The sunshine and year-round warm temperatures in Orlando are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, as are the seemingly endless number of swimming pools. Private pools dot Orlando’s backyards throughout the city, and it is rare to find a hotel or amusement park without a swimming pool. Unfortunately, that also means that swimming pool accidents are common in Orlando. If you were injured in a swimming pool accident, or you lost a loved one to a fatal drowning in a swimming pool, who is liable for your injuries or loss?
Orlando Swimming Pool Accidents
While Florida is well-known for many positive reasons, including being the “Sunshine State,” Florida also has the unwelcome distinction of having the highest unintentional drowning death rate in the nation among children from birth to age nine, according to Florida Health. Florida also consistently ranks high in unintentional drowning deaths for adults aged 18 and older. While we traditionally use the terms swimming pool accident or drowning accident, the reality is that swimming pool injuries and deaths are often the result of negligence.
Liability for an Orlando Swimming Pool Accident
“Accidents” are not always true accidents. Sometimes, another party (or more than one party) is responsible because of negligence on the part of that party. When injuries or death occur because of a swimming pool accident, defective design, materials, or installation may be to blame. In that case, an injured victim may be able to pursue a defective swimming pool accident lawsuit.
Even if the swimming pool was not defective, another party may be liable under the legal doctrine of premises liability. Premises liability allows for a property owner (or occupier) to be held liable for injuries sustained by a visitor to the property under the theory that an owner/occupier owes a duty of care to visitors. The extent of the duty owed will depend on the status of the visitor.
“Public invitees” and “business invitees” are owed the highest duty of care. A public invitee is a member of the public invited onto the property, such as a visitor to a public park. A business invitee is someone who was invited to the property for a specific purpose that is directly or indirectly connected with business dealings, including guests at a hotel or amusement park. The next highest duty of care is owed to an “invited licensee.” This is a visitor who is on the property by invitation, such as a social guest of the owner/occupier.
Whether a visitor is a public invitee, a business invitee, or an invited guest, a property owner/occupier is required to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition and to provide notice of any known dangers on the premises if a hazard cannot be repaired or removed immediately. In some cases, a property owner/occupier can even be held liable for hazardous conditions of which they were unaware but of which they should have been aware.
Swimming Pools Are an “Attractive Nuisance”
The law considers swimming pools to be an “attractive nuisance.” In short, this means that the law recognizes the potential danger a swimming pool presents to small children and other vulnerable members of society. As such, the owner of a swimming pool is required to take extra precautions to prevent injuries or death. This often includes putting a fence around a residential pool or employing lifeguards at a public pool. When appropriate precautions are not taken, the property owner/occupier may be held liable if a swimming pool accident occurs.
Swimming Pool Accident Injuries
When we think of swimming pool accidents we automatically think of an accidental drowning. While that is certainly one tragic type of swimming pool accident, it is not the only way you could be injured in or around a swimming pool. Other ways in which you could be injured in a swimming pool accident include:
- Diving injuries. Diving from a defective diving board or in shallow water can cause you to slam into the bottom of the pool, causing a traumatic brain injury or serious spinal cord injury.
- Slide injuries. An unsupervised or poorly-supervised slide can lead to children (or adults) going down headfirst or in groups which can lead to injury. Injuries often occur on commercial water park slides when attendants fail to properly monitor the release of riders at the top of the slide, causing them to collide with each other on the slide or in the catch pool at the base of the slide.
- Pool toy injuries. Inflatable pool toys can capsize, trapping a swimmer underneath the water or causing a swimmer to become entangled.
- Entrapment. Most pools have a strong suction pump that pulls water out to be filtered and re-circulated. Hair, garments, and pool toys can all get caught in that suction, causing serious injury or death to a swimmer.
- Slip and fall. If the surface around a swimming pool is too slippery or has been improperly maintained, it can lead to a slip and fall that may cause life-threatening head or back injuries.
- Drownings or near–drownings related to inadequately trained life guards.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Defective Swimming Pool Injury Attorneys
If you were injured in an Orlando swimming pool accident, or you are the surviving loved one of someone who was killed in a swimming pool accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party (or parties). At Bailey Fisher, we are dedicated to making sure negligent parties are held accountable when victims are injured in a swimming pool accident. We will aggressively pursue compensation for your physical injuries as well as emotional trauma suffered in an Orlando swimming pool accident.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando defective swimming pool injury attorneys will evaluate your case for free. For viable personal injury cases, we will follow up with the necessary legal action to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and recover the financial compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, and losses.