West Palm Beach Swimming Pool Accidents
Dipping into a swimming pool is a popular Florida pastime. Unfortunately, children and other vulnerable people often are injured or die in swimming pool accidents. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Health, the state of Florida has the highest rate of drowning among minors under age 14. Injuries associated with swimming pool accidents may include asphyxiation, hypoxia, and brain damage. It is important to file a timely claim if you suspect an injury, since the long-term effects may not be known immediately. At Anidjar & Levine, our premises liability attorneys can help West Palm Beach residents seek compensation after swimming pool accidents.Bringing a Claim for Damages after a Swimming Pool Accident
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there are an average of 10 drowning deaths every day across the nation. Drowning does not only happen to children. It can occur if an adult gets her hair caught in a circulation drain or if an adult slips at the edge of the pool, hitting his head on concrete.
The victim of a swimming pool accident can recover damages if another person caused the accident due to his or her negligence. The victim would need to show by a preponderance of the evidence the property owner's duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and actual damages. All property owners must maintain their swimming pools in a reasonably safe condition and warn of dangers, such as a sudden depth change, that could catch a swimmer unaware.
Florida has enacted the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (Chapter 515, Florida Statutes), which mandates that certain safety measures be taken for pools built after October 1, 2000. The goal was that when lapses in supervising children occur, the pool would have a safety feature to detect or delay an unsupervised entry into a swimming pool, hot tub, or spa. In order to be approved, residential swimming pools must have one of the following: a barrier preventing access from a home that meets certain requirements, an approved safety pool cover, an exit alarm, and doors that permit entry to the area with the pool that close and latch by themselves with the release 54 inches or higher above the floor.
Any residential swimming pool barrier must be four feet or higher, without gaps, and placed around the edge of the pool. It should be set sufficiently away from the water to prevent a child or elderly person who got through the barrier from falling immediately into the water. Any ladder or steps that go into an aboveground pool must be able to be secured, locked, or removed to stop access.
A homeowner who does not properly secure a pool can potentially be held liable for injuries to children, even trespassing children, under the attractive nuisance doctrine. Under this doctrine, a property owner may be liable for injuries to children that result because they have a dangerous artificial condition on their property, which is likely to attract and does attract a curious small child who fails to appreciate the risks.Enlist a West Palm Beach Attorney to Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries
The experienced injury lawyers at Anidjar & Levine understand how to help individuals in the West Palm Beach area protect their rights when they have been harmed due to the negligence of another party. Our office also represents clients throughout Palm Beach County, such as in Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, and Jupiter. For a free consultation, call us at (800) 747-FREE (3733) or contact us via our online form.