Swimming Pool Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Swimming Pool Injury Attorney: How to Prove Liability

Swimming is a popular summer pastime and makes a great addition to any residential homes, public or private properties. Unfortunately it comes with some risks that property owners should be aware of.

Pool accidents take the lives of approximately 3,957 children and adults annually, while other victims require emergency care for catastrophic damages. Let's take a look at the various injuries that could occur around the swimming pool and how you could limit them.

Personal Injury Lawyers Who Defend the Injured

At The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez, APC, we understand the legal concerns surrounding swimming pool accidents. It's often left thousands in deep medical debt due to negligence, product defects, or other misfortunes. For over 40 years we've brought justice to clients across California. If you or a family member suffered injuries in a swimming pool accident, call our law firm to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

Types Of Swimming Pool Injuries 

Any swimming pool injury lawyer could name a ton of different pool-related accidents they've dealt with over the years. However, some accidents tend to happen more often than others at residential, community, and private pools.

The most popular types of injuries to happen to individuals near or in the pool include:

  • Slip and Falls
  • Diving Board Injuries
  • Drowning
  • Electrocution
  • Infections
  • Fractures/Broken Bones

Many can lead to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, neck injuries, and other health concerns. While most wounds can be treated via surgery, others can be life-changing and cause permanent disability. In that regard, filing a lawsuit is the best way to recover compensation for:

  • Surgical costs
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitative treatments
  • Appointments with specialty doctors
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost pay from being unable to work

You're likely to receive the lowest settlement if you choose to bring a claim against the negligent pool owner alone. Insurance companies are known for low-balling clients who deserve more. A pool injury attorney in LA can help you win your case while you focus on recovery.

How Do Pool Accidents Happen?

Any property owner with a swimming pool is legally responsible for providing a reasonable level of care to visitors. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles is able to assess whether they breached that responsibility. They can also differentiate between accidents that happen due to negligence and incidents where the injured party puts themselves at risk. Proving fault can be a straightforward case in some accidents or more difficult in others. The first things that an attorney will look for when determining their level of fault include:

  • Lack of pool maintenance
  • Missing pool ladders
  • Malfunctioning dividing boards
  • Missing safety signs
  • Defective pool parts
  • Inadequate lighting around the pool
  • Lack of proper safety equipment
  • Improperly trained staff
  • Preventing pool injuries

We instruct our clients to do their best to prevent any pool injuries. Whether it means protecting yourself or ensuring the surrounding area is free from hazards, it pays to err on the side of caution.

California Laws

It's important to realize that various pool settings will require different precautions. California law requires a lifeguard on duty when there are children 16 years of age or younger around public pools.

Owners are also mandated to have a lifeguard on duty no matter what at water parks, water slides, and wave pools. Having a CPR and AED-certified lifeguard limits the risk of liability, as they will be keeping watch. The approved ratio is one per every 100 people. Public pools accommodating more than 100 visitors will need to have more lifeguards on duty.

It's a well-known fact that public pools are not typically bound by the same legal safety standards as residential or private pools. The California Pool Safety Act requires owners to implement one of several approved safety measures, including a fence, pool cover, enclosures, alarms, or non-slip walking areas to name a few.

It's a great idea to be a proactive property owner to keep accidents at your pool to a minimum so you can avoid a pool accident lawsuit. Pay close attention and go out of your way to make it as safe as possible.

Related Articles About Pool Accidents

Causes Of Swimming Pool Injuries And Drowning
Families who visit local pools are just hoping for a day of fun, but their pool day can quickly turn tragic at the fault of any of the below dangers:

  • Powerful Drains: Pool drains can create powerful levels of suction that can injure children if the suction pulls in their clothes, hair, or limbs. Being stuck at the bottom of a pool will drown them, which is why all pools should have a drain cover.
  • Overcrowded Waters: Drowning people do not usually jump up and flail their arms; instead, real-life drownings are often quiet and go unnoticed by those nearby. This is why overcrowded pools are so dangerous. With so many people inside the pool, it can be hard to see someone stuck beneath the surface.
  • Faulty Fences/Gates: If you own a pool, you should have a working fence or gate to keep unwanted guests out. Having this layer of protection will also lower your insurance costs and help you avoid liability should someone trespass and injure themselves in your pool.
  • Missing Depth Markers: A pool should label the depth of its deepest part to inform swimmers if it's over their limits.
  • Murky Water: Poor visibility can result in a swimmer drowning without anyone noticing. The chlorine in a pool should make the water clear, and any pool with dark water may be lacking that cleaning agent.

If parents notice any of the above signs, they should take them as a red flag that their family might not be safe in the water.

Are Lifeguards Legally Liable For Swimming Pool Deaths?
Lifeguards should be trained in CPR and sit "poised and ready" at their post if someone needs help. They are being paid to do this, so they should not distract themselves from watching swimmers with books, phones, or friends.

California expects lifeguards to exhibit a reasonable level of care when working. That means that they are not liable for swimming pool deaths if they did everything they could to prevent a drowning accident. However, if the lifeguard on duty was inattentive, you may also have a property injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit on your hands.

Swimming Pool Accident Prevention
The best way to stop a potential drowning accident at your commercial or residential swimming pool is by installing safety precautions. Drowning can happen in the blink of an eye and is often unbeknownst to those around the victim. Safety precautions will prevent these situations so that lifesaving first aid does not have to be performed. Some of the best safety tools are listed below:

  • Life jackets
  • Swimming lessons
  • CPR training
  • Water watcher or

Community Pool Liability In Los Angeles
If you live near a community pool, you may be wondering who is in charge of keeping it safe. Drowning is a leading cause of death for minors under 14. Licensees, renters, or owners must keep it safe and secure.

Neighborhood pools are typically under the management of the homeowner's association (HOA). Suppose the pool area has defective parts, unadvertised hazards, or a lack of sufficient supervision. In that case, the HOA can be held liable for any injuries because of their poor maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming Pool Accidents

  1. What are California laws for premises liability and pool accidents?
    Premises liability is a legal term commonly used in personal injury cases. In California, pool owners are responsible for making sure they keep their property safe for visitors. Most don't know that pools are considered dangerous – and without protection or constant supervision, you could be liable should anyone get hurt.
  2. Can you share a few quick statistics about pool accidents?
    According to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS):

    • In California, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in kids ages 1 to 5.
    • Around 185 kids need emergency treatment for near-fatal drowning injuries like TBI.
    • The average number of pool drownings in California was 31 children from 2010 to 2017.
    • The average number of swimming accidents and drowns was 51 children from 2010 to 2017.
  3. What are the requirements for residential pools? 
    Each state has specific policies regarding swimming pools. LA swimming accident lawyers stress the importance of safeguarding your backyard, whether the swimming pool is above or below ground. Per the Swimming Pool Safety Act, two of seven safety precautions should get implemented.

    • Put up mesh fencing with a self-closing, self-latching gate. It must meet requirements per the American Society for Testing and Materials Specifications (ASTM) F2286.
    • Exit alarms should get placed on doors leading to the swimming pool.
    • The self-closing and self-latching should not be lower than 54 in. above the floor on each door.
    • Place a safety pool cover over the pool that complies with ASTM specifications.
    • Have an alarm in the swimming pool to indicate when someone enters the water (especially unauthorized).
    • Enclosures should isolate the pool from your home and meet the requirements listed in the Safety Act.

    You can improvise and add your means of protection, but it must get verified to confirm it meets all ASTM standards.

  4. What is the statute of limitations?
    Adults that get hurt in a swimming pool accident have two years from the date of the accident to pursue damages in California.
  5. Are there exceptions to the statute? 
    Age/Mental Capacity: Because most pool injury cases involve kids, many must wait until they turn 18 to bring a lawsuit. They would have two years unless diagnosed with a mental condition. In that case, it's two years from the moment they are mentally competent.Government lawsuit: This is common in public pool accidents. Victims have six months to file an administrative claim. If denied, you can pursue a claim.Hiring a residential pool injury attorney can help you file a timely claim and win maximum compensation.

The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez Offer Comfort and Competence

Our law firm specializes in helping those who were injured due to an accident or someone else’s negligence. Navigating the insurance agencies and legal framework for compensation can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. That’s why you should call the bilingual lawyers of The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez to make sure you are compensated for your pain and suffering.

Your attorneys will then launch an investigation into your accident and the events surrounding it to find who is responsible. If someone was negligent and their lack of care led to your injury, then they will build a case to make sure they pay your medical bills.

Don’t leave your medical bills and property damage to chance; instead, hire a law firm that can win you the maximum settlement. Contact our office for a free consultation at 323-999-3500 or email us at contact@gutierrez.legal.