It's another hot summer in Texas, which means swimmers are cannon-balling into pools all over the Lone Star State. It's also the season for fatal swimming pool accidents. As with most accidents, prevention is the best cure: adults and children should learn about swim safety, and pool owners should maintain safe premises. Too often, however, people only take pool accidents into account once one has already happened.
Drowning is the most common type of pool accident and is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in America, especially for children who can't swim or don't understand the danger of drowning. According to Help and Hope, 39 children have drowned in Texas in 2019 so far; 91 children drowned in Texas in 2018.
Moreover, for every fatal drowning, there are five non-fatal drownings requiring emergency hospitalization. Non-fatal drownings can cause severe brain injury from oxygen starvation, leading to debilitation or even vegetation. We will elaborate later how pool owners can be responsible for unsupervised and even uninvited individuals who drown in their pools.
Another frequent pool accident is circulation entrapment, which occurs when a body part, hair, or clothing gets caught in a pool filter. Victims can incur injuries directly from the filter's suction, and they can drown while trapped. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) created guidelines in order to prevent entrapment, and pool owners must abide by them.
Texans expect to be reasonably safe when they swim in someone else's pool. The law expects this too, and pool owners are sometimes responsible for swimming pool accidents that happen in their pools. Public and private pool owners must maintain safe conditions on their properties, and they can be liable for injuries caused by unsafe conditions.
A pool owner also has a responsibility to prevent children - who may be tempted to swim without knowing the risks - from drowning in an unguarded or insecure swimming pool. The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine makes landowners liable for injuries to trespassing children if an injury results from a hazard a child would not recognize. Pool owners must take measures to keep unsupervised children from entering their pools.
If property owners fail in their duty to ensure relative safety, victims who sustain injuries can file suit. Generally, a pool accident suit is filed as a premises liability negligence suit, citing that the owner had a duty to ensure visitor safety and that the accident was proximate (directly relating) to that safety breach. Most often, the property owner's insurance company compensates for a pool accident, but negotiating maximum compensation is tricky. You need an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury, wrongful death, and negligence.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a pool accident, you might have legal recourse. Our personal injury attorneys at Wyatt Law Firm fight hard against negligence and wrongful death. Call us at 210-340-5550 for a free case review or submit a confidential contact form via our website. We handle complicated cases. Let us handle yours.