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Swimming Pool Accidents

Every year, hundreds of people go into swimming pools across the country and drown while thousands of others sustain serious injuries. However, most pool accidents are preventable as they happen when an adult fails to supervise a child correctly or when the pool equipment isn’t properly maintained, or it fails.

If you sustained an injury in a swimming pool, you might be unable to work for a set period. You may also have significant medical bills to deal with and time to work on your rehabilitation.

You might also have to partner with a swimming pool accident lawyer to bring a claim against the pool operator, property owner, maintenance company, or manufacturer who made the defective pool equipment to recover any damages.

swimming pool accident lawyer in hartford county

Swimming Pool Accident Statistics

Swimming pools draw people of all ages during the summer months, and both children and adults spend plenty of time splashing around during the warm weather. But, where there’s a chance to have fun, there’s also a very real danger, and being in or around a swimming pool is no different.

There are 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings and 8,000 nonfatal drownings in the United States every year. This works out to roughly 11 drowning deaths every day and 22 nonfatal drownings every day.

Children are at a higher risk of suffering from fatal or nonfatal drowning accidents than adults. CPSC reports that between 2017 and 2019, there was an average of 389 spa or pool-related fatal drownings a year, and they involved children younger than 15 years old.

Also, in 2021, spa and pool-related nonfatal drowning injuries spiked by 17%, and there were 6,800 reported cases compared to 5,800 cases in 2020. When you look at fatal child drownings, 73% of them involved children below five years old.

If you look at a comprehensive study of submersion or drowning accidents involving children under five years old in Florida, California, and Arizona, CPSC discovered some disturbing trends, including:

  • Most Had Parental Supervision – At the time of the drowning or submersion accident, the victim had one or two parents supervising them. Roughly 46% of the kids were seen in the house last, 23% of them were seen on a patio, porch, or in the yard, and 31% were around or in the pool. The survey found that 69% of the children were not expected to be around the pool, but they were found in the water.
  • Most Accidents Are Fast – Any pool accidents involving young children are very quick. The survey found that 77% or three out of four victims had been out of their parent’s sight for less than five minutes.
  • Most Victims Were Younger – In the study, 75% of these victims were one to three years old, and 65% of the group were boys. Toddlers have capability levels that change daily, which is believed to be a contributing factor.
  • Most Were in Familiar Surroundings – Most submersion or drowning accidents happen when the kids are in familiar surroundings. On average, 65% of the accidents occurred in a pool owned by a family member and 33% of the accidents happened in a relative or friend-owned pool.

What Types of Injuries Result From Accidents at Swimming Pools?

Swimming pool injuries spike when the weather heats up. During the hotter summer months, going for a swim is a very popular activity. However, though swimming is a lot of fun, safety is a huge concern. There are several common injuries resulting from accidents at swimming pools, and they include:

Diving Injuries

When you dive into a swimming pool, you may not think about how deep the water is. However, if you dive into water that is too shallow, you can end up with life-altering injuries. Diving into shallow water can cause neck, brain, or head injuries. In serious instances, you can end up with paralysis or brain damage. Also, if you lose consciousness, you could drown.

Diving actually tops the list as one of the top five causes of paralysis or spinal cord injuries. The study showed that 89% of the people who sustained injuries while diving were male, and 11% of the divers were female. Most of the people who sustained injuries were between 20 and 29 years old.

Pool Drain Injuries

r away from these drainage systems, and drain injuries aren’t uncommon. Some pool drains can exert up to 350 pounds of pressure for every square inch. This is more than enough to cause severe injuries or death if the drain doesn’t have a cover fastened on correctly.

The suction power is so strong that it can rip your organs from your body, and this has happened with these types of accidents. Some pools come equipped with a safety vacuum cutoff, so if someone gets trapped, the suction cuts off. However, since not all drains have this feature, keeping both kids and adults away from drains is essential.

Slip and Fall Injuries

As experienced Hartford County slip and fall lawyers we can tell you that a lot of pools have signs posted that tell people not to run as the area around the pool is usually wet. Water drips as you leave the swimming pool, or it can splash up on the floor. Wet surfaces are usually slippery, and running increases the chances of having a slip-and-fall injury. Posting signs is a necessary safety precaution.

At first glance, a slip-and-fall accident might not seem so serious. However, slips and falls have been the cause of severe or fatal injuries. In fact, every year, roughly 155,000 injuries occur around or in swimming pools, and many of those are from slipping and falling. Common injuries include fractured bones, head injuries, back injuries like herniated disks, and spinal cord tears.

What Types of Cases Related to Swimming Pool Accidents Do We Handle?

You want an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyers on your side to help you navigate the lawsuit process, and at our Hartford County injury law firm, we commit ourselves to ensuring that pool operators are held accountable for any injuries you may have sustained on their watch. Most swimming pool injuries are easily avoidable if the management and staff have the necessary safety precautions in place.

We have experience representing clients in swimming pool accident cases in a broad range of circumstances, including:

  • Defective pool drains
  • Defective pool equipment
  • Drowning
  • Improper supervision or lifeguard negligence
  • Insufficient or no pool lighting
  • Issues with the water quality, including murky water
  • Negligence and premises liability
  • Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall injuries
  • Wrongful death

Connecticut Laws and Requirements for Swimming Pools

In Connecticut, every person who owns land that has a swimming pool on it that has 24 or more inches of water at any point has to have a four-foot enclosure around it. Also, the top of the barrier has to be a minimum of 48 inches above the grade measured on the swimming pool barrier’s side. You get a two-inch maximum distance allowance between the bottom of the barrier and the grade.

This enclosure has to have a self-latching, self-closing gate on it, and the barrier has to be large enough to make the pool inaccessible to small children. The latching device has to allow for outward access to the pool, and it has to be 54 inches from the bottom of the gate as a minimum

Along with having an enclosure, Connecticut Public Act 99-140 requires all pools to have an alarm system that will sound when an object or person over 15 pounds enters the area. Also, the alarm has to emit a sound that is a minimum of 50 decibels or louder.

Who Is Responsible if I’ve Been Injured at a Swimming Pool?

In most instances, the property owners are liable if there is an accident in their swimming pool. This is the case no matter if the accident happened in a public pool, private residence, or private club. However, not every accident is the property owner’s fault. Whether or not the property owner can be held liable depends on how well they maintained the pool, your accident’s circumstances, and why you were on the property in the first place.

There are premise liability laws in place that require any property owner to take steps to ensure visitor safety. These laws require that any property owner exercise ordinary care when they have guests over, and this encompasses private and public pools. The property owner has to maintain and meet specific safety standards. If they don’t and someone suffers from an injury, the property owner may be liable and will have to answer to a Hartford County swimming pool or premises liability lawyer.

For example, the pool owner has to have fencing around the pool that meets state guidelines, ensure the chemical levels are correct, keep the pool clean, and remove hazards from the pool deck. However, if the owner fails to meet these standards, it doesn’t automatically entitle you to damages. Your status on the property will dictate whether or not you can recover compensation.

  • Invitee – If you were in a public pool at the time of the accident, you were an invitee. The duty of care from the pool owner is highest with this status. Premise liability laws require the owner to fix any hazards, maintain safety standards, and perform regular property inspections to find potential hazards. If the owner doesn’t perform inspections or maintenance and injuries happen as a result, they can be liable.
  • Licensees – Licensees enter private property for social reasons. You could be a guest at a pool party, which would make you fall into this category. In this instance, the property owner has to warn you of any potential hazards they know about that may not be immediately obvious. If the property owner doesn’t warn you and you get injured, you could be entitled to damages.
  • Trespassers – The only duty of care any property owner will have to a trespasser on the property to not purposefully cause them injuries. This means that any trespasser usually can’t get a personal injury attorney for the purpose of suing for injuries sustained while they were trespassing. However, property owners may have to warn trespassers of hidden hazards in some instances. For example, if the neighbors routinely break into the yard to use the pool and the pool owner knows this, they have a duty of care to warn the trespassers of any broken equipment like a diving board.

How Can a Swimming Pool or Drowning Accident Lawyer Help?

Swimming pools naturally present risks, and it’s essential that pool owners take steps to help lower these dangers. When a swimming pool owner fails to fulfill their legal obligations or is negligent, they are responsible for any injuries as a direct result. A personal injury lawyer in Hartford can help injured victims or people who lose loved ones as a result of a swimming pool injury in the following ways:

  • Gather the evidence required to help negotiate a settlement or pursue civil damages in a lawsuit in court.
  • Identify all responsible parties who the law can hold responsible for drownings or pool injuries.

You are entitled to compensation, and you have legal rights for any injuries or the death of a loved one, but you need to know how to file a claim correctly. This includes knowing the best time to take action and what legal grounds you have for compensation.

A knowledgeable swimming pool accident lawyer can take care of all of the required steps in the litigation process and fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the death of a loved one.

Drowning Accidents and Wrongful Death

Drowning can quickly end a person’s life, and young children are at the highest risk. When someone drowns, the family has to figure out a way to move on without them. Even when someone almost drowns and survives, they can sustain serious injuries. Just minutes after a person stops breathing or if they experience a decrease in oxygen, permanent brain injuries can happen.

If a loved one dies due to drowning, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim, and you’ll need a swimming pool accident attorney or wrongful death lawyer to guide you through the process.

Top Local Hartford County Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys

For 30 years our Connecticut personal injury lawyers have fought hard to ensure that our clients receive the maximum compensation possible for their injuries. We have successfully gotten a range of compensation for our clients, including compensation for lost wages, current and future medical bills, rehabilitation, and noneconomic damages.

Learn why clients entrust us with their cases. With our experience, we know when to settle and when to be more aggressive. We’ll work with you to help ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to. Call us at 860-406-7611 or fill out our secure form to schedule a meeting with our experienced attorneys.

Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our local swimming pool accident and drowning accident lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.