San Antonio Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys
After a family member suffers a serious injury or dies in a swimming pool accident, it can be difficult to start living your normal life again. Not only do you face the emotional pain of your loss, you may also face severe financial hardship and disruption in your life.
At Wyatt Law Firm, we understand the emotional, physical and financial pain that follows a serious injury or death in the family. We are dedicated to helping victims of negligence rebuild their lives.
If you have suffered harm in a swimming pool accident, the attorneys and staff at Wyatt Law Firm will be there for you. Call our San Antonio swimming pool accident lawyers today at 210-340-5550 for a free consultation.
Wyatt Law Firm provides aggressive representation for people throughout Texas and the nation, including the cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Laredo and Corpus Christi.
Aggressive Attorneys Who Will Fight For You
Wyatt Law Firm has been representing victims of negligence in Texas for more than 25 years. During that time, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We seek full compensation for people who have suffered harm in these types of cases:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Injuries caused by defective equipment
- Other types of swimming pool accidents
Our firm handles accident cases involving pools in hotels, water parks, health clubs, apartment complexes, private homes, schools and municipal facilities.
Swimming Pools And Premises Liability Law
The owner of a swimming pool has a legal duty to maintain safe conditions in and around the pool and elsewhere on the property. If the owner fails to do so and an injury occurs due to that failure, the accident victim can claim compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. If the lawsuit is successful, the claimant could be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic losses.
Swimming pool accident cases can involve complex factual and legal issues requiring thorough investigation, analysis and advocacy. Our lawyers have the resources and skills needed to win such cases. From the start of your case to its conclusion, Wyatt Law Firm will work tirelessly on your behalf.
Having the Right Lawyer to Help You Navigate the Complexities of Pool-Related Injury Claims
You need a lawyer to bring a successful premises liability claim against a pool owner because of the complexities involved with this type of case. Below are some aspects of this area of law.
Premises Liability Law and Pools
Pool owners, whether at a private residence, a private club, or in a public setting, can potentially face liability when a swimmer or visitor to the pool suffers injuries. Based on premises liability law, a pool owner must maintain the pool area so that it is safe for visitors and users. When they fail to do so and breach the duty of care, it constitutes negligence and liability for resulting injuries and losses.
Numerous factors weigh in to determine whether a pool owner’s acts, omissions, or failures to warn of hazardous conditions were the cause of the victim’s injury. Owners might blame a victim for the accident, and victims need the proper evidence to demonstrate otherwise. You need a lawyer to help navigate the hurdles and sift through the evidence to have your claim succeed.
A San Antonio swimming pool accident lawyer knows the ins and outs of premises liability law, such as the classifications of different pool visitors and what duties of care a pool owner owes them.
The three traditional classifications of people considered entrants to a landowner’s premises are:
Some states have done away with these categories of different types of people entering another’s property, but those states that retain it hold pool owners to different duties of care depending on the type of classification of an entrant to the premises.
Invitees. Invitees deserve the highest duty of care on a premises. An invitee is any individual at a privately owned pool open to the public. For invitees, pool owners are under a duty to do a reasonable job maintaining and repairing their pool and to prevent foreseeable hazards and warn invitees of any potential hazards. An example of such warnings is a no-diving sign posted in a part of the pool where it isn’t obviously too shallow to dive but could be dangerous to do so.
Licensees. Social guests invited to a pool owner’s private property and private pool are an example of the next category of entrants—licensees. Licensees do not receive the same duty of care as invitees because they assume the risk of potential injuries when choosing to accept a pool owner’s invitation and use that pool.
However, a duty to warn licensees of potential hazards still exists, and liability for failing to warn about a pool condition that leads to an injury will place liability on the pool owner. Other examples of licensees are repairmen and contractors invited onto the property for a certain purpose.
Trespassers. Finally, the third category is trespassers. These are uninvited individuals who don’t have the pool owner’s permission to use their pool or enter their property. In states that still use this three-tiered classification scheme for entrants, the owner owes the trespasser no duty of care at all. So, in the majority of states, if a trespasser suffers injuries due to an improperly maintained pool, or from a hazard of the pool that lacked sufficient notice to warn users for their safety, they will have no claim, and the pool owner will not be liable.
In those states that no longer distinguish among the three categories of property entrants, the pool owner’s duty is broadly stated as the duty to make the pool reasonably safe for anticipated use. What this means is exactly what a lawyer can help with if you suffered injuries in a pool accident due to unsafe conditions from a negligent pool owner.
Attractive Nuisance. Another complex legal issue that might arise in swimming pool accident claims involves children who enter premises without permission. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, pool owners owe a duty of care to keep the pool safe from young children who do not understand the dangers involved in entering the pool and may not avoid the temptation to use it due to its attractiveness.
This includes a duty to prevent access to the pool, for example, with a fence, when young children might reasonably try to enter the pool area. This is particularly important if children are likely to enter the pool area unsupervised. Even if a child does not belong in the pool area, the owner can be liable if they failed to secure the area.
Negligence of Pool Owners
Determining what constitutes negligence under premise liability law in the case of pools is a tricky matter that requires the help of a lawyer. The right lawyer can determine if your case is worth pursuing after a pool-related injury.
If it is not blatantly obvious that a pool is too shallow for diving, the pool has hidden obstructions underwater, or there are other hazards in the pool area, failing to warn invitees or licensees could make an owner liable for injuries resulting from these potential dangers. Equipment like ladders, diving boards, and drains must not fall into a dangerous state of disrepair without adequate warning to pool users of the hazards posed. Failure to inspect and maintain the pool area is a common type of negligence that leads to injuries.
Failing to provide emergency safety equipment such as life preservers can also render the owner of a pool liable if neglecting this equipment leads to or exacerbates injury or fails to potentially save a life. The owner or management of a large pool that is open to the public, particularly a public pool owned by a municipality, may be liable for failing to provide adequate supervision or hire a sufficient number of or sufficiently qualified lifeguards.
In these cases of negligent supervision, when a pool injury occurs and would have been preventable with supervising lifeguards enforcing pool rules, or lifeguards that were qualified to properly go about rescuing a pool goer, liability can fall upon the pool owner for negligence in failing to hire staff properly for sufficient supervision and safety.
Keep in mind, however, that government agencies in charge of a public pool may have protections from lawsuits by the doctrine of governmental immunity. To get around this immunity, you have to follow stricter procedures and timelines than other types of swimming pool injury claims.
Pool Owners are Not Always Liable
Premises liability rules will not apply to a defendant if the lawsuit centers around an injury resulting from someone’s intentional or negligent behavior while also using the pool. For example, if the defendant holds the plaintiff’s head underwater, the plaintiff could sue for battery if they suffer injuries, but they might not sue the pool owner for that injury.
Another example is if a defendant jumps in without looking and lands on the plaintiff, the plaintiff could sue that person for negligence. However, if the pool owner had no control nor capacity to prevent or warn the injured person of the danger created by the other pool goer’s actions, there is no premises liability in such circumstances.
It is often tricky in pool accident cases to determine whether the injury happened due to negligent maintenance of the pool and failures to warn of hazards or by individuals acting negligently and harming either themselves or others. Standard intentional tort and negligence rules might apply, though premise liability rules would be irrelevant when the injury happens due to a third-party pool goer. The pool owner should not face any legal claims, as they might not be responsible for the actions of third parties while at the pool.
The right San Antonio pool injury lawyer can advise you what type of injury claim you have and who should have liability for your injuries.
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against A Pool Owner
Filing a claim involves hiring a swimming pool accident attorney to first assess the viability of your case. To do this, they will need all the evidence and information available about the incident. This allows the attorney to figure out just how viable of a claim you may have against a pool owner, and whether to proceed with your case.
The Insurance Process
Often, an attorney will prepare and file an insurance claim, which might be against a homeowner’s policy or under other property or business-related coverage. You might expect the insurance company to admit liability right away and pay the claim, especially if the cause of your injuries seems clear. Unfortunately, the insurance process is rarely this easy.
Often, insurance companies will challenge your claim in different ways, such as:
- Denying the pool owner or management acted negligently or violated safety standards
- Claiming you contributed to your injuries
- Challenging the severity of your injuries and losses
Insurers often make extremely low offers in hopes you will unknowingly accept far less than you deserve. With an experienced attorney on your side, you will have guidance regarding whether or not an insurance offer is adequate. Legal representation also demonstrates that you are taking your claim seriously and, sometimes, this will lead the insurance company to also take your claim seriously and resolve it favorably.
Premises Liability Lawsuits
If an insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer, your San Antonio swimming pool accident lawyer can escalate your case by filing a lawsuit. Filing this claim involves entering a complaint into the appropriate civil court, stating the claim allegations and the damages you are seeking.
Most often, after you file a claim, the defendant pool owner or their insurance company will begin negotiations to try to settle the claim out of court. Your lawyer should handle these negotiations, and if they offer a settlement that is favorable to your interests and presents a better option than litigation, your lawyer can, with your consent, accept that settlement offer. This is how roughly 95 percent of all lawsuits end, with a settlement before trial.
Should you fail to settle, however, your lawsuit would then go to trial, and either a judge or jury will decide if your claim has merit and how much financially your claim is worth in the form of damages. Damages are financial payments the court orders the defendant to pay an injured plaintiff for their losses.
While this may seem simple, the process can take a long time, especially if the case goes to trial. Settlements often take significantly less time, but still require time, energy, and resources to gather evidence and demonstrate that you have a strong claim regarding your swimming pool injury. Let a lawyer handle this process while you focus on your injury recovery.
Finding the Right San Antonio Swimming Pool Lawyer
Finding the right attorney for your swimming pool injury case in Texas can seem daunting, but, in reality, you have to look no further than the Wyatt Law Firm. You can expect that defendants are going to do everything in their power to avoid being liable for swimming pool injuries under premise liability concepts. You need an attorney who knows how pool premise liability law works, which is a complex ordeal in itself.
You also need an attorney who knows how to get their hands on the proper evidence and employ the proper legal strategies to make your claim a successful one. The right lawyer cares about your case and you personally, and they want to see your claim resolved fairly and justly to give you the proper compensation you deserve for your injury.
The right lawyer has substantial experience handling cases like yours and a proven track record of success in doing so. This is why you need to contact the Wyatt Law Firm as soon as possible if you suffered injuries in a pool-based accident. That way, we can help you determine whether or not you have a viable legal claim, and if so, assist in turning that claim successfully into financial compensation for your injuries and suffering. Reach out today for more information.