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Swimming Pool Accidents

Advocating for Children Injured in Swimming Pool Accidents

From water parks to your own backyard, swimming pools have become a necessity for families across the United States.

While swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to cool off and enjoy your summer, they also come with life-threatening risks with which all parents should be aware.

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Swimming Pool Injuries and Drownings

Americans love to swim — especially children. Among children and teens between the age of 7 and 17, swimming is the number one most popular recreational activity. Sadly, every year hundreds of children are injured and killed due to a drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged 1-4 years. More than 60 percent of fatal drownings of 0 to 4 year-old children occur in swimming pools. Some fatal drownings are the result of negligent property owners who have failed to provide a safe environment for your child to swim.

Common Causes of Pool Accidents and Injuries

Similar to any other premises liability case, if the pool’s property owner is found to be negligent in keeping the area safe for you and your children, you may be entitled to compensation. Here are a few causes of pool accidents:

  • Failure to maintain water clarity
  • Inattentive and untrained life guards
  • Failure to maintain self latching and closing gates that keep young children from entering pool area
  • Failure to maintain pool logs as required by state laws
  • Vacuum drains that do not have proper covers can cause serious or fatal results
  • Lack of safety equipment on hand such as shepherd hooks and ring buoys with throw ropes
  • Lack of flotation safety lines separating deep and shallow areas of pool
  • Unclear depth markers that prevent swimmers from knowing what the depth of the pool is
  • Lack of certified and properly trained pool staff responsible for pool upkeep
  • Defective pool equipment such as filters and pool pumps that affect water clarity
  • Lack of pool ladders that allow easy exit from pools
  • Emergency phone near pool not working or non-existent
  • Overcrowded pools with too many people in the pool at one time
  • Inadequate light for pool area
  • Defective pool lights

Circulation Entrapment Injuries

The CPSC defines “circulation entrapment” as being caught in the water circulation system in a pool or spa, which includes the drain and suction outlets. Here are some facts about circulation entrapment:

  • Between 2011 and 2015, there were 20 incidents of reported circulation entrapment injuries.
  • Out of the 20 incidents, only one victim was fatally injured.
  • 78 percent of the victims of circulation entrapment were younger than 15 years old.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of victims were trapped in a suction incident.
  • 35 percent of circulation entrapment incidents involved entrapment of a limb.

Your Questions Answered

We have straight answers to difficult questions to help you make critical decisions, navigate legal process and help you get justice.

Following an accident, there are always more questions than answers. At Thomas J. Henry, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your injury case.

In most situations, a property owner owes a general duty of care toward those injured on his property. How far this duty of care extends is dependent on the relationship between the property owner and the injured person. In most premises liability cases, plaintiffs will fall into one of three categories:

  • Licensee: A licensee is a visitor whom the property owner permits expressly or implicitly to be on his property without a contractual relationship or trade of benefits. A houseguest is normally considered a licensee.
  • Invitee: An invitee is an individual who visits a property for a reason that benefits both the visitor and the property owner. A common example of an invitee is a shopper visiting a grocery store. In this instance, the shopper benefits from getting groceries and the store benefits from the shopper spending their money. A residential example of an invitee would include a contractor hired by a homeowner to complete repairs on a property. While a transfer of money is common in invitee situations, it is not required.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is a visitor who comes onto a property without permission of the property owner.

After determining which category an injured falls into, a court will analyze what duty of care is owed by the property owner.  Generally, the duty of care will be as follows:

  • Duty of Care Owed to Licensees: The property owner is usually only liable for willful or wanton injury to a licensee. This means the property owner must exercise enough care to prevent injury to a visitor who is known to be or could reasonably be expected to be within the range of a dangerous act or condition (i.e. warn the licensee of a known hazard). However, the property owner is not required to inspect the premises or to immediately fix dangerous conditions.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Invitees: The property owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about. The property owner must also inspect the property and must either fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions. An example of this is the “Caution: Wet Floor” signs that is commonly used in retail and grocery stores.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Trespassers: Because there is now true relationship between a trespasser or property owner, the law is much more lenient when it comes to the duty of care owed by the property owner. The property owner is not required to fix any dangerous conditions nor must the property owner warn trespassers about potential hazards. However, a property owner can be held liable for creating dangerous conditions on his property or making dangers conditions worse in order to catch trespassers.

If you or a loved one were injured on someone’s property and believe your injury was the result of the property owner’s failure to provide reasonable protection, following these steps may help build your product liability case.

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries
  • Ensure that you or loved ones’ well being is taken care of before taking any other actions
  • Report the incident to the owner or manager of the property
  • Make sure to get a copy of the incident report
  • Take pictures of the area where the accident happened
  • Photos with a date and time are important, because evidence could be removed
  • Get names and phone numbers of any people who witnessed the accident
  • Witnesses will help prove your story in the future
  • Call an experienced injury attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has the experience and resources necessary to retrieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries

The law classifies a slip and fall injury, sometimes referred to as a trip and fall, as a tort. Simply put, if you slip and fall and are injured on someone else’s property, you have suffered a slip and fall injury. A slip and fall injury can result from falling on a wet floor in a grocery store to slipping and falling on ice in the front of someone’s residence. Slip and fall injuries are a leading cause of non-fatal injuries for Americans of all ages, with the potential of some severe injuries.

If you are involved in a slip and fall accident caused by a wet floor or an object on the ground, there are several steps you can take to help build your premises liability case.

Seek medical attention: As always, your health and physical recovery is paramount. If you need to take an ambulance from the scene to the hospital, do it – even if it delays your reporting the incident. Having your injuries diagnosed and documented by a doctor in a timely manner can help establish the damages you will be claiming later.
Report the incident: If you are able to remain at the scene, report the incident to the property owner or property manager. When reporting the incident, only provide the details you are comfort with. Items you may want to cover in the report are provided below. Make sure you get a copy of the report.
Take pictures: Water can be cleaned up and objects can be moved. Be sure you get photos of the scene as it was when your accident happened. Anytime photo is taken with a cell phone or with a digital camera, a time stamp is included in the file information. This can later be used to demonstrate when the accident occurred.
Get contact information of any witnesses: If anyone witnessed the accident, get their names and phone numbers. Their insight can help during the investigation of your accident, and their testimony can help prove your claim to compensation.
Call an experienced injury attorney: If you are injured in a premises liability accident, you can be certain that the business where the accident occurred will be hiring a lawyer. You should do the same. Thomas J. Henry has the experience and resources to investigate and prove you claim. Thomas J. Henry also has access to expert witnesses and investigators who can demonstrate how negligence of the property owner contributed to your accident.

An incident report, also called an accident report, is a formal report recording the facts related to an accident or injury. While you do want report your incident to the property owner or manager, you may want to think twice before putting your signature on any paperwork. Formal reports are admissible in court and signing such a report implies that you are in agreement with all the information presented on the document.

A few things you want to look for when an incident report is presented to you include:

  • Is the report in your writing or is it someone else’s account of how the accident happened?
  • Does the report accurately detail your accident and injuries?
  • Is the manager being pushy or trying to intimidate you into signing the report?
  • Could the business be trying to limit their liability for you accident and injuries?
  • Are you aware of the full extent of your injuries?

If you have any reservations about signing a report or if you just feel like something is not quite right, withhold your signature and reach out to an attorney. Remember, the property owner’s primary concern is their own financial well-being. Your physical well-being is much lower on the list.

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Representing injured victims from across the United States.

No matter the injury or the accident, if you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of an individual or company, Thomas J. Henry is here to assist you.

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