Who might be held liable in swimming pool accidents?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Swimming pool accidents are more common than one would think. The relaxing atmosphere of a pool can quickly turn dire once a tragedy strikes.  

Data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimate that around 3,000 kids are treated each year for injuries from a near drowning in a pool. They also estimate that around 500 kids under 5 years old die each year from drowning. For those who survive, swimming pool accidents can still have devastating consequences.

It is estimated that around 5 to 20 percent of children who almost drown have some sort of neurological disability, since being underwater for too long without breathing can cause brain damage. These conditions can lead to costly medical expenses and are often life altering for everyone involved. In cases like these, an experienced swimming pool accident attorney can be a key asset.

Football Star Paralyzed in Swimming Pool Accident

Diablo Magazine reported one 19-year-old who was paralyzed from the waist down after hitting his head on the bottom of a pool. After the accident, Jake Javier was only the fifth person to receive an experimental procedure where he received 10 million embryonic stem cells in an injection.

The accident caused major trauma to some vertebrae, and Jake had to have surgery to decompress his spine and insert rods and screws. Jake’s story has garnered a lot of attention, and NFL quarterbacks Derek Carr and Tom Brady have expressed their support of Jake through gifts and visits.

Who Is Liable in Swimming Pool Accidents?

It can sometimes be difficult to determine liability after a swimming pool accident, as liability usually hinges on what happened. Some accidents happen because of poor pool design or bad maintenance of a swimming pool. Other accidents occur due to a mistake by someone. Typically, liability will fall on one or more of the following:

  • Property owner
  • Property manager
  • Lifeguards
  • Pool manufacturers

In general, the property owner has some responsibility to ensure that reasonable precautions are being taken to make sure a pool is safe. For example, pools that have a lack of fencing or warning signs, or a lack of supervision might then make the owner of the pool or property liable if an accident does occur. This type of liability is known as premises liability.

A claim could also be filed on the basis of negligence, or the failure to do what someone might normally do under the circumstances. This could stem from bad installation of pool equipment, or even if there was a lifeguard who was unqualified.

Claims of product liability are usually directed towards the manufacturer or seller of pool equipment or the pool itself. These cases can be difficult to prove, as sometimes many people can be responsible depending on how a product was made. It might also be hard to trace back where a product came from.

Ultimately, you will want to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you or someone you love has been in a swimming pool accident. Our experienced swimming pool accident attorneys can review your evidence and work with you to build your case.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.