The person whose negligent action or inaction caused or contributed to your injuries is liable for a swimming pool accident.
Does It Matter if My Injury Occured at a Public or Private Pool?
No, it does not. As long as someone else’s negligence caused or directly contributed to your injuries, they can be liable, whether you are at:
- A pool at a hotel or your apartment complex
- A friend’s pool
- Public pool
What Negligent Actions Might Entitle Me to Compensation?
Swimming pool owners, regardless of whether the land is public or private, must keep their pools safe for anyone who uses them. This is due to premises liability laws that require owners to keep all parts of their property safe for visitors. Any of the following could make a pool owner liable for pool injuries:
- A lack of “No Diving” signs
- No lifeguard (and no “No Lifeguard on Duty” signs)
- A distracted or otherwise negligent lifeguard
- No fence around the pool (Pools are a known attractive nuisance. Children trespassing on the property can drown if the pool is easily accessible.)
Is the Pool Owner Liable If I Was Not Invited Onto the Property?
Most likely not. If you broke into someone’s backyard at night to swim in their pool and injured yourself, that person would not be liable.
There is one big exception: the trespasser was a child. Georgia’s attractive nuisance law holds property owners liable for injuries trespassing children suffer if the child entered the property to engage with an “attractive nuisance” (i.e., a manmade object that a child would find enticing, such as a pool). For example, if your child trespassed on a neighbor’s property and drowned in an unfenced pool, you would likely be entitled to compensation.
For What Types of Accidents and Injuries Might I Be Able to Recover Compensation?
Drowning: If someone who was supposed to be supervising your loved one failed to do so, and your loved one drowned as a result, that person can be liable.
Submersion injuries (previously called a “near drowning”): You can recover compensation for the after-effects of a submersion injury (e.g., cognitive effects that resulted from the brain being without oxygen, cardiovascular disorders, etc.) Whoever was in charge of supervision can be liable for a near drowning.
Slip and fall: Injuries might include broken bones and head injuries. The property owner will likely be liable for any injuries you suffer. If you were running around the pool, you might be liable for your own injuries.
Neck and spine injuries: Often resulting from diving in too-shallow water, a neck or spine injury can lead to paralysis or other complications. If the injuries resulted from diving in too-shallow water, the pool owner can be liable if there were no warning signs.
Head injuries. A person can sustain a head injury at a pool from a slip and fall, a diving or jumping accident, and from horseplay. In most cases, the pool owner will be liable; however, in cases of horseplay, you might be partially liable.
Drain injuries: Can include damage to body parts, drowning, or submersion injuries. If the drains did not comply with regulations, the pool owner could be liable for any injuries that occur.
Contaminated water. Many people do not observe correct pool hygiene, and others knowingly go for a swim while sick. The most common infections and illnesses from pools are E. coli, parasites, Legionnaire’s disease, norovirus, and intestinal infections. A severe infection can be fatal to a person with a weak immune system. Both the person who swam while sick and the party in charge of maintenance can be liable.
What Types of Damages Can You Get for a Drowning?
If you lost your loved one to drowning caused by the negligence of someone else, you might have a wrongful death claim. You might receive compensation for the medical and final expenses, loss of services and support, loss of companionship, emotional anguish, and the pain and suffering your loved one experienced from the moment of injury until the time of death.
What Types of Damages Can You Get for a Swimming Pool Injury?
The same kinds of damages are available for swimming pool injuries as are in any other type of negligence personal injury case. These items can include:
- Medical bills (current and future care)
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you suffered injuries or a loved one died from drowning or injuries at a pool due to someone else’s negligence, please call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C., so we can help you. For a caring and compassionate consultation at no charge to you, call 404-474-0804 today.