Providence Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Swimming Pool Accidents – The Complete Guide
Every summer, thousands of people throughout Rhode Island enjoy the hot summer days playing or swimming at the pool. Unfortunately summer fun can turn into tragedy due to pool related accidents and injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States an average of ten people die from drowning every day, of these ten drowning victims, two are children aged 14 or younger.
Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. Drowning is the third leading cause of death among children under 14 years old. Children under the age of 5 are the most likely to drown in an unsupervised pool.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 174 children died between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2014 due to drownings in swimming pools and spas.
According to the CDC, for every child who dies from drowning, another five children are treated for near drowning incidents, oftentimes resulting in serious, irreversible injuries.
Sadly many swimming pool accidents can be prevented. The majority of swimming pool accidents involve drowning, near-fatal submersion, diving mishaps, and falls. Non-fatal drowning cases, generally result in brain damage after four minutes of submersion, an estimated 20 percent of non-fatal drowning victims suffer permanent neurological disabilities such as learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.
No matter what the cause, negligence usually plays a part in many drownings and many pool accident cases.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents
Lack of supervision is the most common cause of pool accidents when children are in or around the pool. The CDC estimates it only takes 5 minutes for an unsupervised child to get into a pool area and drown. A parent or caregiver claimed to be watching the child in nearly 9 out of 10 child-drowning deaths.
People, especially children, need to be protected from swimming pools. A four sided isolation fence is the proper type of barrier around a residential swimming pool, this type of fencing has shown to decrease drownings anywhere from 50 to 90 percent. Pool areas should also include safety latches on the gates, intrusion alarms, and pool alarms.
Children should never go near or into a pool for any reason, unless an adult is present. Children must be supervised whenever they are around water, and they must be given undivided attention. Adults should also not use the pool unless someone else is present. Non-swimmers should be required to wear life jackets when near the pool.
Another common cause of swimming pool accidents is damaged equipment or property. An accident is more likely to occur if the pool and/or the pool area has not been properly maintained.
Loose tiles and slippery surfaces can lead to a slip and fall accident. There should be no horseplay or running in the pool or near the pool.
Diving boards should not be present unless the pool is the proper depth, swimmers should be warned not to dive into the pool except in the designated diving area. No one should ever dive into an above the ground swimming pool. Less than 10% if swimming pool diving injuries involve a diving board, most result from running and or misjudged distances. Over 50% of diving accidents involve the use of alcohol and 16.8% of all diving accidents occurred from attempting a trick dive.
Changes in the depth of the pool should be clearly marked, so swimmers do not unknowingly enter deep water.
Pool ladders and handrails should be in good repair so swimmers can enter and exit the pool safely.
Pool safety equipment should be in good repair and available at all times in case a problem occurs.
Use of electrical products near the pool can be extremely dangerous. Keep all electrical products such as stereos away from the pool area to prevent possible electrocution.
Pool equipment such as lighting, pumps, filters, and vacuums should all be maintained in good working order to prevent electrocution.
Swimming pool and hot tub/spa drains are of extreme danger to people, especially children. The vacuum suction of pool drains is powerful enough to hold swimmers underwater, particularly children. Swimming pools must have an anti-entrapment device installed to keep swimmers’ hair, clothing, or limbs from being caught in the drainage system. Swimming pools without these devices installed could cause fatal or nearly fatal injuries to occur. Improper drains can pull swimmers down, causing them to drown, or even disembowel the swimmer.
Common Swimming Pool Injuries
The most common injuries sustained in pool accidents are:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Broken Bones & Limb Injuries
- Neck & Spinal Cord Injuries
- Body Entrapment & Evisceration
Pool Owner Liability
As the owner of the swimming pool you are responsible for the safety of children and adults using the pool as well as for the safety of people who live near your swimming pool. You may be responsible if you do not take adequate measures to prevent unwanted or unsupervised individuals from gaining access to your swimming pool.
As a pool owner you are not only responsible for ensuring that the swimming pool is safely maintained, you are also responsible for being proactive in preventing swimming pool accidents.
Owning a swimming pool comes with a lot of responsibility, you may be held liable for any injuries or deaths caused by your failure to follow the safety regulations.
Pool Safety Laws
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act is the major federal pool-safety law that went into effect in 2008. This law was in response to numerous drownings and serious injuries caused by broken, missing or faulty drain covers. The powerful force of the suction caused by a faulty drain cover has been known to entrap a swimmer’s hair, body, limbs and clothing, making it impossible to free the swimmer.
In addition to the federal law, there are state and local pool safety laws that apply to both private and public pools. The laws can vary by city, so it’s important to check the laws in your area to make sure you’re doing everything you’re legally required to do.
Enjoying your pool with family and friends is a fun way to spend your summer. Make sure everyone remains safe by maintaining your pool and following the safety laws.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a swimming pool accident, let our Providence personal injury lawyers help you navigate the complex legal world of insurance companies, claims agents and legal proceedings.
You’ll find the help you need at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., where we have been successfully representing people in personal injury cases for more than forty years.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers have all been designated as “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers Magazine. Ronald J. Resmini has earned the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
We have won millions of dollars in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients. We are a top-notch Rhode Island Law Firm that knows how to defend complicated cases such as Swimming Pool Accidents.
Call the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. today to schedule your free consultation with a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer. Pick up the phone and call us now at (401) 751-8855.