Delray Beach Swimming Pool Injuries
Consider, for a moment, the average house in Delray Beach. Undoubtedly, one of the first things that will come to mind is the backyard swimming pool. Other features that one may think of, when it comes to Delray Beach are public swimming pools and ocean beach access. The weather in Delray Beach is perfect for swimming, with its uncommon amount of warm weather and sunshine. All-in-all, for those who like to swim, this is a perfect spot to enjoy this activity. Unfortunately, however, numerous Delray Beach swimming injuries can also occur in this type of environment. These can lead to debilitating consequences and even swimming-related deaths.
For those who are fortunate enough to own a swimming pool, they must also be aware of the responsibilities that come along with such ownership. This means keeping their swimming areas safe for visitors and adhering to state legal mandates that pertain to pool safety.
It’s during the summer, when the temperatures rise, that you’ll see more and more individuals and families making their way to the various public swimming facilities. Needless to say, this can be a much better alternative to the prospect of sitting at home in the sweltering temperatures. However, it’s also a chance for potentially serious accidents to occur. Sadly, some of those who are most susceptible to these mishaps are young children, who may be prone to drowning when not being carefully monitored. But even those who are experienced swimmers may also become the victims of various swimming pool and ocean beach accidents.What are the Swimming Accident Statistics Affecting Delray Beach?
When looking at U.S. government statistics, we see that, each year, over 350 children (under 14 years of age) succumb to fatalities as a result of drowning. You can add to this the almost 5,900 children who will be the recipients of swimming injuries that will send them to the hospital emergency room. Tragically, when looking at the 350 fatalities, we see that over 75% are under the age of five. That’s because, it takes just a few minutes for a fatality to occur. Statistics also show that children-related swimming accidents occur even in situations where the children are being monitored by diligent guardians and parents. Statistics also show that Florida is one of the top two states when it comes to deaths by drowning.What are the Other Reasons for Delray Beach Swimming Accidents?
Of course, it is also true that swimming injuries and fatalities can also result from negligence that may be attributed to certain pool owners and lifeguards. Should an accident occur under these circumstances, then it may be possible to file a lawsuit in order to recover damages. When filing a lawsuit against those who are responsible, the damages can relate to: medical expenses, future medical bills, lost wages and other types of losses.What Types of Accidents can Happen at a Delray Beach Swimming Pool?
In many cases, the primary cause of swimming injuries and accidents can be a combination of a lack of swimming ability along with improper supervision. But, there are other types of accidents that can happen. For example:
- A diving board causes slipping by having a worn surface
- Someone becomes stuck in a pool’s drainage system
- Someone strikes their head on the pool’s bottom when diving in the shallow end
- The pool’s surrounding slippery surface can contribute to slipping and falling
It can be said that some of these accidents can result from the person’s lack of proper pool behavior and limited knowledge regarding pool safety. However, this is not always the case. This can be seen in other types of pool accidents that relate to:
- Safety equipment that needed to be replaced because it was defective/broken
- No available safety equipment
- No proper warning signage in the pool area
- Swimming pool design flaws
- Lack of supervision by qualified personnel
- Fencing that didn’t keep children out of the pool area
This shows that the second set of reasons are far more tragic than the first set, since they could have easily been avoided.Who can be Considered Liable in a Delray Beach Swimming Accident?
If you or a loved one was hurt in a swimming pool accident, the property owner may be held liable for your injuries. Many swimming pool accidents are due to the property owners negligence. Property owners are required to maintain their premises in a reasonable safe condition and warn of any dangers that they know about, or should have known about. To hold the owner accountable there are four main points to consider:
- There was a “duty of care” that needed to be provided by the pool owner
- That duty of care was breached
- The breach directly resulted in the accident
- The accident directly resulted in the injuries and damages
These four conditions need to be proven in court therefore it’s very important to obtain evidence as soon as possible when it comes to filing a lawsuit.What Laws Pertain to Delray Beach Swimming Pool Safety?
Delray Beach property owners are mandated, by law, to ensure that their property is kept reasonably safe. Should the owner neglect to do this and an injury results from this negligence, then the owner may be considered liable for that injury. This is covered in the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (Florida Statute 515).
One thing to keep in mind is that when one is filing a lawsuit against a pool owner, they only need they need to show is negligence per se. This has to do with the pool owner breaching the duty of care to provide a safe environment for their pool. Here, it is the duty of the victim to provide evidence of any damages that resulted from the owner’s breach.
There are a number of statues listed in the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act. In order to complete a pool inspection, it needs to be shown that these statutes have been met, prior to making the pool available to the public. For example, at least one safety feature will need to be present per Florida Statute 515.27. Safety feature examples can be:
- Alarms that can signal unauthorized pool entries. This will help to keep those who are trying to enter the pool area without being authorized and when there may be no qualified lifeguards on duty. It’s required that the alarm is certified independently with ASTM Standard 2208 (“Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms”) standards. Types of alarms can be; infrared, laser, sonar, pressure, surface or other allowed types. The exception is that a personal alarm is not acceptable. (Florida Statute 515.27 1 (e)).
- Doors that provide direct pool access must be self-closing and self-latching. The mechanism for release must also be no lower than 54 inches from the floor. So that a small child can’t reach it. (Florida Statute 515.27 1 (d))
- Windows and doors that provide direct pool access must have alarms with a sound pressure rating of at least 85 dB A at 10 feet. (Florida Statute 515.27 1 (c)).
- The pool can have a safety cover that is approved (Florida Statute 515.27 1 (b)).
- The pool and the home can have a barrier between them with the proper specifications. (Florida Statute 515.29)
Of course, drowning is an obvious answer, but there are many other types of injuries that may also occur. These are:
- Since there is no air in a drowning situation, even someone who doesn’t die as a result of drowning can suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen. The degree of the damage can cause the victim a variety of brain functionality such as; loss of memory and other functions that are needed for normal, everyday living situations.
- Damaging the brain and spine as the result of hitting one’s head on the bottom of the pool, may result in the need for on-going care on a permanent basis. The expenses for this can easily add up to over $180,000 per year and potentially cost upwards of over $4.5 million in that person’s lifetime.
- Becoming stuck in the drainage system of a pool can lead to intestine and bowel injuries that can possibly last the person’s entire life.
- Spinal damage can directly lead to problems with one’s speech center and everyday motor functions. Permanent oxygen ventilation may be required if the victim’s breathing ability is compromised.
When it comes to filing a lawsuit for any type of swimming accident, it’s important to take the statute of limitations into consideration.
Should the swimming injury occur on the premises of an individual or at a public swimming pool, the statute of limitations is set at four years. When it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed by the person’s estate or close family members, the statute of limitations is set at two years. Because of these time limitations, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney promptly, to discuss your options. The initial consultation is free.Enlist an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Injuries and deaths from swimming pools can be the result of negligence, which may occur in Delray Beach at any given time. Therefore, even if you or a loved one becomes injured in a swimming pool accident, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a swimming accident personal injury attorney.
Seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney, serving Delray Beach, who can try to assist in obtaining the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved in a Delray Beach swimming accident, contact a Florida personal injury attorney.
Discuss your case with a Swimming Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Delray Beach Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (561) 800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.