Atlantic City Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Pools are popular for recreational activities in Atlantic City. You can find one at major resorts and hotels around the area. For example, you might spend some time at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City or the Hard Rock Hotel.
Alternatively, people can visit their local community’s pool. However, visitors face the risk of an accident. Many causes can lead to incidents, and you can sustain different injuries. However, you do not need to suffer from your losses by yourself.
A lawyer can help you recover financially. The Levin Firm has an office in Atlantic City, and we aid residents with a wide range of personal injury claims. Our attorneys can fight for your right to compensation.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
Thousands of people have experienced an accident at a private or public swimming pool. The CPSC reports an average of 6,700 pool-related injuries occurs every year among children under 15. Swimming pools pose a risk for a variety of incidents.
A common accident that many people think of is drowning. An estimated 14 drowning fatalities occur at a pool in New Jersey per year. Usually, a person suffocates beneath the water. Authorities deem it an event as drowning if a death happens within the first 24 hours after submersion.
Even a couple of feet of water can pose a danger. In some cases, pool equipment can entangle someone and trap them underwater. If you manage to escape, you could still sustain a brain injury.
A near-drowning takes place if the victim survives for more than 24 hours after submersion—for example, when a person regains consciousness after CPR.
Another category of pool accidents involves diving. People might jump into a shallow area and hurt themselves. The diving board could malfunction, or another swimmer could move underneath the diver.
Water can end up on the surrounding pavement from splashes. Someone faces an increased risk of a slip and fall incident when they walk around the pool. The surface can become slippery if you move across the ground after you get out of the water.
Regulations for Swimming Pools in Atlantic City
Federal law dictates all swimming pools need to have standard protection against entrapment. The required equipment includes a safety vacuum release system. The system should detect blockage and reverse circulation.
Pools need to implement an automatic pump shut-off system and drain disablement. Property owners could face liability issues if they do not comply with the legal requirements. Owners in Atlantic City have to abide by state law as well.
For instance, you need to have a pool permit for in-ground and above-ground structures holding more than 24 inches of water. Of course, swimming has to be the structure’s intended use. You would need to get another permit for electric devices like a filter or lights.
Deeper areas of water have to have a ladder in place. State codes require multiple inspections for the structure to be operational. In Atlantic City, a person should not locate or build a pool until they obtain approval from the Board of Health of Atlantic City.
Private places need to comply with fencing regulations. A barrier of at least four feet has to surround the pool. The owner should have an unclimbable fence as well.
If you suffered from an accident, our lawyers help determine if the property owner failed to comply with regulations.
Common Pool Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common among swimming pool accidents. A person could hit their head after a slip and fall, or damage can occur if they dive into the shallow end. Physical contact with another person can lead to a TBI. Going head-first down a slide poses a risk as well.
You have the chance to sustain a broken bone in a swimming pool accident. Some people end up with debilitating injuries when they damage their vertebrae. A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis. Several victims still maintain sensation and function below the injury site, but others do not.
In a few cases, an electrical defect could mean electrocution. A person might end up with burn marks from the traumatic experience. Additionally, the pavement can cut or scrape the hands, feet, arms, and legs. Without immediate attention, an infection could occur.
If you have been in a swimming pool accident, you should visit a doctor right away. An injury like a TBI can take a while to present itself. Keep an eye out for any symptoms like dizziness or nausea. Then, speak to a lawyer if you have suffered due to the negligence of another person.
Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents
A lack of proper supervision is one of the causes of swimming pool accidents. Places with children need an adult to help ensure their safety. The main task of a lifeguard is to keep an eye on everyone who attends a swimming pool.
However, a lifeguard may not have received enough training. Perhaps, someone or something else distracted the employee. The lack of supervision could be due to no lifeguards being around. The staff might experience a shortage, and not enough people can monitor large areas with multiple pools.
Many communities in states like New Jersey have eliminated lifeguards in favor of “No lifeguard on duty” warning signs. Even though the signs post safety rules, the risk of injury increases. An accident can happen within minutes.
The problem could lie with defective pool equipment. The diving board could have damage hazardous to swimmers. Alternatively, an incident could be because of malfunctioning or missing anti-entrapment devices.
Alcohol can play a crucial role in swimming pool accidents. According to the CDC, intoxication is responsible for nearly 70 percent of water recreation fatalities. When someone consumes alcohol, they can experience impaired judgment and poor coordination skills.
The wet ground or debris can be a hazard to an intoxicated person. The number of beverages needed to affect motor skills depends on the person. No matter the cause, our lawyers at The Levin Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Liable for Your Swimming Pool Injuries?
If you got hurt at no fault of your own, you could file a lawsuit to recover damages. In most cases, one party is responsible. You might wonder whom you need to file a claim against.
The property owner could be liable for your injuries. The person might not have had a lifeguard or safety signs in plain view. Your lawyer could prove how the owner did not install the correct pool equipment or meet fencing and enclosure requirements.
Typically, premises liability rules apply to swimming pool locations. However, New Jersey uses the attractive nuisance doctrine when an accident involves a minor. The property owner could be negligent even if the child trespassed.
The owner should have known children would try to sneak past the fences. The defendant is negligent if they did not take precautions to prevent the incident. An example would be if the victim could climb the fence.
If the injured person could prove a defect in the pool equipment caused harm, they could get compensation from the manufacturer. Pool safety equipment has to meet specific standards. An issue could have occurred with the pool chemicals.
Toys and diving boards can lead to product liability. The creator could have made a flawed design or cut corners during production.
Who Can Sue in a Fatal Swimming Pool Lawsuit?
You might wonder if you can bring a case forward if the victim died from a swimming pool accident. In New Jersey, surviving family members can sue for wrongful death. Family members can find relief for the emotional and financial cost of the victim’s death.
A personal representative usually files a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf. The representative generally is a family member of the deceased, but the person could name anyone in their will. If the deceased has no will, then the judge appoints a representative instead.
Surviving spouses and children can seek compensation. Parents of the victim can receive a portion of the settlement as well. Siblings, nephews, and nieces can recover damages if no surviving parents, spouses, or children exist.
A person has to display actual dependency on the deceased victim.
How Long Do You Have to Begin a Lawsuit in Atlantic City?
People have the right to seek compensation once they prove negligence. However, the law limits the time they have to file a claim. Residents of Atlantic City have two years after the date of the swimming pool accident. The length of time is the same if the victim has passed away due to their injuries.
Once the statute expires, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss your case. The process of investigation and filing paperwork can take up plenty of time. You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to avoid any missed deadlines.
New Jersey allows rare exceptions to provide the victim with extra time. If you were under 18 during the event, the deadline begins once you become a legal adult. The person responsible for your injuries might have left the state before you could start a lawsuit.
You could file an affidavit to try to extend the statute of limitations. The Levin Firm can answer any questions you have about how the law applies to your case.
How to Prove Negligence
Like any personal injury claim, you have to prove the other party was responsible. Four elements exist to show if negligence occurred. The first element has to do with the duty of care. The pool owner or manager has a duty of care to visitors of the pool.
The person should have taken the appropriate measures to ensure your safety. If an owner does not, they breached their duty of care. To prove the violation, you need to show how an average, reasonable person would consider the defendant’s actions unsafe.
Once you establish the breach in the duty of care, you have to prove the owner’s actions caused the accident. The third element can be complex since the defendant can argue the plaintiff shares most of the fault. You need to gather sufficient evidence to avoid the loss of a settlement.
The last step is to make the direct connection between the accident and your injuries. For instance, your scraped limbs are the result of a fall. Your injuries led to damages like medical bills.
Once you meet all the criteria, you could recover damages in a lawsuit. Our lawyers can help you create a strong case and counter any defenses the other side might have.
What You Can Do During Your Case
While you prepare for your lawsuit, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare professional can discuss your injuries and treatment plan. Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions for recovery.
You can heal from your wounds and use your doctor’s testimony. Medical records prove the severity of the damage as well. The defendant and their insurance company have less of a reason to discredit your case.
You should keep copies of bills, invoices, and receipts while your case progresses. Your attorney can calculate how much reimbursement you deserve with accuracy. Additionally, you should take note of how many days of work you missed because of your injuries.
In general, lost wages influence the value of your lawsuit. Of course, you can keep in touch with your lawyer to learn of any updates.
Call The Levin Firm Today
Whether the pool was at a private or public location, you deserve to seek justice for your injuries. You might not be sure if you have a valid case on your hands. Discuss your situation with our lawyers at The Levin Firm.
We can determine how much the other side owes you, and our office deals with insurance companies for you. You can rest and recover while we work on your case. Our attorneys have helped plenty of Atlantic City residents discover their legal options.