Pool Drowning Lawyer in Los Angeles

Pool Drowning Lawyer in Los Angeles

Pool Drowning Lawyer

At the height of California's warm weather, there's nothing sweeter than a dip in an energizing pool. Unfortunately, these watery luxuries are also extremely dangerous. Thousands of people tragically die from accidental drownings in swimming pools every year.

Even more troubling, the youngest and most vulnerable people in our society are far more likely to die in a drowning accident: drowning is the second leading cause of death among children under 14. children who are Latino and African-American are more likely. According to the CDC, white children are 3 to 5 times more likely to drown than white children.

Many of these pool drownings could be avoided if swimming lessons were made more accessible and pool owners took the proper safety precautions. However, with increased security enforcement and a need for more investment in infrastructure, Californians are particularly at risk.

According to the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at the Dominguez firm, here's what you need to know about swimming pool drowning.

Who is responsible for drowning in the swimming pool?

The legal liability for swimming pool drowning depends on the specific facts of a particular case.

The first factor to consider is who owns and operates the pool.

Privately owned swimming pools

If the pool is privately owned, the pool owner may be liable for any injuries in their pool under the parameters of premises liability. Owners have a "duty of care" about visitors to their property. In other words, they have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of guests and take appropriate precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.

This duty increases when a person is on the property for the property owner's benefit, for example, if they are providing requested services such as gardening or childcare. Likewise, property owners have an additional duty of care when minors are invited onto their property and must ensure that all children are properly supervised around the pool.

If, for example, you invite your neighbors over for a barbecue and one of your children accidentally drowns in your pool, you could face a negligence lawsuit from the child's parents. can

To successfully sue for premises liability, the plaintiff must show that the pool owner was negligent in his duty of care to guests. At the most basic level, negligence occurs when someone fails to do what a reasonable person should do in a given situation.

A property owner can be found negligent if, for example, they fail to fence around their in-ground pool, provide adequate supervision for guests, or properly maintain their pool. I failed.

Adults on the property with no guests or hired service providers, in other words, trespassers, generally do not owe a duty of care to the property owner. Therefore, they are legally responsible for their injuries on personal property.

However, swimming pools are considered an "attractive nuisance," and pool owners are responsible to minors, even if they trespass on the property. Owners of private pools must take steps to prevent access by minors.

Government polls

What about government-owned pools, for example, those operated by your municipal Department of Parks and Recreation? Although public pools are subject to the same premises liability rules. However, a private citizen cannot bring a traditional civil claim directly against the government.

Instead, you should follow the California Tort Claims Act's protocols that deal specifically with claims filed against government entities. This procedure differs from filing a traditional lawsuit and involves a strict timeline and certain restrictions. Again, it is always best to consult an attorney before starting any legal claim.

Causes of drowning in swimming pools

Swimming pool drowning can be caused by various factors, many completely preventable. According to the CDC, men, boys, and African-Americans are at the highest risk of unintentional drowning.

The most common immediate causes of drowning in swimming pools include:

  • Lack of swimming ability. Overconfident swimmers may exceed their physical capabilities, while untrained swimmers may need to realize the dangers involved. Most schools do not require swimming instruction, and disadvantaged communities have limited access to public pools. As a result, many people do not know how to swim, which increases the risk of drowning, especially for members of these communities.
  • Lack of safety barriers or fencing around the pool. Especially in the case of in-ground pools, distracted children or adults may not see the pool and accidentally fall into it.
  • Lack of supervision. This is particularly true for young children who cannot yet swim. While you don't need a licensed lifeguard on duty 24/7 at your home pool, you must ensure that someone always supervises children near the pool.
  • Slips and falls. Advice from lifeguards not to run on deck to go to the pool. Covers are often made of materials that can be slippery when wet, and victims risk hitting their heads on the hardcover during a fall. Such head trauma can result in unconsciousness, significantly increasing the risk of drowning.
  • Panic while in water. Often, inexperienced swimmers panic while in the water. This panic can lead to hyperventilation and jerky movements that increase the likelihood that the swimmer will suffocate or sink below the surface.
  • Heart attacks, seizures, or heart attacks. Sometimes swimmers develop an unrelated health problem while in the water, resulting in inhalation and temporary paralysis.
  • Use of alcohol or other harmful substances around the swimming pool. Most accidental drownings in adults and adolescents involve the use of alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and significantly impairs coordination and basic motor skills, which significantly increases the risk of drowning.

Reimbursement for swimming pool immersion
As with all personal injury claims, victims injured in non-fatal drowning incidents can expect compensation based on the severity of their injuries and any residual disability. Generally, a victim can claim compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills, including follow-up appointments after an emergency
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Psychological counseling
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent deterioration
  • Loss of consortium (if the claimant's injuries affect his ability to enjoy companionship, moral support, or intimacy with his spouse or domestic partner)

In cases of death by drowning, the victim's family can file a wrongful death claim. In a wrongful death lawsuit, damages could be sought for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • The income that the decedent would have earned had he not died.
  • Loss of support and companionship.
The Dominguez Firm's team of attorneys is experienced in handling swimming pool drowning cases and can advise you on the best options for legal compensation.

Swimming pool drowning and injury statistics

  • About 3,500 Americans die in drowning incidents yearly, with ten deaths per day.
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children aged 1-4 years and children aged 10-14.
  • About 830 children under 14 die each year in drowning accidents.
  • About 3,600 children sustain nonfatal drowning-related injuries each year.
  • Over half of drowning victims treated in the emergency room require hospitalization or additional care.
  • California had the third-highest child drowning deaths in swimming pools and spas during the summer of 2018, behind Texas and Florida.

After a swimming pool drowning or injury accident, what should you do?

Time is of the essence with any accident resulting in a traumatic injury. The faster you act, the better the outcome for the injury victim.

  • Call 911 or get medical attention. Call 911 immediately and provide a full report of the situation. If you are in the pool with a lifeguard, they will be trained in CPR and first aid. This type of training is required for many professions and activities, so ask extensively if someone is trained in CPR. *Note: Avoid administering CPR if you are not trained, as this may cause additional harm to the victim.
  • Get the contact information for everyone at the scene or who witnessed the incident. If the accident occurred at a public pool, request that an incident report be filed with management. Take photos of the deck and pool area where the incident occurred, including any potentially faulty equipment that may have contributed to the accident. Consider filing a police report, especially in cases of wrongful death or gross negligence by the pool operator.
  • Once the victim is stabilized, document all injuries resulting from the accident. Take photos of visible injuries and make notes of any hidden symptoms. Keep copies of all documents you receive related to the victim's treatment, including medical bills, diagnostic test reports, prescription information, emergency room records, witnesses, and related parties.
  • Contact an experienced swimming pool drowning attorney. Ensure you have all the above documents available to better inform your attorney of the facts and the strength of your evidence. Only talk to insurance company representatives with your attorney present. The Dominguez Firm brings decades of personal injury litigation experience to the negotiating table. It can help you build a strong legal claim as well as help you navigate the complex claims process.

What happens if a family member or friend gets hurt or drowns?

An already difficult situation becomes more complicated when an accident happens at a friend or relative's house. Unfortunately, research shows that guest drownings in friend's or family pools are six times more likely than in public pools. This may be because we feel safe in spaces and the company of trusted close people, so we let our guard down.

So how should you handle the aftermath of a drowning injury at a friend or family member's home? If it is the case that the property owner has homeowners insurance, your policy may cover accidental injury on your property, although it is less likely to cover wrongful death.

If they don't have an insurance policy or your policy doesn't cover the accident, and you can't settle privately, your only way to collect compensation is to file a legal claim. This, of course, presents unique challenges for your relationships.

Ultimately, deciding whether to file a legal claim will come down to your judgment and situation. If you file a legal or insurance claim, consult with a personal injury attorney to determine the best way to present your claim.

Help prove liability.

Liability for a swimming pool injury accident is frequently very difficult to prove. Usually, it involves proving negligence or premises liability against a private person or entity, such as a sports or health club. Building and safety codes may require pool owners to have a safety gate to prevent children from having unsupervised access to the pool.

In other cases, if it's a public entity, such as a city, county, or school, you must follow the rules for government damage claims, which have much faster deadlines and damages.

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