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Stockton Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer

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Swimming pools are a great way to beat the heat and have fun during the warm summer months in Stockton. However, there are risks that cost lives and result in many injuries each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fifth major cause of an accidental fatality covering all age groups is drowning. However, there are many other reasons an injury or fatal accident can occur, including drowning while swimming in a private or public pool, which we explore in this article.

What Are the Major Types of Injury Risks in a Swimming Pool?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are around 5,700 children treated each year at emergency rooms as a result of a swimming pool accident. Types of incidents reported included near-drownings, pool drains, exploding filters and slips and falls. The most common injury and fatality cases involving a swimming pool or spa are caused by the following dangers.

Drowning

Public education and other safety measures have lowered the number of child drownings in California in recent years. For example, in 2017, legislation was passed and signed by the governor to require two of seven safety features to prevent drowning to be included in new construction and remodeling of existing home pools. A person is considered as drowned if they survive less than 24 hours after the accident because some can be brought back using artificial respiration but die shortly afterward.

Near Drowning Pool Incidents

Near drowning occurs when someone is underwater long enough that systems in the body begin to shut down due to the lack of oxygen. Complications from near-drowning may include brain injury, pneumonia, imbalances of chemicals and fluids in the body or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Diving Injuries in a Swimming Pool

These types of injuries include diving into the pool from the side or using the diving board. The majority occur when a diver misjudges the depth of the water or distance before leaping. Cervical spine injuries are common in this type of swimming pool accident and result in partial or complete paralysis, requiring around-the-clock care and causing permanent disability.

Entrapment by a Pool Toy

Pool toys that have defects or don’t work properly can trap children or even adults, so they end up under the water and can’t escape. Pool toys can also flip or get tangled, which keeps the person, especially children, from surfacing until it is too late.

Other Causes of Entrapment

Entrapment in swimming pools or spas occurs when someone gets stuck in a suction port. Commercial and private swimming pools all have to recirculate the water using suction to pull it out of the pool. Hair, body or clothing/jewelry entanglement is deadly to the swimmer. 

Electrical Defects at a Swimming Pool or Spa

Bad wiring and faulty lighting can lead to an electrocution accident or stun the swimmer so that they drown. Having a licensed electrician check the pool on a regular basis for signs of shorts or other problems can help prevent this type of accident.

Tips to Stay Safe at a Swimming Pool

Swimming can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. Some of the following tips can help you and your loved ones and friends stay safe:

  • Don’t swim alone and use a buddy system, even if you’re an adult.
  • Supervise your family’s children while they are in a swimming pool. This isn’t supervising them while you are in the water too. The person keeping a lookout should be sitting within sight of the swimmers and not drinking alcohol.
  • Swimmers with little experience and small children should wear a life jacket certified by the Coast Guard. While there are other products on the market, they don’t necessarily provide enough protection.
  • Children should not play games in the water where they hold their breath to see who can do it the longest. This is a good way to drown because they might pass out underwater. 
  • Get into the water feet first because serious injuries can occur if it is too shallow. If there is no designated area for diving, children may get reckless. Just tell them diving is not allowed.
  • Swim areas are designated for a reason. Explain to your children what the ropes are that provide dividers in swimming pools. Don’t allow them to cross those ropes if they don’t have the ability to swim in deeper water.
  • Don’t drink and swim. Teens, as well as adults, should be aware of the dangers of swimming when they’ve been drinking. Although alcoholic beverages are illegal for teens, they still sometimes manage to get hold of them. Drinking and getting into the water cannot only lower your body temperature, but it can also affect the individual’s ability to swim as well as their balance, coordination and judgment. This can lead to a dangerous or lethal accident.
  • Don’t go anywhere near the pool drains. It’s a good idea to show your children the pool drains, and warn them to stay far away from them. It’s important for adults too because of the dangers.
  • If someone is in trouble in the water, don’t jump in and swim over to help them because both of you could be in danger of drowning. Use a long-handled leaf net or another long object that they can grab onto and pull them to safety. 
  • Finally, learn CPR because it can save a life, including those of your own family members. You can get certification in CPR at the American Red Cross and other organizations. Make sure you keep it up too.
Can I Get Compensated for Swimming Pool Injuries?

If the accident was caused by negligence, yes, you can. If someone in your immediate family drowns, the representative of the estate or loved ones can file a claim for wrongful death to recover damages. If an injury occurs at the private pool of a friend or acquaintance, the person who owns the property can be liable. They can also be held liable for injuries if the accident occurred because of negligence.

Who Is Responsible for an Accident in a Public Swimming Pool?

Public pools include those found at resorts, hotels, health clubs, parks, housing complexes, some schools and others. Again, the owner or whoever is responsible for the swimming pool's upkeep and safety can be held financially responsible in the event an injury or fatality occurs. Emergency information should be provided in the pool area in the event of an accident, a lifeguard should be on duty in certain instances and warnings posted. In addition, safety equipment such as life rings and poles should be present in the event they are needed. Our investigators will conduct a thorough search to determine if negligence was the cause of your accident and gather the evidence to support your claim. 

How Can I Recover Fair Compensation After a Swimming Pool Injury Accident?

If you suffered an injury or a loved one died, it is important to seek the help of a Stockton swimming pool accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Many times, accidents involving swimming pools are the result of negligence on the part of property owners or equipment that is defective. An investigation into the cause of the accident must be conducted quickly before it disappears or is covered over. 

Our swimming pool accident attorneys in Stockton have extensive resources and experience in handling these types of cases. Because catastrophic injuries and fatalities can occur in a swimming pool accident, a careful investigation is required to obtain the evidence needed to support the client’s claim and obtain the maximum compensation. 

What Can I Do to Support My Injury Claim After a Swimming Pool Accident?

There are some things the injured person or their family can do to support their claim for compensation following an accident at a swimming pool caused by negligence such as the following:

  • Go right away to the hospital emergency room, especially if a child was the one injured in the accident. A swimming pool accident can cause complications that are life-threatening, and medical care is important.
  • Call local authorities to report the accident. Police will come to investigate what happened and write a report, which helps to document your injury.
  • Have someone at the scene photograph the area, especially the way the accident occurred. For example, the pool pump, fencing, safety equipment or lack thereof, loose cords and floatation devices can be implicated. Your Stockton swimming pool accident attorney can use these photos to look for signs of negligence, so the more photos taken the better.
  • Keep quiet about fault. People who are injured in an accident often say things that are innocent enough but can be twisted into a confession of guilt by insurance companies. Let your lawyer do the talking for you.
  • Stay off of social media while your accident case is in progress

Related articles by Stockton swimming pool accident lawyer Ed Smith:

Here are some tips for choosing a lawyer following an injury accident, as explained by attorney Ed Smith:

Stockton Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, and I am a Stockton swimming pool accident lawyer. If you were injured or a loved one died as a result of a negligent swimming pool or spa owner, you may be able to recover compensation. You are welcome to contact our injury lawyers for their free and friendly advice by calling us at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 to arrange an appointment in-person or virtually. 

Our legal team can review your situation, give you your options going forward and answer any questions you might have. If you prefer, we can also be contacted online. Here is a link to our Settlements and Verdicts page where you can learn more about our help to others.

Photo attribution: by David Mark from Pixabay 

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