible by the community must also maintain a safe area, and they should take additional steps that a private pool owner normally wouldn’t take. Public pool owners can be held liable for not maintaining safe premises where all dangers are clearly identified or quickly repaired.
A public pool owner must also provide emergency safety equipment. If they don’t provide items like lifesavers, then they can be sued by a swimming pool liability lawyer if someone gets injured.
They can also be held liable for injuries and deaths if there are no lifeguards or other safety personnel in the area. If someone drowns while a lifeguard is on duty, then the lifeguard can also be held liable if the courts find that they were distracted or otherwise negligent in their job.
When swimming pool accidents occur, the focus turns to what is known as premises liability. This refers to the steps that a property owner must take to ensure that their property is safe for others, and it is often a determining factor in how courts ultimately rule in these cases. In California, owners must maintain “reasonably safe conditions,” as pools are considered legally “dangerous.” If you feel that an injury took place because of the pool owner’s negligence, hire our swimming pool accident lawyers to handle your case.
For additional information on liability following swimming pool accidents, you can refer to the article below.
Swimming Pool Safety Act
In California, the Swimming Pool Safety Act is a law that requires residential swimming pool owners to enact various safety measures around their pools. To be in compliance with this act, a pool owner must have at least two of the seven acceptable safety measures. These can include:
- Removable mesh fencing
- A self-latching and a self-closing gate
- A pool cover
- Alarms that indicate unauthorized entrance into the pool
- Other related precautions
If no safety measures were in place at the pool where your accident took place, discuss your case in more detail with our experienced Sherman Oaks pool injury attorneys.
County And State Laws
In addition to strict state laws, there can also be county laws that place even more restrictions on safety measures and how a pool can be constructed on a person’s property. In most cases, a county public health department will be in charge of enforcing such guidelines.
However, it is not uncommon for pool owners to either be unaware of these additional requirements or simply ignore them, which immediately puts others at risk of injury or death. Since these cases can turn on even the smallest of details, rely on our public pool accident lawyers to determine if the pool where you were injured failed to meet local and state building codes.
Public Swimming Pools
Just as it is with residential pools, public swimming pools must also adhere to certain guidelines. Based on the California Building Code and the California Code of Regulations, various standards must be met for a public pool to be considered safe. A few examples of these standards include:
- Proper placement of nearby electrical outlets
- The use of slip-resistant materials
- The presence of required signs and enclosures
Should a public pool fail to meet these or other requirements, you most certainly should hire a knowledgeable public pool accident lawyer to examine the evidence in your case and represent you in court.
Pool Accident Defenses
When a pool accident does occur, a number of defenses will be used by the pool’s owner in an attempt to say that you or your loved one were responsible for the accident that led to the subsequent injuries. While you may initially think that they have no case against you, it is important to remember that California bases many decisions in these cases on pure comparative fault.
That means that the more a victim is found to be at fault for their injuries, the less money they will be entitled to when seeking compensation for damages. The investigation will take a closer look at your safety equipment, such as a raft or floaties, that caused the accident. In that case, you can sue the company that made the defective product.
It is vital that you hire a Sherman Oaks accident lawyer who understands pool accident cases and how to present arguments in court that allow victims to gain the compensation they deserve. It is imperative that your swimming pool accident attorney show that you in no way contributed to your injuries.
When you or your loved one is injured in a swimming pool accident, it is likely that the injuries sustained will be pretty serious. When these accidents happen, victims usually suffer:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Other life-changing damages
As a result, substantial compensation should always be sought to pay for current and future medical expenses and replace lost wages from work. If the injuries are very severe, our Sherman Oaks swimming injury attorneys can show that gross negligence took place on the part of the pool’s owner. Punitive damages for pain and suffering, emotional trauma and other damages may also be rewarded.
Statute Of Limitations
Whenever an injury occurs at a swimming pool, victims and their families are, of course, very focused on seeking medical treatment and trying to figure out what to do next. In these situations, it is crucial that they also remember that there is a statute of limitations that gives them only a specific window of opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit. In California, this time frame is two years from the date of the accident. If it occurred at a city-owned pool, then victims must file an “administrative claim” within only six months following the accident.
Rather than make mistakes along the way or miss out on the chance to gain compensation for a swimming pool accident, schedule a consultation immediately with our Sherman Oaks community pool accident lawyers, who will listen to your concerns and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming Pool Accidents
Our attorneys are available to answer your questions. Below are some of the most common questions they receive. They hope to hear from you soon regarding these or other concerns.
Can I file a lawsuit for slipping and falling at the pool?
If you get hurt at or near a pool, then the owner must compensate you for your injuries. To determine if they were responsible for the conditions that led to your slip-and-fall accident, you’ll need to consult with a skilled lawyer. Personal injury cases are seldom straightforward.
Are swimming pools considered an attractive nuisance?
Yes, swimming pools are considered an attractive nuisance. This term means that there is a potentially dangerous condition on your property that is likely to draw a child’s attention. While swimming is a popular pastime, it could cost you thousands or millions of dollars in liability expenses if a minor gets hurt.
Should neighbors put up a fence around their pool?
Anyone who has an attractive nuisance should take precautionary measures to prevent injuries from happening. That includes putting up a fence around the pool to keep unwanted guests out – especially if there are no pool watchers or lifeguards present.
I signed a hotel waiver. What happens if I get hurt in a swimming pool?
Waivers are designed to protect property owners from being liable for injuries that happen at the pool. If you signed a hotel waiver, then you might still have a chance to file a lawsuit.