Swimming Pool Accidents Lawyer in the DMV

We think of swimming pools as fun sites for both children and adults. However, swimming pools can also be deadly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, other than birth defects, drowning is the leading killer of children in their first four years. 

Other shocking facts are that 80% of drowning victims are male, and drowning death rates for African Americans are 50% higher than those of white Americans. In swimming pools, more than 7.5 times as many Black children between ages 10-14 drown than do their white peers. 

If a swimming pool accident has caused injury to you or a loved one, or resulted in a tragic death, Johnnie Bond Law in Washington, DC can help you seek justice. We’ll manage your case with empathetic support and aggressive legal action. Call today for a free consultation at 202-683-6803.

Swimming Pool Safety Laws

Although local rules differ slightly throughout the DMV region, laws require certain general safety measures for semi-public and public pools. 

Property owners with public pools and semi-public pools (hotel pools, for example) must provide well-maintained and safe swimming environments. Laws typically require:

  • Fencing around the pool area to prevent unrestricted access
  • Signs warning of dangers, such as low pool depths
  • Properly-functioning pool drains

Maryland law also requires lifeguards at public pools to provide supervision and emergency first aid. 

The requirements for property owners with private pools vary according to local rules. For instance, Montgomery County requires private pool owners to enclose their property with a fence with a self-latching gate. When owners violate the rules, they should be held accountable for injuries that result.

Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents are not always due to pool owner negligence. For example, if a public pool features “no running” signage and you suffer an injury while running, the property owner may not be held responsible. 

However, swimmers and pool visitors are often injured or killed due to poor maintenance or lack of safety measures. Some common causes of swimming pool accidents where the pool owner may be liable include:

  • Lack of proper fencing
  • Lack of proper signage
  • Incorrect or nonexistent pool depth labels
  • Faulty diving boards
  • Poorly-maintained slides
  • Faulty pool drains
  • Pool water contamination
  • Lack of proper pool maintenance
  • Poorly maintained decks and ground surfaces

In situations where lifeguards are required, a property owner can also be held liable for employing inattentive or poorly trained lifeguards. 

Compensation in Pool Accident Lawsuits

If you or a loved one suffered injury due to inadequate pool maintenance or another cause, you may be able to receive compensation through a personal injury claim. With the help of a swimming pool accidents lawyer, you can seek financial payment to compensate for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost current and future wages
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering

To learn more about your personal injury claim and what kind of compensation may be available, get in touch with the accident team at Johnnie Bond Law.

Staying Safe at the Pool

Pool owners owe every visitor a duty of care, but there are certain ways you can encourage pool safety for your family. Keep the following tips in mind for a safe time at a private or public pool:

  • Pay attention to signs and point them out to your children.
  • Instruct children on pool safety, such as obeying no-diving signage.
  • Do not allow your kids to run within the pool area.
  • Be especially cautious in pools with no lifeguard on duty.
  • Supervise children and vulnerable adults in the water.
  • Invest in swimming shoes to avoid slipping.

Of course, it is also crucial to avoid swimming while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, even cold medicine.

Contact a Swimming Pool Accidents Lawyer Serving the DC Metro Area

All the safety tips in the world can’t prevent accidents due to pool owner negligence. If you or a loved one experienced an injury at a pool and you suspect the cause to be poor maintenance or other neglect, call the pool accident attorney at Johnnie Bond Law to find out how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming Pool Accidents

How dangerous are pools?

Pools are very dangerous. The water poses a drowning hazard, the pathogens and chemicals in the water can be dangerous, and the surroundings of the pool can trigger serious accidents. You need to be very watchful around a pool, especially if children are nearby.

What are the main causes of swimming pool accidents?

Drowning and near-drowning incidents are tragically common at swimming pools. Swimmers drown when they don’t know how to swim or lack the ability to swim due to physical impairment, which includes alcohol and drug use. Proper supervision at a pool could prevent many of these accidents.

Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are also very common at swimming pools. The pool deck may be made of a material that is too slick when wet or someone can leave tripping hazards in dangerous locations to cause these types of accidents.

Defective equipment also causes swimming pool accidents. For instance, certain types of drains can entrap swimmers and cause severe injuries or drowning. Swimmers are also often injured by incorrect use of decontaminants in the pool.

What are common swimming pool accident injuries?

Common swimming pool accident injuries include:

  • Drowning
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Injuries to the spine or spinal cord
  • Concussions
  • Bone fractures
  • Infections and chemical burns

Even when a swimmer is pulled from the water before drowning becomes fatal, the oxygen deprivation can still cause tremendous brain damage with life-changing consequences.

In what types of pools do most swimming pool drownings occur?

The CDC reports that swimming pool drowning accidents most often occur in home pools. Often children are able to access pools without supervision, particularly if there are inadequate barriers around the pool. Many entrapment accidents and slip and fall accidents occur in larger pools open to the public. These pools often have powerful suction equipment and sizable pool decks.

How do I know if my child is drowning?

Drowning victims are often hard to spot because they don’t call attention to themselves. They are usually not able to cry out for help. They float vertically in the water, rather than horizontally, and they show no signs of kicking. Often they alternate between having their mouths just below the surface of the water and slightly above, making it hard to breath. They may try to press down on the water to lift themselves up, or they may not be able to control their arms at all. They are unable to wave for help or grab a lifeline. In this condition, they are likely to be totally submerged in less than a minute, so they need immediate rescue.

A swimmer who is in aquatic distress also needs prompt assistance, but they may be able to help in their own rescue by taking hold of a life preserver. Some signs of aquatic distress are similar to drowning: the victim is vertical and not moving their legs. Their mouth is just above water level and they may be gasping for air. They may try to swim ineffectually or roll onto their back or seem to be climbing an invisible ladder. Their eyes often seem glassy or unable to focus. If you see your child or anyone else exhibiting these behaviors, immediate assistance can make the difference between life and death.

Who can I hold responsible for swimming pool accident injuries?

It is best to start investigating as soon as possible to determine the parties who could be liable for a swimming pool accident. The owner or manager of the pool could certainly be held accountable if they failed to live up to obligations such as providing proper barriers around the pool or failing to maintain the property responsibly. If defective equipment caused the accident, the company who designed, produced, or repaired the equipment could be held liable. If a third party caused a dangerous condition, such as creating a tripping hazard, they could be liable as well.

What legal remedies are available if my child is injured at a pool?

When a child is injured at the pool, the most important step is to get prompt medical care and continue with follow up treatment. During the healing process, it is wise to consult a swimming pool accident attorney to learn about the legal remedies available in your situation. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties seeking compensation for economic losses, future care needs, and effects such as pain and suffering. If injuries result in death, loved ones may bring a wrongful death claim. No amount of money can heal injuries or restore the lost quality of life, but compensation can provide a sense of justice and help meet future needs.

What if I share fault for a swimming pool accident?

The contributory negligence rules in the DMV make it very difficult for a victim to recover compensation if they are shown to be at fault, but certain exceptions can apply, especially when the victim is a child. It is vital to collect evidence as soon as possible after the accident and to avoid saying anything that could be misinterpreted as acceptance of liability or a display of guilt.

When should I hire a lawyer for a pool accident?

It is best to consult a lawyer right after the accident, once you have taken care of immediate medical needs. Working with an attorney early on can provide great benefits because your lawyer can handle communications with investigators and insurance companies on your behalf and help collect evidence. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more opportunities you give them to take steps to win your case.

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