Tucson Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys
Lakes, beaches, swimming pools, and hot tubs all pose a threat to people around them. While they can be a great way to unwind, get some exercise, and cool off in Tucson’s warmer months, they can also be very dangerous, particularly to children. Not only can a drowning or near-drowning occur, but other injuries can occur as well, all of which may end in serious injuries, or even death.
When these accidents do happen, it’s important to know who may be at fault and that compensation may be available for victims. Many victims have no idea what to do or where to start. That is where we at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., come in. We know our way around a personal injury claim and are more than willing to fight for your needs. Call us at (520) 624-4228 for a free consultation today.
Swimming pools are dangerous due to the fact that any number of deadly accidents can happen. Pools require a lot of work and equipment to even be usable. The water must be kept clean, the filter must be running properly, the chemical mix must be tailored, and the area around the pool should be kept dry or made of material that is difficult to slip on. Sadly, many pool owners, both public and private, neglect to follow proper maintenance or safety regulations, meaning that these owners put their visitors at risk of injury from the following accidents:
- Slip-and-falls: Water makes a good number of surfaces slippery. Whether tile, stone, or linoleum, a wet floor greatly increases the chance of slipping and falling. That is why slip-and-fall accidents are so often seen around swimming pools. But an accident being common isn’t an excuse to not implement proper precautions.
- Poor sanitation: Bacteria grow quickly in warm water, which is why pools should always be chemically balanced to prevent harmful bacterial growth. If the water is not sanitary, the swimmers can become dangerously ill.
- Diving injuries: Many people enjoy diving into the water when they visit a pool. However, if the pool lacks markers indicating depth, then swimmers may make the mistake of diving into shallow water. This can lead to a serious injury to the spine, hands, or head. It is the pool owner’s responsibility to warn swimmers where they can and cannot dive.
- Lack of safety equipment: A public pool should always have safety equipment and signs on hand. That includes emergency flotation and rescue devices. On top of that, a public pool should employ trained and certified lifeguards who can rescue swimmers who may be struggling, injured, or drowning.
- Malfunctioning filter devices: Pools need filters to keep clean. However, these devices can malfunction, resulting in a much stronger suction than would be typical. While a strong swimmer could keep from being pulled under, weaker swimmers, children, or the elderly would have a harder time staying afloat. A malfunctioning filter could quickly lead to a wrongful death due to drowning.
Swimming pools accidents and near drownings can happen in a number of places. Knowing what areas are dangerous, and who is responsible for any resulting accident, are key in both keeping yourself safe, and filing a claim if an accident happens. In our experience, some common pool accident areas include:
- Private pools. This is the location that most people think of when they think about drowning accidents. Private pools at someone’s home can be a great source of fun, but the homeowner also has to be very careful when people are in his or her pool, as he will ultimately be held responsible for any accidents. In Tucson, there are strict requirements all owners of private pools must adhere to. Supervision is a must when children are swimming in the pool, and must be provided by the homeowner any time his pool is in use.
- Hotel swimming pools and hot tubs. Hotels, even those that are franchised or part of a big chain, all have a private owner. Because the hotel is private property, even though members of the public enjoy it, the owners of the hotel carry the same responsibilities that private homeowners do in ensuring that everyone who uses their pools and hot tubs is kept safe.
- Public swimming pools. Public swimming pools are open to members of the public during select seasons, and they are often owned by the City of Tucson. Sunnyside Pool and Clements Pool are two examples of this. Being owned by Tucson does not exempt them from liability for what happens within the pool area, but it does make it more difficult to pursue a case for compensation. Lawsuits against government entities have reduced timelines and special rules that apply, so accident victims who have been injured in a public pool need to speak to an attorney right away.
- Lakes, beaches, and other open swim areas. Areas that are considered “open swim” can be privately owned, such as when a family has a private beach on their cottage property; or they can be publicly owned by the City of Tucson, such as Kennedy Lake and Silverbell Lake. If privately owned, the property owners could be held responsible, similar to when a drowning takes place on a homeowner’s property. But like other public swimming pools, when the accident occurs on government-owned property, there are special rules when filing a claim.
It is needless to say that swimming pools carry a serious risk of drowning. However, there are many other severe injuries that a swimming pool can cause, the foremost of those being brain damage. The brain is housed in thick, strong bone meant to protect it from possible damage. However, the brain is not impervious to injuries. A strong enough blow can cause it to slam into the side of the skull, leading to bruising, tears, and bleeds. A slip-and-fall, for example, could easily lead to traumatic brain damage.
On top of that, the brain requires oxygen. When oxygen is cut off for too long, the brain will begin to shut down. That is why we can pass out from holding our breath for too long. If a swimmer begins to drown, her oxygen supply is cut off. If she is not rescued and given oxygen quickly enough, important parts of the brain will begin to die.
Even if a swimmer survives a near-downing, he could still be left with serious brain damage, resulting in lasting symptoms such as:
- Moments of deep confusion
- Hearing loss
- Difficulties with memory
- Lowered mobility
- Difficulties understanding speech or the written word
- Inability to focus
- Lowered ability to concentrate during conversations
- Double vision
The list goes on. Brain damage is not easy to recover from and can have a lasting impact on your life. That is, if you survive. Brain injuries often lead to a wrongful death, particularly in the case of swimming pool accidents. Whether you sustained the damage from a near-drowning or from a slip-and-fall, one thing is for sure: you will be dealing with the fallout of your accident for the rest of your life. And no one deserves to pay for an accident that wasn’t even their fault.
While adults and children alike can suffer injury in swimming pool accidents, there are special provisions in Tucson for children. These include things such as providing supervision for any child near a body of water, but also Tucson’s attractive nuisance law.
The attractive nuisance law states that homeowners will be responsible if a child wanders onto their property and slips, falls, drowns, or has another accident in or around the pool. The idea behind this law is that children cannot be held responsible for their own safety, and pools can look especially attractive to children.
Because of this, pool owners must ensure that their pool:
- Is closed off from the public,
- Has a self-latching gate that cannot be opened by a child,
- Has gates, fences, and walls surrounding the pool on all four sides that are of a certain height to ensure a child cannot climb over them.
This is all considered "reasonable care" that pool owners must take to ensure there are no child injuries in or around their pool.
All pool owners must keep the pool area free of puddles and other hazards that could cause accidents such as slip and falls. When the pool owner neglects to take the reasonable care needed to keep everyone safe, he or she may be held liable for injuries and be forced to pay compensation to the injured parties.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowning, near-drowning, or slip-and-fall accident in or around a swimming pool, lake, beach, or hot tub, contact a Tucson personal injury lawyer at The Husband and Wife Law Team at (520) 624-4228. We know how devastating these injuries can be, and how they can saddle a family with large expenses at the time when they are grieving or recovering. Call us today and we will work hard to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
- Why to Hire a Top Tucson Personal Injury Attorney after a Drowning or Near Drowning Incident
- Water Safety - City of Tucson
- Pool Safety Brochure - Tucson Fire Department
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer