When are Swimming Pools Liable for Injuries?

Many Americans tragically drown or become injured each year at public swimming pools. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2020 report, 42% of non-fatal drownings and injuries involved children aged 5-14 in public pools. Victims and their families can seek compensation for their injuries or wrongful death in cases such as these and hold public pool owners responsible.

Most Common Injuries at Pools

Many types of injuries can occur at a public swimming pool, but these are amongst the most common.

Non-Fatal Drowning:

Previously, drownings were only reported if they resulted in fatalities. The term ‘drowning’ was changed in 2005 to reflect the opinions of medical experts and the World Health Organization (WHO). The current definition of drowning includes various injuries often caused by submersion, such as brain or lung damage.

Even after surviving drowning, victims can sustain brain damage from a lack of oxygen if submerged underwater for too long. Long-term brain injuries may result in loss of brain function, memory issues, and learning disabilities.

Slipping and Falling:

Slick surfaces near pools are a common cause of severe injuries in slip and fall accidents. Falling can cause blunt force trauma to the head, or a spinal cord injury can cause paralysis or other disabilities. A slip and fall on a wet surface like the ground surrounding a pool can also result in broken bones or concussions, which while more minor, could still take weeks to recover and impact your ability to work and earn a paycheck.

Diving Injuries:

A diving accident in shallow water can result in serious head, neck, and spine injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, paralysis or brain damage may result. Other diving injuries can include facial lacerations, blunt-force injuries, and soft tissue abrasions.

Pool Drain Injuries:

Drains are part of the pool’s filtration system, which helps keep its water clean. Swimmers who have long hair are more likely to get their hair stuck in drainage.

Uncovered drains could result in catastrophic damage or even death. Drains often contain suction so powerful that they are capable of trapping children underwater. 

Are New York Public Pools Liable for Injuries?  

Public pools are the only option to go swimming for many New Yorkers. Having lifeguards on duty improves safety, but accidents are still possible.

Government employees and agencies are legally responsible for inspecting the pool for any risks and ensuring swimmers’ safety. Hotel and motel management also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their pools. To minimize any swimming pool incidents, public pools must comply with several state regulations, as well as guidelines for general operation, supervision, and maintenance of public pools.

Those who violate this rule can put a swimmer’s safety at risk and be held liable for negligence. Victims who have been injured as a result of their negligence are entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim.

Swimming Pool Injuries and Premises Liability

Premises liability law holds property owners liable for swimming pool accidents resulting from their failure to maintain safety standards. The property owner must also have known or should have known about a dangerous condition that should have been corrected but hadn’t been at the time of the accident. If a victim is injured and loses income or suffers emotional distress, they can sue.

Swimming Pool Injuries and Product Liability

It may also be possible to sue a manufacturer or seller for product liability in cases of injuries caused by faulty equipment, such as a pool drain. An accident victim must show that the defective equipment or device was manufactured incorrectly or the manufacturer knew of a defect but failed to correct it. To establish the claim, the victim must prove that injury and loss resulted from the defect.

Contact Your Slip and Fall Lawyer

If you sustain injuries in a New York swimming pool, you may require ambulance services, emergency room visits, extensive medical treatment, surgeries, physical therapy, and suffer wage loss. A slip and fall lawyer at Catalano Law can assist in determining who is at fault for your injury and what you may be owed.

If you have lost a loved one in a drowning accident due to negligence, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to help cover the cost of funeral expenses. The legal team at Catalano Law can support you through this challenging time and help you determine the best strategy to get fair compensation. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free consultation.

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