Sacramento Hot Tub Accident Lawyer
Hot tubs and spas are a wonderful source of relaxation and enjoyment, but they also involve environments that mix water, electricity, heat and slippery surfaces that can potentially pose a danger of injury from a hot tub accident. When this occurs, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist injury victims and their families in receiving appropriate compensation for the injuries that were sustained.Hot Tub Accident Facts
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) is a data gathering and querying system maintained by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). NEISS collects and provides data on injuries and deaths related to various consumer products. NEISS estimates there were more than 13,000 injuries requiring emergency department treatment from 2017 to 2021 associated with hot tubs and spas. Although many of these injuries were relatively minor, more severe injuries also accounted for a large portion of the hospital visits, including an estimated 3,395 emergency room visits for fractures and drownings (both non-fatal and fatal). Among the mechanisms of injury in these instances were:
- Slip and fall incidents in or near hot tubs and spas;
- Fatal and non-fatal drownings;
- Shock or electrocution.
The CPSC notes that overheating presents a danger of heatstroke and drowning -- the heat of the spa water, especially in combination with alcohol, can lead to drowsiness, unconsciousness, and drowning. Additionally, exposure to high heat can result in actual heat stroke. Heatstroke is a severe heat-related condition resulting in body temperature rising above 106 degrees Fahrenheit within minutes. It can cause death or permanent injury if emergency care isn't given promptly. Among the symptoms of heatstroke are:
- Altered mental state, including confusion and slurring speech;
- Excessively high body temperatures;
First aid that can be provided for heat stroke includes:
- Calling 9-1-1 for immediate emergency treatment;
- Reducing body temperature with ice water or cold-water bath by applying wet cloths on the skin or with ice packs;
- Air circulation around the heatstroke victim increases cooling;
- Remaining with and observing the heatstroke victim should other care be needed, such as rescue breathing or CPR if breathing and/or heartbeat ceases.
The CPSC notes that soaking in spas and hot tubs with water at or above 106 degrees is the primary danger, with alcohol consumption increasing the physical likelihood of heatstroke and making the spa users less aware of their own changes in mental status from the heat. One of the oldest and best-known hot tub manufacturers, Jacuzzi, notes that the CPSC recommends a water temperature of 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Most modern hot tubs will have a maximum temperature setting of 104 degrees F. The CPSC also recommends that additional care be taken for young children and pregnant women using hot tubs, that people with heart or circulatory diseases, including high blood pressure, seek their doctor's advice before using hot tubs, and that people take sleep or drowsiness-inducing medication should avoid hot tubs altogether.Electrocutions in Hot Tubs and Spas
Most people know that water and electricity do not safely mix. Hot tubs manufactured since the 1970s are much safer due to the inclusion of ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) that can detect tiny fluctuations in electrical current that signals possible electrocution and interrupts the flow of current to the hot tub's pump and lighting systems. Although GFCIs have significantly increased the safety of modern hot tubs, electrocution still poses potential dangers with hot tub use due to:
- Older hot tubs that may not have GFCIs installed;
- Defective or worn underwater wiring;
- The presence of electrical devices like televisions and radios (and their extension cords) near hot tubs where they may be accidentally knocked or dragged into the water.
Steps to reduce this danger include always having hot tub electrical connection installations performed by licensed electricians, periodic inspections of the hot tub equipment as recommended by the manufacturer, and always leaving at least 10 feet lateral distance between a hot tub and electrically-powered device like a radio.
Electrocutions in hot tubs may not necessarily be fatal due to the immediate, heart-stopping effect of serious electrocution -- shocks can also lead to muscular cramping and paralysis that causes drowning when the victim is unable to climb out of the hot tub. Any feeling of tingling, muscle cramping, or inability to move is an immediate warning sign of possible electrocution in a hot tub or spa.Hot Tub Accident Legal Considerations
Personal injury claims and lawsuits stemming from hot tub accidents may take different courses depending upon how and why the incident occurred. Typically, these will be premises liability claims against the homeowner's insurance policies of private owners of the hot tub or against general liability insurance carriers for hot tubs owned by businesses like hotels and resorts. They may also involve product liability claims against the designer, manufacturer, and/or retailer of a hot tub in instances where a defect in the hot tub itself was a source of injury. The causes of injury may stem from the hot tub or spa itself or from other sources in the nearby environment, such as slippery walkways or adjacent electrical sources.
Personal injury lawsuits from hot tub accidents are typically much more complex matters to investigate and successfully litigate. They often involve important product design and engineering questions where a defect in the hot tub caused the injury or questions of biomechanics and human factors where an injury resulted from a slip and fall when getting in or out of the hot tub or when walking nearby. Frequently this will involve retaining expert witnesses to provide consultation and testimony detailing specifically how a defect or environmental factor for which a defendant was responsible caused the injury incident. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the resources, experience, and skills to successfully resolve hot tub accident claims and lawsuits for their clients.
View this video from Wall Street Journal Live discussing another hot tub health concern -- the possibility of bacterial infection if chlorine or bromine antibacterial agents are inadequate:Contact a Sacramento, California Hot Tub Accident Lawyer Today
Hello, my name’s Ed Smith, and I’m a Sacramento Hot Tub Accident Lawyer. As much fun as it may be to relax and play in and around hot tubs, they can also be a source of injury when defects in the hot tub or spa or other dangers in or near them combine to cause a hot tub accident. Hot tub injuries ranging from minor bumps and bruises to serious fractures or even electrocution and drowning can result. If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured in a Sacramento hot tub injury accident, please call us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice or message us through our online contact form.
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