Swimming Accidents to Avoid
If you or your business has a swimming pool on premises, then it is of utmost importance to ensure the safety of all of your guests and customers. Being extra cautious while managing a swimming pool is wise because, statistically, swimming pools can be very dangerous places.
Here are five avoidable yet common accidents that frequently occur around and in swimming pools.
Submersion accidents, including drowning, are the leading cause of accidental death among children in the state of Florida. Even when drowning does not immediately lead to death, the damage done to a victim’s cardiovascular health and mental health can be life-changing. The Residential Pool Safety Act (RPSA) was enacted to reduce the accidental drowning of young children and elderly people who are unable to swim. The law says that private pool owners must install one of the following to protect vulnerable people from drowning:
… a four-foot barrier around the entire pool without a permanently placed way to climb over it
… an alarm for all doors and windows with direct access to the pool area
… a pool cover
… a pool entrance with a self-closing / self-locking mechanism
Florida owners of private pools who fail to provide at least one of these precautions commit a second degree misdemeanor, so it is very important that these rules are followed. Private pool owners are encouraged to read the RPSA language here and make sure they are in compliance.
Diving into Shallow Water
Diving into shallow water is very dangerous. The abrupt collision of fingers, arms and head with the pool floor can cause fractured bones, severe spinal injuries, brain damage and potentially death.
Diving accidents are completely avoidable. When building your pool be sure to include depth notices and preferably a “no diving” symbol in the shallow end of the pool. When guests arrive to your house, be sure to tell them that they cannot dive into the shallow end of the pool. Be wary of how alcohol and other mind-altering substances can cloud the judgement of otherwise responsible guests. If guests are intoxicated in the pool area consider making the pool off limits.
Slip and Fall on the Pool Deck
The combination of being barefoot on wet and hard surfaces combines to make pool decks a place where slip and fall accidents can occur. Slipping and falling injuries include blows to the back of the head, potentially broken hips and broken hands and arms used to “break the fall”. In many cases, victims of a slip and fall accident in a pool area may be made to take part of the blame due to Florida’s comparative liability laws. Could they have been more cautious knowing that they were in a potentially slippery place? Nevertheless, as the property owner you can reduce the chances of injury by posting signage that the floor is slippery and that guests should walk carefully and avoid running on the pool deck.
If guests are intoxicated in the pool area, consider making the pool off limits.
Trip and Fall on the Pool Deck
Similar to slip and fall injuries, trip and fall injuries involve a loss of balance. They occur on pool decks when uneven surfaces or unseen objects “catch a foot” causing someone to fall forward. Tripping and falling injuries include blows to the face and forehead, busted toes and potentially flesh wounds and breaks to the hands and arms thrust forward to stop the fall. Unlike slip and fall cases, victims of a slip and fall accident in a pool area may be able to claim that they had no expectation that an object causing them to trip would be left in the way. Could the premises owner have made the environment safer by leaving it less cluttered? As the property owner, you can reduce the chances of injury by posting signage that an object or uneven floor hazard exists and asking guests to walk carefully and avoid running on the pool deck.
Skin Reactions and Infections
In Florida’s warm tropical environment, it is essential that property owners carefully clean pools to avoid pathogens that could potentially harm themselves and guests to their property. Of equal importance, is ensuring that any chemicals used to clean and treat pools are used within the acceptable limits. Either too much chemical treatment or too little pool cleaning can result in a property owner neglecting his or her duty of care to visitors who come to use the pool. Be sure to use professional pool care services wherever possible to ensure that the combination of pool cleaning chemicals is adequate for sanitation purposes yet chemically safe for the adults and children who use the pool.
Have you been physically injured or harmed in any of the ways mentioned in this article while visiting a pool in Florida? If so, contact Jared Newman the Personal Injury partner at South Florida Law on (954) 900-8885 or reach out via our contact form for a free consultation. Remember, with personal injury, you only pay us if we win your case!
Jared Newman, Esq. is a seasoned attorney at South Florida Law, with an emphasis in Personal Injury Law. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Florida. Mr. Newman attended and received his Juris Doctorate from the South Houston College of Law.
Mr. Newman understands insurance companies tactics and has the experience to counter them. This background allows South Florida law to fight smart against the Big Insurance Companies. If necessary, we are prepared to meet insurance companies in court and recover the compensation you deserve.