Swimming in pools is an activity most everyone enjoys when the weather is warm, and many homeowners and country club goers in Massachusetts take full advantage of pools during short and sweet New England summer. Unfortunately, swimming pools also present many dangers—some of which are obvious, and others of which are less apparent.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents:
Injuries at and in swimming pools can occur in a variety of ways including injuries caused:
- By slips and falls on walkways and shallow areas of the pool,
- while using diving boards,
- while using slides,
- from entering the pool in a dangerous manner,
- to children by lack of adult supervision or lifeguards,
- by the excessive use of alcohol served to guests while using the swimming pool,
- by the unsafe use of pool toys and accessories,
- by the negligent maintenance of the pool,
- by bacteria present in a pool,
- by negligently maintained drain covers,
- by the negligent maintenance of pool ladders, and
- by the presence of sharp objects, including broken glass, in areas where people are known to be walking or running without shoes.
Pool accidents can occur at private homes, public pools, and private clubs; however, one thing remains constant: If an injury results due to the negligence of the owner or management of a pool, the injured party may have a right to pursue a claim or lawsuit for the recovery of damages. These damages can include past and future medical expenses, damages for scarring or disfigurement, damages for past and future loss of income, pain, and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. There may also be claims available to the spouse and family members of the injured party if the injury has an impact on the lives of the family. These causes of action exist whether the injury is minor—such as sprained ankles and lacerations—or more serious, such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, or death.
The simple fact is that owners and managers of swimming pools have certain obligations to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to ensure that their pool is safe to use. These steps include, but are not limited to: making sure that the pool is clean and free from dangerous bacteria, ensuring that guests are not served enough alcohol to become excessively intoxicated, checking to see that the pool and pool deck are properly maintained, that there is sufficient supervision for children, and that warning signs are placed in easy to observe areas. Injuries that result from a failure to enforce any of the aforementioned precautionary measures create a cause of action against the owner or manager of the pool.
Some pools do not have a “deep end,” so diving of any kind in any location is dangerous. Others have only one end of the pool where it is safe to dive. As a result, “NO DIVING” signs must be placed at regular intervals around the perimeter of the pool in locations where it is too shallow to dive, along with signs exhibiting the depth of the pool. The failure to do so (which results in an injury to an individual who was unaware of the depth of the pool) also creates a valid cause of action against the owner or manager of the pool.
Have You Been Injured in a Pool Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in or around a pool, whether it was at someone’s home, a public pool, a hotel, or a private club, it is essential that you call an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Calling a lawyer immediately will not only help you determine if you are eligible to pursue a personal injury claim but will also help you obtain and preserve evidence that may be needed to prove your case.