When warm summer temperatures arrive, many people will flock to public and private pools to cool off and enjoy their free time swimming. As the season continues, it is a good time to remember that safety issues at pools must always be taken seriously, especially when it comes to small children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children 14 and younger account for about 20 percent of all drowning deaths; and approximately 10 unintentional drowning deaths unrelated to boats take place each day in the United States. Thankfully, most people will never experience an accident. However, even non-fatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage.
Unlike the dramatizations of drowning depicted on TV and in movies, with loud and flailing victims, drowning often occurs silently – and could go unnoticed by a lifeguard charged with watching an overcrowded pool.
Although the Pennsylvania Department of Health has requirements for the number of lifeguards per square feet of public pool, there is no regulation for the ratio of lifeguards to swimmers. Of course, swimming safety in a pool with no lifeguard is a whole other matter.
There are also additional risks associated with swimming pools that visitors should be aware of. Slip and falls are a common accident. This is because of all the slippery surfaces both poolside and in locker rooms and shower areas. Injuries from slip and falls range from bone fractures to serious head and neck injuries.
Swimming pool chemicals can be a hazard when applied improperly or in the wrong combination. Too high a concentration can cause adverse reactions, while too little will not sanitize the pool water, leaving swimmers vulnerable to infections and skin irritants.
Under Pennsylvania premises liability law, property owners, whether commercial or private, have a duty (within reason) to protect visitors from harm and remove known safety hazards from their premises. If a hazard cannot be immediately taken care of, they have a duty to warn customers or guests of the existence of the hazard.
To hold a property owner accountable for injuries suffered, you must be able to prove that they failed in their duty to keep you safe; that their negligence caused your injuries; and that you suffered damages as a result. Examples of damages include the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation, wages lost if you missed work because of your injury, and compensation for pain and suffering.
If you have questions about compensation for injuries sustained in a swimming pool accident, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can explain the details of premises liability law and help you determine your best course of legal action.
If you or someone you love was injured in a swimming pool accident caused by the negligence of another party, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an experienced Delaware County personal injury lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. who will evaluate your case free of charge and advise you as to your legal options. Call 610-565-3700 today to schedule an appointment or contact us online. With offices located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we work with clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area.