Philadelphia Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys
For as long as anyone can remember, swimming pools have been a place to escape the heat and have fun. Throughout Philadelphia, there are dozens of public and private pools for residents to enjoy year-round. But while visiting local pools is a popular recreational activity, it’s hard to ignore the risks.
Swimming pools are the cause of thousands of injuries every year. And while swimming lessons and safety devices can reduce the chance of injury, even strong swimmers can suffer catastrophic injuries. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury at a private or public swimming pool, you may have a claim for financial damages. Contact the team of experienced Philadelphia swimming pool accident attorney at The Levin Firm for more information about your rights.
Table of Contents
- The Levin Firm: Fighting to help victims get what they deserve
- Achieving results for victims of serious accidents
- Swimming pool accidents: How they happen and when you’re entitled to damages
- Pennsylvania’s attractive nuisance doctrine
- Common injuries after a swimming pool accident
- The Levin Firm: Helping accident victims when they need it the most
The Levin Firm: Fighting to help victims get what they deserve
When another person’s negligence leaves you injured, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. At The Levin Firm, we know how confusing this time can be. Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers have decades of experience handling personal injury matters and helping victims get the justice they deserve.
When we opened our doors in 2005, we had one mission, to help others. Our legal team is passionate about what we do and want to help you get back on your feet.
To us, every case is personal. When a client comes to us, we listen. When an accident leaves you feeling hopeless, our job is to provide you with the resources and information you need so you can feel confident about the future. Now, more than ever, you want someone you can trust by your side. When you work with us, we never stop working to show you just how valuable it is that you have put your trust in your hands.
Achieving results for victims of serious accidents
A serious accident can leave you worrying about the future. How much will this cost? How can I afford to take time off of work? And where will I get the money I need? The goal of any personal injury case is to take away this stress by providing compensation to cover your losses.
While results vary from case to case, past results can provide insight into what we have been able to achieve for our clients. Here are some of our most recent success stories:
- $10 million recovery for serious burn injuries
- $9.5 million after an accident left the victim quadriplegic
- $3 million award after a construction site accident
- $1.5 million car accident recovery
Swimming pool accidents: How they happen and when you’re entitled to damages
For many Philadelphia residents, going to the pool is a fun escape. It’s a chance to play with friends, practice your skills, and find relief from the summer heat. When most of us go to the pool, we take the necessary precautions. If we have little ones, we put on life jackets. For older kids, there may be a discussion about pool safety. But even with the utmost care, accidents can happen.
You may not realize that most places are not swim at your own risk. Both business owners and private homeowners must meet pool safety regulations. Some of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents include:
In Philadelphia, you can’t just put up a swimming pool. The city has specific requirements regarding where the pool can go and what type of security you need to provide to prevent unauthorized access. For example, homeowners cannot install a pool in the front or side yard, and it must be at least two feet from any property line.
Additional requirements include:
- A fence or similar barrier to prevent unauthorized access
- Suction outlets that protect against entrapmen
If a homeowner fails to follow the required safety measures, they may be liable for any related injuries on their property.
The Shepard Center reports diving as the fifth-leading cause of spinal cord injuries. These injuries typically happen when a person dives into a pool head first and hits bottom. The force of the impact can instantly cause irreversible damage to the spinal cord and result in paralysis. A swimming pool owner may be liable if they fail to warn of changing pool depths and post signs prohibiting diving.
Lifeguards play an important role when it comes to keeping swimmers safe.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires lifeguards at any facility where the primary purpose of the location is swimming, including recreation centers and swim centers but does not include:
- Residential swimming facilities
- Private clubs or organizations
The rules further dictate the minimum training requirements and the number of lifeguards needed based on the pool’s size. Accidents can happen when the facility has too few staff on duty, undertrained staff, or inattentive staff. When lifeguards refuse to take action when asked for help or maintenance crews don’t treat the water so lifeguards can see drowning swimmers, and you or someone you love suffers injuries, you can file suit and seek damages.
Slip and fall accidents
It’s a given that the floors surrounding a public pool will be wet. It is hard to eliminate water from being on the swim deck. However, this does not mean a pool owner does not have an obligation to limit the chance of injury.
Things pool owners should do to reduce the chance of slip and fall injuries include:
- Post signs warning of wet floors
- Train lifeguards to stop patrons from running
- Clean up excess water
- Install sufficient drains to prevent water build-up
Pennsylvania’s attractive nuisance doctrine
In most cases, a property owner only holds financial liability if the injured person is an invited guest. In most cases, property owners are not responsible for ensuring trespassers’ safety. However, the attractive nuisance doctrine allows for some exceptions.
Under Pennsylvania’s attractive nuisance doctrine, a property owner may be liable for damages if an item (such as a pool) would attract a child’s attention and cause the child to enter the property to investigate the attraction. Because of this doctrine, homeowners should not only ensure all safety devices are in place but should also keep the pool out of site and take extra measures to prevent the unauthorized entry of minors.
Common injuries after a swimming pool accident
Swimming pool accidents can cause various devastating consequences. That is why it is so important for pool owners to do their due diligence and ensure they have done everything in their power to reduce the chance of injury. When pool owners disregard public safety, they may be liable for costs associated with your injuries. Common swimming pool injuries include:
The brain needs oxygen to function. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, a person can develop cerebral hypoxia. Cerebral hypoxia can happen when a swimmer goes underwater too long or in a near-drowning accident.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the brain begins to suffer cell death after 5 minutes without oxygen.
If the person survives, they may suffer long-term consequences, including:
- Cognitive changes
- Memory loss
- Mood changes
- Poor judgment
- Difficulty with speech or swallowing
- Vision problems
The signs of cerebral hypoxia include:
- Blue or grey lips
- Breathing changes
- Dilated pupils
If you suspect a near-drowning, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor can perform an evaluation and provide proper treatment.
Traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when the brain sustains an external trauma, such as a blow to the head. This impact can happen during a diving accident or a slip and fall accident. Traumatic brain injuries are serious and can be life-threatening. It is always important to seek medical attention after any head injury.
Symptoms that may indicate a TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Mood changes
- Vision problems
- Fatigue or difficulty staying awake
- The Mayo Clinic provides a full list of TBI symptoms.
Spinal cord injuries
As previously mentioned, diving accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord carries messages to and from the brain throughout the body. These signals can no longer pass through when the spinal cord becomes injured.
In many cases, the consequences of a spinal cord injury are total and permanent paralysis.
Because of the severity of these injuries, victims who suffer spinal cord injuries often deal with co-occurring medical conditions, including:
- Pressure sores
- Bowel and bladder issues
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Respiratory issues
According to the CDC, approximately 3,690 drowning deaths happen every year. For children between the ages of one and 14, drowning is the second leading cause of death, behind birth injuries for children one to four, and motor vehicle accidents for ages one to fourteen.
Most drownings happen at swimming pools for children between the ages of one and four. In Pennsylvania, there are 0.76 drowning deaths per 100,000 people.
Your rights following a swimming pool accident
A swimming pool accident can be one of the scariest experiences of your life. Knowing your rights can allow you to get the help you need when a pool accident happens. Following an accident, an experienced swimming pool accident attorney can help you open a legal case and fight for damages from all negligent parties.
Every case is different, and your final recovery will depend on many factors. Nevertheless, our attorneys can help you recover compensation for:
- Medical costs: Swimming pool accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. These injuries can result in extensive, if not lifelong medical care. This care comes at a steep price beyond what most people can afford. The Levin Law firm fights to help victims get the necessary resources to cover these extraordinary expenses. Typical costs in a swimming pool accident case include doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, medical devices, and rehabilitation.
- Long-term care: Because swimming pool accidents can result in serious brain injuries, it’s important to look at the possible costs of long-term care. Your case may include these services if your loved one requires extensive medical treatment or ongoing medical support.
- Lost wages: If you have to miss work after an injury, you may be concerned about how you will go without a regular income. A personal injury case can help you recover lost wages until you can return to work. If you cannot return to work in any capacity, you may be able to obtain future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: A serious accident can cause tremendous physical and psychological trauma. The damages for pain and suffering are given financial value and included in personal injury matters. Examples of pain and suffering include physical pain, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- Wrongful death: When someone you love dies in a preventable accident, it is devastating. There is no question that money will not take away this pain. However, it can provide you with the resources to ensure you do not have to cover outstanding costs out of pocket and have the time to grieve and take care of yourself.
The Levin Firm: Helping accident victims when they need it the most
Dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic accident isn’t something you should face alone. At The Levin Firm, we work diligently to ensure our clients receive support throughout the claims process. When you work with us, our team will connect you with resources and help you navigate this difficult time.
If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to contact The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183 or fill out an online request for a free initial consultation.
The Levin Firm
1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd,
Two Penn Center, Suite 620
Philadelphia, PA 19102