We Handle Swimming Pool Accident Claims in Fort Lauderdale and Throughout South Florida
Any water activity carries an inherent risk of drowning, pool time being no exception. However, far too often, drownings that could have been avoided occur due to the pool owner’s negligence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most drowning incidents involving children between 1 and 4 years of age occur in pools. They account for the primary cause of unintentional death in this age group.
Of course, pool drownings are not limited to children and often happen to adults. When a fatal tragedy occurs with a family member or if you fall victim to a near-drowning accident, you will need an experienced pool drowning attorney to help you with your case. At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, our Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident lawyers are experienced, justice-driven advocates for victims and families. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What are the Most Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents and Injuries?
Swimming pool accidents and injuries can happen to people of all ages and can range from minor to severe. Here is a list of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents and injuries:
- Drowning: Drowning is the most serious type of swimming pool accident and can occur when a person is unable to swim or is not supervised by a lifeguard. Children, non-swimmers, and individuals under the influence of alcohol are at a higher risk of drowning.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Wet surfaces around the pool, such as decking or pool steps, can be slippery and lead to slip and fall accidents. Diving boards can also be a source of slip-and-fall accidents if they are not properly maintained. A swimming pool fall accident can result in very serious, even catastrophic, injuries.
- Diving Accidents: Diving into shallow water or diving into a pool that is not properly maintained can lead to spinal cord injuries. Improper pool maintenance can lead to hidden hazards such as uneven depths or submerged objects. Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are serious risks in diving-related accidents.
- Chemical Burns: High levels of chlorine or other chemicals used to clean the pool can lead to chemical burns, especially if they are not properly maintained.
- Electrocution: Faulty pool equipment or improper installation of electrical devices around the pool can lead to electrocution. Swimming pool electrocutions can be catastrophic.
- Entrapment: Swimming pool drain entrapment can occur when a person’s hair or body becomes caught in the pool’s drain suction. This could cause serious cuts, lacerations, or even severe brain injury.
A swimming pool accident can potentially cause severe, even life-threatening, injuries. It is imperative that victims get immediate medical attention.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident?
Swimming pool accidents are fault-based legal claims. In other words, the party whose negligence contributed to a swimming pool accident can be held legally liable for the victim’s injuries or, in the worst cases, their death. Some notable examples of parties that may be liable for a swimming pool accident in Florida include:
- Residential property owners;
- Commercial property owners; and
- Companies responsible for maintaining swimming pools.
Before talking to the potential at-fault party or their representatives, it is in your best interest to speak to one of our lawyers. A personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has experience handling swimming pool accident claims will protect your rights and your interests.
Evidence is key in these cases. Be proactive. Take photographs and write down what happened in your own words to avoid missing important details. You should also keep all medical documents, bills, tickets, and other expenses related to the accident.
Recovering Compensation for Swimming Pool Accident Injuries in Fort Lauderdale
Following a swimming pool accident, victims and families need the maximum available financial compensation. In Florida, swimming pool accident victims can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Unfortunately, defendants and insurance companies are not known for making the swimming pool accident claims process easy. Our Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident lawyers work tirelessly to help victims maximize their recovery. You may be entitled to recover swimming pool accident compensation for:
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills and other health care costs;
- Physical therapy and mental health support;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering and mental distress;
- Permanent disability or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
What is Negligence in a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident?
Swimming pool owners in Florida—both residential and commercial—owe certain responsibilities to their guests and to the public in general. They can be held legally liable when their negligence results in an accident. Negligence in a swimming pool accident case refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care, leading to harm to another person. What constitutes negligence in any specific case depends on several different factors. Examples of negligence in a swimming pool accident case include:
- Lack of adequate supervision by a lifeguard or pool owner;
- Failure to properly maintain the pool and surrounding area (fall hazards);
- Improper fencing or lack of fencing around the pool;
- Failure to properly maintain and test pool chemicals, resulting in chemical burns;
- Failure to properly install or maintain pool equipment, resulting in electrocution; and
- Failure to properly train staff or educate pool users about safety rules.
What to Know About the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act in Florida?
Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act is a comprehensive state statute that puts certain safety requirements on individual pool owners. Most notably, the law requires that all residential swimming pools have a barrier around them to prevent children from gaining access to the pool without adult supervision. The law applies to all new and existing residential swimming pools, including in-ground and above-ground pools and hot tubs. The barriers must be at least four feet high and must have self-closing and self-latching gates. The law also requires pool owners to display pool safety signs and to properly maintain and keep in good working order any safety equipment, such as pool covers and alarms. The law is designed to help prevent child drowning and increase pool safety.
Statute of Limitations in Swimming Pool Accidents in Florida
Were you or a loved one harmed in a swimming pool accident in Florida? You have a limited amount of time to seek justice, accountability, and compensation. The statute of limitations for a swimming pool accident in Florida depends, in large part, on the nature of the claim. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 95.11), the statute of limitations for a swimming pool accident injury claim is four years from the date of the accident. However, the statute of limitations for a swimming pool accident wrongful death claim is only two years from the date of the accident. Be proactive: Do not fall behind in the claims process. Consult with a Fort Lauderdale pool accident lawyer as soon as possible after an incident.
What are Pool Supervision Requirements in Fort Lauderdale?
Pool supervision requirements are derived largely from state law. In Florida, the pool supervision requirements vary based on whether it is a commercial pool or a residential pool. Residential pool owners are not required to have a lifeguard on site or to provide any specific form of supervision. However, they do have a general obligation to take due care in Florida’s premises liability laws. Florida does not require lifeguards at private pools. However, some public, commercial pools are required to ensure that properly trained supervisors (lifeguards) are on site. Ultimately, the lifeguard/supervision requirements for a pool in Fort Lauderdale are highly fact specific. If you believe that your child was injured or killed due to inadequate supervision at a pool, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
A swimming pool can be a great source of recreation and exercise. At the same time, swimming pools also have the potential to be extremely dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not taken. Both residential swimming pool owners and commercial swimming pool owners must ensure that their invitees are protected and that passerbys—particularly young children—are protected. Here is an overview of some of the most alarming swimming pool accident stats:
- Nearly 400 Swimming Pool Drownings Each Year: According to data cited by the Pool Safety Foundation, there are nearly 400 swimming pool drownings reported nationwide each year. These tragic accidents largely could have been prevented.
- Children Under Four are at Heightened Risk: Infants and toddlers generally cannot swim. A swimming pool poses a very serious safety hazard. Proper fencing of the pool and proper supervision of young children is a must. Most drownings of children four and under happen in a residential swimming pool.
- Fall Accidents are a Big Injury Risk: Swimming pool fall accidents happen far more frequently than many people realize. While the data is somewhat hard to pin down, the best estimate from safety researchers is that more than 100,000 people are hurt in swimming pool-related slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents.
How Can BK Law Firm Help in a Pool Accident Case?
Pursuing drowning incidents without sound legal help is very difficult because they involve regulations on the state and federal levels. While a lawsuit cannot undo the harm you have endured, you will benefit from the assistance of a pool drowning attorney when trying to get compensated for the pain and suffering caused by the loss of your loved one. The pool drowning attorneys of Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC have years of experience dealing with the most complex personal injury cases. Our legal team is well-prepared to prosecute your interests when claiming compensation for a pool accident. Among other things, our Fort Lauderale swimming pool accident lawyers are prepared to:
- Conduct a free, comprehensive review of your case;
- Investigate the swimming pool accident, gathering evidence of liability and damages;
- Handle legal paperwork and correspondence with insurance carriers; and
- Develop a personalized strategy to help you secure the best outcome.
Swimming pool accident claims are complicated. Victims and families need personalized, attentive legal guidance and support for a qualified attorney. Our Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident lawyers put in the time and legal resources to help our clients maximize their financial compensation. As we handle all swimming pool accident claims on contingency, there are never any upfront costs or out-of-pocket fees for injured victims.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Lauderdale Pool Accident Lawyer
At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, a pool accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale is ready to go above and beyond to help you secure real justice and real results. If you or your family member was injured or killed in a swimming pool incident, we are here to help you navigate the legal system. Contact us today to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation. From our Fort Lauderale law office, we handle swimming pool accident claims throughout South Florida.