You may be injured in or around a swimming pool in Florida. To make a personal injury claim, someone’s negligence must have caused your injury.
You make a personal injury claim to recover:
- Medical expenses (e.g. ambulance bills, hospital bills, doctors’ bills, etc.)
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property Damage
The most typical swimming pool accident claims against businesses may arise at the following public places:
- Amusement Parks (e.g. Wet n Wild, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, etc.)
- Day Care
- Golf & Country Clubs
- Health/Day Spas
- Mobile Home Park Swimming Pools
- Motels, Hotels, Resorts & Lodges
- Swimming pools at a Homeowners Association clubhouse
When I use the words “public place” in this article, I am referring to the above places.
Swimming pool accident can also occur at private places such as a home.
Swimming pools at public places (other than homes) should be compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. It is designed to prevent the tragic and hidden hazard of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools and spas.
Under the law, all public pools and spas must have ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 performance standard, or the successor standard ANSI/APSP-16 2011 compliant drain covers installed and a second anti-entrapment system installed, when there is a single main drain other than an unblockable drain.
Spas or Whirlpools
Spas or whirlpools should have health risk signs posted in the immediate area. This is because these public places have a duty to warn of dangerous conditions in Florida.
A Spa or Whirlpool can be a hazard if you stay in it for too long. If someone is hurt from being in a spa or whirlpool and there are no warning signs, he or she may have a personal injury case against the facility.
The public place and/or its property manager will defend by placing blame on the victim for not using common sense while being in a Hot Tub.
Diving boards should be slip resistant. Otherwise, a patron or guest may slip and fall and get hurt.
The injured person may have a case if he or she slips on a non-skid resistant diving board and gets hurt.
Are the pools completely fenced?
Pools should be completely fenced to prevent a child from entering and drowning. A child may enter and drown.
He or she may become brain injured or die. If a child enters and drowns, the parent can sue the property owner (and its manager) on behalf of the child.
The property owner and management company will place blame on the parent(s) for not watching the child. A jury verdict will be reduced by the parents’ fault for negligent supervision, if any.
When a claims adjuster makes an offer, it will reflect the parents’ fault (if any).
Self locking/latching gates leading to the pool area
The swimming pool area should have a self locking/latching gate. Otherwise, a child could enter the pool and drown.
The parents could bring an injury or wrongful death claim if a child is injured or killed due to the property owner’s failure to use a self locking or latching gate.
If the lock or latch was broken, a child may enter the pool. If the minor is injured as a result, he or she may have a case.
Improperly Slamming Pool Gates
Actual Case (Not Mine): $400,000 for the Pain and Suffering component for a 9-year-old girl who cut her Achilles tendon (requiring surgery) after a pool gate slammed shut on her at the condominium complex where she lived. She claimed permanent weakness.
The condo association appealed the verdict. The appeals court let the verdict stand. The condo’s attorneys were from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The injured girl’s lawyer was from Miami, Florida.
Written maintenance schedule for pool area
The property owner or manager should have a written maintenance schedule check done on all the life safety features daily.
They may have a tougher time defending its case if they do not have a written maintenance schedule check done on all life safety features daily.
The injured person may have a tougher case if the property owner has a written maintenance schedule check done daily.
Daily Maintenance at a Public Place’s Swimming Pools
A public place’s swimming pool area should be maintained daily. Failure to maintain it daily, may result in a personal injury lawsuit.
Sometimes a public place has an employee who is responsible for daily maintenance of the swimming pool.
Other times they contract out this daily maintenance task. If someone is hurt at the pool area, they may also have a personal injury claim against the subcontractor who is responsible for daily maintenance.
This claim is in addition to the personal injury claim against the property owner and management company.
SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK signs
The public place’s swimming pool should have SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK signs. If someone is injured in the swimming pool, failure to have these signs could result in a personal injury case.
Pool depths marked in and around the pool area
Pool depths should be marked in and around the swimming pool area. Otherwise, someone could think that the water is deeper than it is. They may jump in and get hurt.
If the property owner fails to have these pool depths marked, and someone is hurt as a result, they may have a personal injury case. The property owner or manager will defend by saying that the victim should have realized the depth.
If the injured person had used the swimming pool prior to the date of the accident, it makes the case tougher to prove. This is because the owner will place blame on the victim.
There are some additional things to consider in a swimming pool case against a golf and country club.
Were you hurt at a swimming pool in Florida? Were you injured in another type of accident?
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