It’s no surprise that swimming pools are a common staple throughout Arizona in homes and public areas alike. While a pool can provide a great source of entertainment, exercise, and a way to beat the heat, water can hold many dangers, as well.
Drowning and other swimming pool accidents can be devastating for an individual and their family. Even worse, these accidents can occur without anyone nearby even noticing. When these accidents do happen, premises liability and negligence can come into play, giving victims of these accidents a route to compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or died due to a swimming pool accident, contact the Phoenix swimming pool accident attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen for a free consultation on how to proceed with your case.
Determining Liability in a Pool Injury Case
Liability in pool injury and drowning cases most often falls into two categories: premises and personal. Understanding the liability in your case is essential to filing a claim and receiving compensation for the responsible party.
Many pool injuries can fall under the umbrella of premises liability. This type of liability applies to when someone suffers injury on property that belongs to someone else and the injury is due to the negligence of the property example. For example, if someone fell into a public pool because of a faulty diving board and suffered an injury, that person would be able to file a claim based on premises liability, so long as the diving board was defective due to improper maintenance.
Likewise, premises liability can also apply to personal property. In fact, Arizona law requires pool owners to follow several regulations for creating a safe pool environment. These regulations include putting up fences with self-latching gates around ground-level pools, providing appropriate supervision of your pool, having appropriate life-saving equipment, and holding a pool insurance policy. If an accident occurs in your pool due to your negligence in one of these areas, the liability falls on you.
While most pool accidents fall under premises liability, many others fall under personal liability. This applies to cases where someone’s negligent behavior leads to the accident. For example, if someone intentionally injures someone in the pool or even pushes someone else into the pool and causes injury, then the person who caused the injury would be personally liable for the accident. Likewise, a lack of observation can also lead to personal liability, especially in cases where children are involved.
Determining the exact liability in a case can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. Having a skilled Phoenix personal injury lawyer on your side can help with establishing who is liable for an accident.
Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents and Drownings
No matter where the pool or waterfront is, water-based accidents are a serious risk. Inappropriate behavior, poor maintenance, and lack of attention given to children can all create a tragedy in a matter of minutes. Some of the most common causes of these types of accidents include:
Public pools tend to be very popular places, especially when the temperature is high. This can create risk as pool-goers may jump into the water and land on someone else. Large crowds can also make it difficult to keep an eye on children, who can then move freely to areas outside their skill level.
Small children can be at great risk both in and around water – and that includes when they know how to swim. Trusting them to stay safe without supervision creates a high-risk scenario for an accident – especially drowning. For a young child, even a very shallow area of water can become a drowning hazard. Proper supervision helps keep everyone safe.
Poorly trained pool staff
Lifeguards are at pools and other public waterfronts to help keep swimmers safe. However, watching over the water for extended periods of time can become taxing. If a lifeguard doesn’t have the proper training or becomes distracted, they may waste precious seconds that could help rescue someone without injury.
Horseplay and other reckless activities
Pools provide plenty of potential activities to choose from, but some are more dangerous than others. Pushing or throwing others into the pool, running near wet areas, diving into shallow areas, and doing tricks off the diving board can all lead to drowning and other injuries.
Pool maintenance is essential to a safe pool experience. Improper cleaning can lead to contaminated and murky water, which can lead to illness or accidents. Defective pool equipment, like drains, pumps, ladders, slides, tiles, and pumps can also lead to injuries.
While relaxing poolside with a beer can make for a relaxing afternoon, it can also lead to danger. With impaired judgment, coordination, and balance, a person can easily fall or make risky decisions, or they may not notice that someone else is in danger.
Thinking floatation devices substitute for observation
Many parents put their children in floaties or other inflatable devices and think the kids will be safe in the water no matter what. However, these devices can give kids a false sense of security in the water, plus make parents less observant. Even if a child has a floatation device, it’s important to watch them in case the device is defective, or the child finds a way to take it off.
Lack of pool fences
Regular supervision is important, but so is preventing people from getting in the pool when no one is around. Pool fences help prevent people (and especially children) from getting into a pool without permission. Arizona law requires pool owners to have some form of barrier around their pools.
While people often associate water accidents with small children, even adults are at great risk for injury and death when around water. When your accident is the result of someone else’s negligent behavior, you need the help of a skilled attorney to help you receive the proper compensation.
Common Pool Accident Injuries
Drowning is one of the most common pool-related injuries. While it can result in death, partial drowning victims can also suffer from brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, which can affect various parts of a person’s life. However, drowning isn’t the only potential water-related accident:
- Head injuries. Head injuries are common, especially when it comes to diving accidents. If diving headfirst into shallow water, a person may crack their head against the bottom or sides of the pool. Lacerations and skull fractures are some potential injury types, as is brain damage, which can have lifelong consequences. These can even come from malfunctioning pool parts that may explode or break.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries. In addition to head trauma, slip and falls and improper diving can also cause neck and spinal cord injuries. Even the most minor damages to the vertebrae can cause serious pain, limited movement, and even permanent disability.
- Broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Reckless behavior near or around a pool can lead to trip and fall accidents or collisions in the water. These types of accidents have the risk for broken bones, sprains, muscle strains, and broken bones. Defective pool equipment, such as ladders and diving boards, can also result in these types of injuries.
No matter what type of pool-related injury you’ve experienced, the Phoenix pool accident attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can help with determining liability, conducting investigations, and representing your case so you can focus on recovery.
Recognizing Signs of Drowning
Many people have the impression of drowning as a loud and dramatic event, but that’s not the case; it’s possible for drowning to happen within seconds. Even worse, it can happen silently, making it difficult to notice. Knowing the signs of drowning can help prevent injury and even save someone’s life.
- Head is low in water and mouth is barely above water level
- Gasping instead of calling for help
- Head may be tilted backwards
- Eyes are shut or unfocused
- May look like they’re attempting to climb a ladder
People who are drowning are often in such a panic that they may drag any rescuers underwater with them. If you are attempting a rescue, you should approach the victim from behind to keep them from pulling you under. You should also use any available rescue equipment to help you both stay above the water. Learning CPR is also an essential skill when regularly visiting the pool or owning your own.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix Pool Injury Attorney?
While pool accidents may not be as widespread as other types of injury, they can have life-altering consequences. Because of this, it’s important to have the appropriate legal representation when pursuing a claim. With a skilled pool accident attorney on your side, you have help for legal recourse. A Phoenix swimming pool lawyer can help you determine liability, understand your rights, and earn you the maximum possible amount of compensation.
With over 60 years of personal injury experience in the Phoenix area on our side, Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can help you with your Phoenix drowning or pool personal injury claim. No matter the extent of your injuries or if it’s a personal or premises liability claim, we have the skill necessary to create the best strategy for your specific case and can take it all the way to court if necessary to help you receive your rightful compensation.
If you or a loved one has drowned or suffered a pool injury in Phoenix, Arizona, you may be eligible for compensation. The skilled Phoenix swimming pool accident lawyers of Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can help you with all aspects of your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.