Florida is home to approximately 1.1 million residential swimming pools. From private homes to schools and public areas, it’s pretty safe to say that you’re always within a few miles of a swimming pool. And in the summer, there’s nothing nicer than taking a dip in a temperature-controlled pool.
Unfortunately, that nice time can sometimes end in disaster. Swimming pool accidents are far too common across Florida. They can result in severe injuries and even death. If you or your child has been injured in a swimming pool accident or you’ve lost a loved one to drowning, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case.
So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:
Number One: See a doctor immediately.
A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.
A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care.
Number Two: Write everything down.
Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain.
You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered.
Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.
Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them.
So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
According to the Center for Disease Control, children ages 1 to 4 are at the highest risk for drownings that happen in home swimming pools. Amongst children 5-14, 30% of drownings occur in swimming pools.
In fact, young children seem to be at the highest risk of drowning injury overall, with 73% of nonfatal swimming pool injuries involving children younger than five years old. Not only that, but Florida has the highest drowning death rate in the United States for children under five years of age.
As a parent, you want to do everything you possibly can to keep your child safe and free from harm. But what if their injury is due to someone else’s negligence? Even someone you trust can be the reason your child is injured.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
When thinking of swimming pool accidents, drowning is likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, drowning is only one type of accident that can occur in a swimming pool. There are many others, including:
Diving board accidents
Pool slide accidents
Slip and fall accidents
Pool chemical accidents
These types of injuries are caused by negligence. Swimming pool accidents occur because of defective products, poor markings, poor water clarity, overcrowding, lack of safety features, and improper maintenance.
All types of accidents can occur in and around swimming pools. They can range from minor to severe, from easy to heal to life-threatening. The severity of the accident will determine the severity of the injuries and the damages you’ll incur because of it. Some common swimming pool injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): TBIs can be caused by diving accidents, slip and falls, entrapment drowning (for example, if a child’s hair gets caught in a drain or pump).
Spinal cord injuries: Injury to the spine can occur because of slip and falls and diving accidents. These injuries are usually the result of negligent supervision or the lack of safety features.
Broken bones and fractures: Again, these may be caused by slips, falls, and diving accidents.
Lung injuries and respiratory issues: After a near drowning, children may experience severe issues such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress system.
Brain damage: A lack of oxygen to the brain can cause permanent damage. If your child was underwater for an extended period of time, they may be left with devastating damage.
Who’s Liable for a Swimming Pool Accident Injury?
Swimming pool injuries fall under the umbrella of premises liability law. This means that the owner of the property where the pool is located may be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur as a result of their negligence.
Property owners owe a certain duty of care to those who visit their property. They must maintain their pool and keep it free from hazards. If hazards are present, they have a duty to warn parents and children of potential risks.
To prove that someone is liable for you or your child’s injuries, you must be able to prove the following:
The property owner owed you a duty of care.
The property owner breached that duty.
You or your child were injured as a result of the breach.
The injuries resulted in actual damages.
You may be able to sue the following parties for your or your child’s injuries:
Property owners (in the case of a private pool in a hotel, club, apartment complex, etc.)
Manufacturers (in the case of a defective product causing the injury)
Private homeowners (could be a friend or even a family member)
Types of Damages You Can Recover on Your Child’s Behalf
There are two different types of damages that you can recover after your child’s swimming pool accident, economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are associated with a monetary loss. For example, a medical bill. Non-economic damages are abstract and associated with losses like pain and suffering.
Recoverable damages include:
Medical bills from:
Future medical treatment
Past and future lost wages (on behalf of the parent)
Lost earning capacity (if the injury reduces the child’s ability to work in the future)
While economic damages are calculated based on bills and past paychecks, non-economic damages are calculated based on the change to one’s quality of life. On top of that, they’ll be calculated based on how much the injuries are going to impact your child throughout the rest of their life.
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How Can a Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Help You?
By working with an experienced Orlando swimming pool accident attorney, you’ll be much more likely to receive full and fair compensation. At Osborne & Francis, we have years of experience investigating, building cases, and negotiating settlements for our clients.
We also pride ourselves on working closely with the community. We can gather police reports and medical documentation quickly and use our relationships with potential expert witnesses to strengthen your claim.
If you’re located in Orlando, Florida, Osborne & Francis is the best choice for your claim.
Call Osborne & Francis Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation