Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
Pools are everywhere in Fort Lauderdale. We commonly see pools in homes, communities, hotels, and recreation centers in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. With year-round summer temperatures across the state, pools are a welcome respite to cool down and relax on a hot day.
Unfortunately, the plethora of swimming pools also endangers guests when the owner fails to keep up their pool’s safety features. Injuries and drownings in or near pools are common in Fort Lauderdale. When those injuries occur because of the negligence of one or multiple parties, you may pursue compensation under the law. Contact a Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident lawyer the Levin Firm today to discuss your options.
About The Levin Firm
The attorneys at The Levin Firm represent individuals who sustained injuries in preventable accidents. We have experience settling personal injury claims and premises liability claims for favorable amounts, and we regularly win cases at trial. Whether your case settles quickly or goes through prolonged litigation, you’re in good hands at The Levin Firm.
Our award-winning attorneys have garnered recognition from national legal organizations, including Super Lawyers, Avvo, and the National Trial Lawyers Association. Our zealous advocacy has earned us a reputation throughout the legal community, and insurance companies know that when we’re involved in a case, we won’t settle for unfair compensation. We pursue maximum compensation on behalf of all of our clients in every case.
We have offices conveniently located in three states; despite our size, we provide personalized services at each of our offices, including our Fort Lauderdale office. If you sustained injuries in a Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, during which you can discuss your accident, ask questions about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Why Hire Us?
When you suffer serious injuries in a swimming pool accident, you have enough to worry about without occupying yourself with the legal complexities of an injury claim. You should retain an attorney to handle your case so that you can focus your efforts on recovering from your injuries. At The Levin Firm, we have experience representing individuals who have sustained injuries and wish to pursue compensation to cover their medical costs, their pain and suffering, and more.
Take a look at our client testimonials page to get an idea of our past clients’ satisfaction with our legal services. Look at our case results page to see how we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
When you retain an attorney, you can rest assured knowing that your attorney will handle building you a strong legal case by researching the relevant laws, interviewing experts, and negotiating with at-fault insurance companies on your behalf. All the while, you can focus all of your efforts on recovering from your injuries and getting back to work and back on your feet.
Whether your case settles quickly or takes more time than anyone would like, the legal team at The Levin Firm will continue advocating on your behalf and protecting your legal rights to compensation. Without an attorney, the at-fault parties in your case may attempt to offer you a lowball settlement that doesn’t fully reflect the true value of your case. When you retain us, however, we can protect you and fight for a better settlement offer.
Contact The Levin Firm today for a free consultation and to determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for your swimming pool accident injuries.
The Dangers of Swimming Pools in Fort Lauderdale
A swimming pool can present a hazard if it is not properly secured or maintained. An owner of a swimming pool must ensure they uphold the duty of care required of them to make certain the pool does not create a hazardous situation for guests.
A pool or nearby pool area can increase the risk of an accident and injury due to:
- Insufficient Safety Protections – A pool owner must have safety precautions to protect guests from injury or drowning. In Florida, owners of residential pools built after 2000 secured them with an approved safety barrier to prevent accidental drowning or injuries of young children. Older homes do not have these barriers as they were built before the law. Pools without pool safety barriers pose a risk to residents, guests, or children who wander onto a property.
- Slippery Decks – Wet tiles, pavement, and concrete create a hazard to individuals in or around a swimming pool area. Slips and falls are common accidents on properties with swimming pools. If the property owners do not take the proper precautions to prevent injury or alert visitors of the dangers present, they can contribute to the likelihood of injuries.
- Shoddy Electrical Work – Exposed wires or faulty equipment installation in or near a pool area create a high risk of electrocution. Mishandled electrical work can cause electrical shock to those in the pool, or a person may inadvertently touch electrical current while wet.
- Dangerous Chemicals – Pool maintenance can require a combination of dangerous liquids and chemicals to keep the pool clean. Misuse of chlorine, acids, and other substances can endanger those who use the pool. Owners must apply these chemicals with great care and test pool water to ensure it is safe for swimmers.
- Improper Maintenance – Failure to keep a pool and the pool area clean and free of debris can pose a risk to the health of those that may go for a swim. Pools require routine care to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can be harmful to the health of humans. Pools in hot climates such as Fort Lauderdale are at increased risk of these dangers and can require more frequent cleaning and maintenance to help ensure the safety of pool guests.
- Defective Equipment – Pools contain many parts and equipment. Some of these products, if defective, can create deadly hazards for unsuspecting swimmers. Defective or improperly used equipment and parts such as drains, filters, pool pumps, or lights can create dangerous situations. Defects can lead to accidents such as electrocution, drowning, or other injuries.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
Pools come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Each pool has different features and amenities that can contribute to the risk of an accident and injury. Swimming pool accidents can happen at any time and people are often surprised by the possibilities of what can go wrong and result in injury or death.
Common types of pool accidents can include:
- Drowning or near-drownings – The most common pool accident that involves children is a fatality due to drowning. A child of any age can be curious and wander into or fall into a pool unexpectedly. The reality is that a child who cannot swim and without the presence of an alarm or supervision will take only a few seconds for the victim to begin to drown. Florida leads the nation in accidental drowning deaths of young children and the easy access to pools in neighborhoods and homes is mainly to blame.
- Entrapment – Pool equipment poses a danger to swimmers in public and private pools. Pool pumps, drains, filters and other parts can entangle pool guests while swimming and pull them under the water.
- Pool slide accidents – Slides can add a fun feature to a pool, but if improperly installed or maintained, can create dangerous circumstances for pool guests.
- Diving platform accidents – A common cause of serious head injuries. Diving boards and platforms are dangerous if not used by experienced individuals or installed correctly. In addition, diving boards must have sufficient clearance from nearby objects and walls and be placed at sufficient depth to prevent collisions into the bottom of the pool.
- Slip, trip, or fall – Wet floors on decks, pool areas, and nearby buildings can result in serious injuries when an individual slips and falls onto the ground. Pool areas need non-slippery surfaces or owners must give adequate notice to all visitors of the hazards.
- Electrocution – Electricity and water are a dangerous combination, and a swimming pool can electrocute swimmers without warning. Often, exposed electricity in or near a swimming pool are invisible or unknown to guests.
What Are Some of The Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
Negligence is often the cause of swimming pool accidents. While a pool is fun, it also requires constant supervision. All responsible parties must take the steps necessary to ensure a safe experience for all. When a party fails to act or acts recklessly in their care of a pool they put the health and safety of the public and their guests at risk.
Potential negligent causes of swimming pool accidents in Fort Lauderdale include:
- Lack of supervision – When children do not have proper supervision in the pool, the risk of accidental drowning increases exponentially. Children who cannot swim can drown in very low water, while older children can misjudge the depth or their ability and get caught in trouble very quickly when playing or distracted.
- Distractions – Large gatherings or groups of children in a pool can make it difficult to track everyone. Lifeguards, counselors, or other parties responsible for supervising children in or near a pool can become distracted and miss the signs of a child that has gone under the water or is struggling to stay afloat.
- Intoxication – Young adults are especially at risk of drowning in a pool when suffering an injury while intoxicated.
- Poor maintenance – Improperly maintained pools expose guests to hidden dangers and risks from dirty pool water, poor lighting, wet decks, or faulty electrical components that can lead to death or serious injuries.
- Poor signs or no notice of hazards – While pool hazards can be apparent to owners, they may not be as obvious to guests. Floors that become overly slippery or a pool depth that is shallow or unexpectedly deep can create a dangerous situation for guests. Pool owners must notify guests of these hazards either directly or through clear and posted signs to alert them to the potential dangers and the necessary precautions.
- Insufficient safety precautions – Pool gates, alarms, fences, and covers can offer great protection against accidental drowning. However, if these features are not properly installed, maintained, or simply do not exist on a property, there is little protection against potential drownings in a swimming pool accident.
- Defective products – The defective design or manufacturing of a pool product, toy, or equipment can contribute to the risk of injury or death of a user or swimmer. Pool guests can become entrapped in faulty equipment, drains, or pool pumps by their hair, clothes, or bathing suits. This is a common hidden danger in many pools and can catch pool visitors off guard with little ability to get themselves free, which can lead to severe injuries or drowning.
Who Can Be Liable for a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident?
Liability for swimming pool accidents will depend on the facts of each case but in most situations the party responsible for a negligent pool accident may be the owner or operator of the pool itself. A pool owner owes a duty of care to their pool guests to maintain a safe environment for all and notify parties of any potential dangers they may encounter while on the property and during the use of the pool facilities. When a pool owner fails in some aspect to uphold this duty of care, they can be found negligent in their actions or inaction and liable to the parties they injured.
While pool-goers may accept some risks, responsible owners can prevent many swimming pool accidents. While many pool accidents occur on private residential properties, many pool accidents take place in public venues.
Reach out to the Levin Firm today to see what we can do for you.
Parties that can be held liable for a negligent swimming pool accident:
- Private homeowners
- Homeowner’s associations
- Community pool owners
- Waterpark owners
- Owners and operators of public pools
What Compensation Can Be Available to a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident Victim?
If you or your child were injured in a Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident, you may pursue compensation under the law.
Several laws apply to the safeguards and protections necessary for pool owners in Fort Lauderdale. When a pool owner fails to meet the standard of care required of them by law and acts in a negligent manner leading to an accident, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages that arise.
In many cases, homeowner’s insurance coverage may apply to a swimming pool accident in a private residence. Other insurance policies may cover public pools. A lawyer can work with you to evaluate who may be liable to you for your injuries and your potential options for recovery against them. Contact the Levin Firm today to get started.
Damages that might be available to you in a swimming pool accident case include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and wages
- Future income losses or medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of quality of life
- Compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one
What are the different types of Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accidents?
Swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the U.S. According to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States. More than 40 percent of them are in Florida and California. Swimming all year is one of the great delights of living in Florida. Unfortunately, swimming pools also pose risks.
There are, on average, an estimated 6,700 pool- or spa-related, nonfatal drowning injuries each year, and 379 pool- or spa-related fatal drownings of children ages 15 and under.
Common types of accidents include:
- Drowning. Drowning victims die from suffocation caused by aspirating water. If the victim dies within 24 hours after submersion, it is a drowning accident.
- Near drowning. If the victim lives for more than 24 hours after submersion, the accident is a near-drowning.
- Drowning by entrapment. Drain entrapment or entanglement can happen when the body, limbs, hair, or clothing become entangled in a faulty drain.
- Pool toy entrapment. Swimmers can become trapped underwater when inflatable pool toys unexpectedly flip or tangle.
- Diving or diving board injuries. Diving in shallow water or from faulty diving boards may result in severe head or spinal injuries and paralysis.
- Swimming pool slide injuries. These are the second most common cause of serious injury in a swimming pool. Injuries are most likely to occur when the slide drops into a shallow part of the pool, or they slide down headfirst.
- Slips and falls. There are slippery surfaces everywhere in pool areas. Swimmers who are just playing around and having fun may actually engage in risky behaviors that can lead to dangerous falls.
- Electrical defects. There is a surprising amount of electricity present in a pool area, including underwater lights, electric pool equipment, or electrical outlets. These may malfunction. Wet people and wet surfaces, combined with electricity, are extremely hazardous.
What is The Law in Fort Lauderdale Regarding Swimming Pools?
While there are guidelines, regulations, and laws in place to prevent drowning accidents, they still occur. States and cities have specific laws for constructing and maintaining swimming pools. Research shows that supervision is essential to preventing drowning accidents and injuries. Therefore, if supervision is unavailable, the pool and pool area should have appropriate safety features. In 2000, the Florida Legislature enacted the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act to combat the significantly high rate of drownings and death in the state. In addition, the Virginia Graeme Baker Act sets forth suction entrapment avoidance devices in pools, spas, and hot tubs.
The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires swimming pools to install at least one of these safety measures:
- The pool must have isolated access from the home according to pool barrier requirements.
- The pool barrier must be a minimum of four feet in height and not easily climbed.
- The pool must be equipped with an approved safety cover.
- All doors and entrances to the pool area must have self-closing and self-latching devices at 54 inches or higher.
- Any doors/windows with direct access to the pool must have exit alarms.
- The pool must be equipped with a pool alarm that sounds when someone enters the water.
If the residential pool owner chooses to use a barrier, the barrier must be at least four feet high.
Other requirements include:
- There should be no “openings, indentions, protrusions or structural components” so that a child could get through the barrier.
- The barrier should be located around the perimeter of the pool, separate from any other fences or walls in the yard unless those barriers meet the stated requirements and do not have openings to access the pool.
- There should not be any way to climb over the barrier.
- Sufficient distance between the barrier and the edge of the water.
- Gates must be self-closing and latching. They must open outward, away from the pool.
Public swimming pools and other commercial pools have additional requirements, including an anti-entrapment system, a safety vacuum release system, four-foot-high fencing, slip-resistant decks and walkways, ladders, steps, or swim-outs in designated areas, a secure room for chemical storage.
What is Negligence in a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident?
Negligence may lead to drowning deaths and other injuries. Negligence may consist of failure to properly supervise a child, failure to properly fence in the pool, or failure to maintain the pool safely.
The four elements of negligence are:
- Duty: The pool owner owes a duty to visitors. For invited guests, the owner must maintain the pool area in a safe condition and warn of hazards.
- Breach: If the pool owner does not fulfill their duty by, for example, failing to comply with safety regulations, they have breached their duty.
- Causation: The injured person must show that the pool owner’s actions directly caused their injuries.
- Damages: Because of the injury, the person suffered damages.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident?
Swimming pool accidents can have tragic consequences. When there are injuries or a fatality involved after an accident in a pool, it is always best to seek advice from a knowledgeable pool accident attorney. An attorney can help guide you through this difficult time and provide the support and resources you will need to file a claim or lawsuit against the parties responsible for the accident. A responsible pool owner or operator can prevent the vast majority of swimming pool injuries and deaths.If an accident occurred due to the negligence of an at-fault party, you can seek the justice and compensation you deserve from them.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident Attorney at The Levin Firm Today?
All lawsuits have strict filing deadlines, so consult our attorneys as soon as possible after the accident. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a swimming pool accident, you need our knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale swimming pool accident lawyers by your side. We can handle every element of your claim for you, taking all of that burden away and put you in the best possible position to recover financial compensation for your losses.