Water recreation is one of the most popular ways to beat the Florida heat. But it can come with a high degree of danger. Swimming pools are a highly accessible and popular form of water recreation for people of all ages and backgrounds. However, pools also are the setting for many dangerous accidents that injure many every year. In many cases this involves drowning.
Pool-related accidents that involve drowning can occur because of certain liable parties’ negligence and may have been avoided had proper action been taken. An accidental pool drowning can be the basis for a lawsuit that seeks compensation for damages suffered as a result of such a terrible event.
Swimming Pool and Drowning Statistics Every Florida Parent Should Know
Florida is well known as a popular location for water recreation. It is also, unfortunately, a state that sees a very high number of water-related injuries. Pool accidents are a large source of these water-related injuries. And the statistics relating to this paint a very dire picture of how dangerous these bodies of water can be.
For starters, Florida has the highest drowning death rate in the entire nation for children under age 5. In fact, drowning is the leading unintentional cause of death for children aged 1-4. While drownings in pools can include people of any age or background, children represent the overwhelming majority of pool accident victims. The most affected demographic specifically being African American male children.
Florida is only behind California when it comes to states with the most swimming pools. This coupled with the fact that most child drownings occur in the months of July and August is no surprise but definitely should be a sign of caution for parents.
When it comes to drowning accidents, the children that end up harmed this way are often out of sight for no more than five minutes. That is all the time it takes for a small child to suffer a pool accident and suffer drowning injuries. Furthermore, most drowning accidents are silent. Many parents do not hear any indication that a child is in danger this way. And all it takes is 20 to 60 seconds for a child to be completely submerged underwater and unseen as well.
In terms of safety, children that have been given swimming lessons have an 88% reduction in the chance to drown. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that children should start learning to swim at age 1 in order to reduce their risk of drowning. Having a four-sided barrier around a pool reduces drowning risk by about 80% as well.
Injuries Associated with Swimming Pool Accidents
Drowning: When someone suffocates due to being submerged in water then it is considered drowning. Even if someone dies within 24 hours of their submersion and near suffocation then it is still considered a drowning.
Near Drowning: If someone survives after 24 hours of submersion and nearly suffocating then it is considered a near drowning. Even surviving a drowning can result in injury. The lack of oxygen that someone experiences when being suffocated underwater can lead to brain damage.
Slip and Fall Injuries Pools: There are many ways someone can slip and fall around a pool and harm themselves. Slip and fall injuries around a pool almost always involve a wet surface and can cause broken bones, head injuries, or severe lacerations or contusions.
Electrical Accident Injuries: There are some instances where the electrical devices utilized in or near a pool can cause electrocution. This can stop a person’s heart, burn them, or stun them long enough that they drown.
Pool Toy Injuries: Pool toys are infamous for their potential to cause severe injuries. Pool slides can collapse or people can fall off and harm themselves. Flotation devices can also entangle and drown people.
What to Do if Your Child Was Injured at a Swimming Pool
Seek Medical Assistance
If your child or another loved one was harmed at a swimming pool the number one thing that you should do is seek medical assistance as a priority. The wellbeing of the injured is the most important thing to worry about with other details taking a back seat.
Report the Accident
Once you have dealt with the immediate danger of an injury you should report the accident. Either get in touch with the owners or supervisors of the pool to make sure that someone is informed of the accident that occurred. You should also see if there is a way to have an accident report filed and get a copy yourself. Do not hesitate to contact local authorities if there is no way to report the accident at the scene. Getting your accident documented is very important for any legal action down the line.
If possible, gather evidence at the scene of the accident by taking pictures or video of the pool, surrounding area, and any injuries suffered. Try to also get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
Do Not Admit Fault for the Accident
Try to be wary of the words you use when reporting the accident. Apologizing can be construed as an admission of fault and hurt a future lawsuit. Keep your words to a minimum and don’t speak of the accident if you don’t have to. This includes social media as well. After a pool accident, get in contact with an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in pool accidents. They can assist you with everything from investigating the accident to contacting those liable for the accident.
Who’s Responsible for a Swimming Pool Accident or Drowning?
In most pool accidents, the liability for the accident will lie with the owner of the pool or the property it lies on. In order for a property owner to be considered liable for a pool accident they must owe the users of that pool a duty of care.
They must be shown to have breached that duty of care in a way that caused the injuries suffered by the plaintiff through some act of negligence. These acts of negligence that cause pool injuries can vary widely from failing to ensure barriers were erected around the pool to not having lifeguards posted and failing to inform pool users of this risk. This does not only apply to pools owned by entities like resorts, hotels, parks, etc. but also to individual private pool owners as well.
Why You Should Hire a Child Negligence Attorney for Your Swimming Pool Accident or Drowning Case
If you or a loved one have been in a pool accident involving drowning then do not hesitate to speak to the attorneys of Jones Law Group as soon as possible. Having an experienced attorney at your side when seeking compensation for pool accident damages can mean all the difference between a mediocre settlement and getting the compensation you need to deal with damages like medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Our attorneys have years of experience handling cases just like yours where avoidable pool accidents were caused by severe negligence. We know what to look for and exactly how to go about maximizing the amount of compensation you can receive.
If you or your child has been injured in a pool accident that you feel was avoidable, should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group at (727)571-1333 or reach out to us online.