Phoenix Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers
In Arizona, there are roughly 615,000 swimming pools, creating year-round concerns for parents. The most obvious concern is the threat of drowning, particularly for younger children. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) estimates that 3,200 children are hospitalized each year due to drowning, submersion, or injuries that occur around a pool. There are many incidents of drowning in public pools; however, 80% of drownings occur in private pools.
But that’s not the only risk. Swimming pools can be fun and refreshing, especially during Arizona’s hottest months. But, by their very nature, swimming pools are a hazardous environment.
Pool areas are rife with slip-and-fall hazards, including wet decks, diving boards, ladders, high-dive platforms, locker rooms, showers, and slides. In addition, there are plenty of tripping hazards around pools, such as lawn chairs, shoes, towels, bottles, cans, glasses, air mattresses, toys, etc.
Water, cement, slick surfaces, and bare feet can all contribute to slip-and-fall injuries. While some accidents only result in minor scrapes or a skinned knee, others can result in broken bones, internal bleeding, life-threatening head injuries, and drowning.
One major cause of swimming pool injuries is diving, whether from a diving platform, a diving board, or from the side of the pool. Diving accidents often cause head, neck, and back injuries, and have been known to result in full or partial paralysis and drowning.
Approximately 65,000 adolescents visit an emergency room each year due to diving accidents. Statistics show that 80% of diving injuries occur at depths of four feet (1.2 meters) or less. Even though only about 10% of diving accidents occur when using a diving board, those injuries tend to be more severe. For insurance reasons, many pool owners and municipalities have opted not to have diving boards at their pools.
Phoenix has struggled with sanitation issues in swimming pools for many years. In 2008, the city had to close down every single one of its public pools. Since then, the city hired people to ensure that swimmers shower before swimming and take bathroom breaks while using the pool. Phoenix public pools also provide diapers for toddlers in the pools. This is to prevent the spread of a water-born parasite, cryptosporidium, which causes sickness, cramping, and vomiting. When private pool owners don’t regulate the chemical levels and clean their pools, the same illnesses can result.
Other dangers of swimming pools include potential electrocution, and suction/drain injuries.
As swimming pool accident lawyers, we know that there is no way to avoid all accidents. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure you and your loved ones stay a bit safer while swimming. This includes:
- Never swim alone.
- Walk slowly around pool areas to avoid slipping. Wear shoes with wet-floor traction if possible.
- Never dive in from the side of the pool where it is shallow.
- If the water is murky, don’t get in. Water should be clear, and the bottom of the pool should never feel slimy. If it does, that is an indication that the pool may not meet standards of cleanliness.
- Push away from the diving board as you jump or dive, so you end up far from the board and decrease your chances of hitting it.
- Wear flotation devices if you are a poor swimmer, and always put them on your young children as well.
- Make sure there is a lifeguard on duty and that he/she looks alert and attentive.
- Take a CPR class in case another swimmer is injured.
- Tell a manager about any dangerous situations you see, including rough-housing in the pool between children or teens.
- Make sure there are rescue flotation devices around the pool before you or your children enter.
For more tips, please visit our partner PoolSafely.gov, a national public education campaign that works to reduce child drownings and entrapment in pools and spas. However, the ultimate responsibility for pool safety comes down to the pool’s owner or manager.
Each year, there are injury claims filed against swimming pool owners, because the owner or operator of a pool has a duty to keep it reasonably safe. This means adhering to state guidelines regarding fences, gates, chemicals, diving boards, lights, wiring, lifeguards, etc. The owner of a private swimming pool has a duty to restrict access to the pool area and is responsible for the safety of anyone let into that area. For instance, if the owner of a private pool leaves a gate open, and a child wanders in and drowns, the owner can be held liable.
In Arizona, a pool's owner must meet these safety requirements:
- Ground-level pools must be surrounded by a fence, at least 4 feet high, with a self-latching gate.
- The pool owner must provide supervision when pool is being used.
- The pool owner must have appropriate lifesaving equipment at the pool.
- The pool owner must have sufficient insurance to cover injured patrons. (One million dollars is the recommended amount.)
For more info on the Arizona State Legislature requirements for pools, click here.
A pool owner also needs to remove anything that could be dangerous and clearly mark any hazardous areas as quickly as possible. If you suffered an injury in a swimming pool accident, the top Phoenix swimming pool injury attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., may be able to assist you and your family in recovering damages. Call or visit us online to set up a consultation.
If the owner or caretaker of a swimming pool can be proven negligent, the injured party may seek compensation for any of the following damages:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical bills related the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of physical therapy, rehabilitation, etc.
- Permanent injury or disability
- Costs of lifelong care if needed
- Emotional trauma
- Special equipment and household and vehicle modifications (such as ramps or lifts)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Loss of career or earning potential
- Hedonic damages (loss of joy of life)
- Property loss or damage
- Punitive damages
A life lost is always a tragedy, but when that death was caused by negligence, it is even more tragic. In the event that your loved one died in a swimming pool accident, you and your family may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
- Loss of future income
- Loss of future benefits (such as medical benefits and retirement)
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, guidance, marital consortium, etc.
- Loss of household services the deceased performed (such as bookkeeping, childcare, property maintenance, etc.)
- Punitive damages
Thankfully, most swimming accidents are preventable. However, for those injured or affected by the death of a loved one in a swimming pool accident, a skilled attorney can help you recover damages. The Phoenix injury lawyers at The Husband and Wife Law Team will determine if negligence played a role in the accident, and if so, ensure that the victim and family receive fair compensation. If you were affected by a swimming accident in Arizona, call Breyer Law Offices, P.C., to talk about your case at (602) 267-1280. Your consultation is free.
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