A dip in the swimming pool is a welcome relief for many Californians whether it is summer or winter!
Tourists and residents alike in California enjoy participating in water sports and all kinds of recreational activities using swimming pools at their hotel of choice and PUBLIC swimming pools alike.
Due to the large amount of water activities Californians enjoy, it is not uncommon for parents to enroll their children in swimming classes and/or send their children to schools or private entities for swimming lessons.
While pools for the most part bring delight to old and young alike, from time to time, a tragedy occurs resulting in a wrongful death by drowning. In the US, the National Safety Council reports that 600 children and adults drown annually in swimming pools.
Lawyers who handle wrongful death claims related to drownings determine at the outset of the claim if the case meets the standard of premises liability and negligence. In a nutshell, premises liability places liability on a property owner for dangerous or hazardous conditions that the owner should have known about or should have been able to foresee and inspect.
Cases involving premises liability are:
Privately owned swimming pools (examples are – swim schools or private schools with pools)
Residential swimming pools
Pools on government property (examples – public school swimming pools or community park swimming pools)
Commercial pools for guests, tenants or members (examples are – hotels, motels, gyms, apartment complexes, or water amusement parks)
Renters/Tenants (example are– a renter who rents a property with a swimming pool)
Some of the dangerous or hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the drowning death may include the following:
Was the pool only partially filled? When a pool is not filled with enough water, a person may strike their head on the bottom of the pool, rendering them unconscious thus contributing to the drowning. Was the pool murky? Murky waters can prevent the drowning victim from being seen or unable to judge the depth. Was debris in the pool? Debris in the pool may have contributed to the drowning victim from being seen and rescued in a timely manner. Was the pool floor slippery? A slippery side and bottom of a pool, can contribute to the drowning victim from being unable to get out of the pool or could have contributed to the slipping causing the head to hit the concrete or cement. If electrocution played a role in the death or drowning, electrical maintenance and installation will be investigated. If the drowning occurred at night questions such as, ‘Were lights on at the time of the drowning and were the light bulbs regularly changed/checked. Was the light sufficient? Did signage exist prohibiting swimming at certain hours?
Was it reasonable or prudent for a pool owner to install a locked gate and or install fences around the pool? Did adequate security exist for the location? Was the gate open or the lock broken are other questions that could be decisive in your case.
Lack of Supervision:
In a private residence, this issue may arise due to the drowning of a guest. In public pools, a lifeguard (and/or the company) who hired the lifeguard may be held responsible or liable if there was negligent supervision. Commercial pools may be held liable or responsible for the drowning death for failure to provide a lifeguard.
Another issue that we thoroughly investigate revolves around the negligence on the part of the pool owner.
Did the drowning occur due to the failure of the owner to upkeep the pool and or upkeep the maintenance or was the maintenance department or company responsible/ liable? For instance, allowing an accumulation of leaves on the water surface or debris to accumulate or collect could be enough for your civil lawsuit.
WE also examine whether the pool instructors or any of the employees of the maintenance company or hosts may be negligent in some way?
Did any debris cause the drowning victim or decedent to trip or slip into the pool resulting in the drowning death?
Maintenance surrounding the installation of equipment and in relation to local, city or county ordinances will also be evaluated. If the death occurred at night, negligence associated with lighting and related to signage permitting swimming at night would be thoroughly investigated. If alcohol was served and/or the owner or guest was intoxicated at the time of the drowning that would play a role in determining negligence.
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we specialize in swimming pool accidents and swimming pool drownings. We understand that the relatives of the deceased may by experiencing pain and anger over the drowning of their loved one. We would be more than happy to talk with you and help you achieve the answers you need for closure and a just compensation. There is no fee to talk to us. Our office works on a State Bar approved contingency fee arrangement which means that you don’t pay unless we win your case.
Our law firm is committed to seeking justice for those who have lost a family member in a swimming pool accident resulting in death. We want you to feel comfortable with the process of hiring a highly qualified and very experienced wrongful death lawyer who will achieve the results that you deserve.
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