An afternoon at the pool sounds like a great way to beat the Georgia heat and enjoy some time with your family. Sometimes, however, tragedy strikes. Fatal drowning can tear your loved one from you in the blink of an eye. Drowning accidents can also result in permanent disability, including brain damage. When someone else’s negligence led to the drowning incident, you may have grounds for a claim. Do you need an Atlanta accidental drowning attorney?
Poor Pool Safety ConditionsPoorly-maintained pools can pose a potent danger for all users. Young adult males, in particular, have a habit of engaging in reckless behavior around water sources, which could increase the risk. Inadequate pool safety measures, however, can raise the risk of an accident, particularly when the user assumes a reasonable level of safety before getting into the pool. Poor pool safety conditions can include a variety of hazards that may raise the risks around a pool. For example, pool drain entrapment, when the victim ends up stuck in the pool’s drain and cannot surface, could occur because of a broken or incorrectly installed drain. Discolored or murky water, or a lack of depth indicators, can make it hard to tell the depth of the water and how much space a swimmer might have to maneuver. Broken ladders, pool lights that are not operational, or a lack of proper safety equipment like throwing ropes and hooks can all raise the risk of a serious drowning incident.
Inadequate SupervisionAt many public pools, lifeguards are on duty to help reduce risks, address safety concerns, and help victims who might struggle to keep their heads above water for any reason. Sometimes, however, lifeguards may behave negligently on duty, including failing to pay attention to swimmers in the pool or engaging with friends, technology, or other devices instead of keeping an eye on the pool as instructed. When lifeguards are on duty, most people rely heavily on those lifeguards to watch out for swimmers in the pool, so the failure of lifeguards to keep an eye on swimmers in the water, or to act appropriately in the event of an emergency, can indicate a severe breach of the pool’s duty of care to its visitors.
Lack of Access Control and SignsSwimming pools are incredibly tempting, especially to young children who may not yet realize that they cannot get into the pool safely without parental supervision. Pool owners, including the owners of both public and private pools, must take care to secure their pools so that children cannot wander in unsupervised. They may need to cover raised pools when not in use, use a fence with a locked gate to help protect against unauthorized access, or install features like a surface alarm that will alert any time something breaks the surface of the water. If the pool owner does not have those access controls, and a child slips onto the property and drowns, the pool owner may bear liability for the incident. Furthermore, pools may need to contain clear labels that will show what behaviors users need to display around the water. Pool users may, for example, need to avoid running, the use of glass containers, or engaging in reckless behavior around the water. In some cases, including pools with very shallow water, diving may need to be prohibited. A lack of warning signs, however, could leave the pool liable if visitors to the pool end up in trouble because of those behaviors.
Defective Pool EquipmentIn addition to the pool itself, pool owners need to maintain the equipment used in and around the pool, including:
- Diving boards
- Gates and fences
Do You Need an Atlanta Accidental Drowning Lawyer?If you lost a loved one in a drowning incident, or you or a loved one suffered serious injury due to a drowning incident, you may have questions about your right to compensation. An Atlanta accidental drowning lawyer can help your family learn more about your right to compensation.
Did the pool owner’s negligence lead to the incident?If you or a loved one suffered serious drowning injuries because of the negligence of the pool owner, from failing to conduct proper maintenance on the pool and surrounding area to failing to install lights that would make it possible to see while swimming in the dark, the pool owner may bear liability for the drowning incident.
Did the incident lead to serious injury?Sometimes, drowning leads to immediate death. Other times, first responders or watchers at the scene may revive the victim. The victim may, however, still suffer serious injuries. Complications from drowning incidents can include:
- Chemical damage to the lungs due to the inhalation of healing
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Brain damage