Swimming Pool Accidents
Drownings & Near-Drowning Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were over 3,400 deaths caused by drowning or submersion in 2007, a rate of 10 unintentional drowning deaths per day. Children under the age of 14 represent 20% of all drowning victims. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for this age group.
The CDC also reports that more than 55% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for higher levels of care. Non-fatal drownings can be severe and catastrophic. Near-drowning injuries can include traumatic brain injury (brain damage, memory problems, learning disabilities), spinal cord injuries, and permanent vegetative states.
Swimming pool drownings are preventable. Read our swimming pool & spa safety tips.
While many accidents happen in backyard swimming pools, drownings can also occur in private pools, apartment complex pools, public pools, hotels, resorts, parks, water parks, campgrounds, summer camps, portable pools, and inflatable pools. Common causes of drowning and near-drowning in swimming pools often include lack of supervision (adult, lifeguards, caregiver, babysitter), undertrained lifeguards, lack of or faulty gates, and entrapment or entanglement in defective pool and spa drain covers.
Liability in swimming pool accidents and drowning deaths depend on the nature of the accident. Liability may include premises liability (slip and falls), negligence, or product liability (defective product).
- Regarding premises liability, the property owner has a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to make sure that his or her swimming pool is safe for users or anyone else on the property, including trespassers.
- Regarding negligence, a person is liable if they were negligent in causing the accident. Negligence is the failure to do what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. This can include improper pool maintenance; improper pool installation; lack of pool fencing, locked gates, pool covers, or warnings; and hiring unqualified lifeguards or lifeguard.
- Regarding product liability and defective pool parts, the manufacturer or seller of a defective swimming pool or related equipment is held liable for placing that defective product in the hands of a consumer. This can include design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a swimming pool accident, pool drowning, or near drowning accident and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact Baker, Zimmerman, & Perez online or call (954) 509-1900 or toll free at (800) 886-LAWS. We offer free consultations and charge you only if we win your case.