Pools are a source for relaxation and relief during the hot summer months we experience here in Tennessee, but they can also be dangerous and even deadly, particularly for young children. Every year, tragic accidents occur at private or public pools, resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities. If your child has been injured at someone else’s pool due to negligence or inadequate safety measures, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. Such lawsuits aim to hold the pool owner or operator accountable for their negligence or failure to ensure a safe environment.
By pursuing legal action, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the incident. It is crucial to consult with an experienced Memphis personal injury attorney who understands pool accidents to learn your legal rights and options in pursuing a lawsuit to protect your child’s well-being and secure the justice they deserve.
Under what circumstances can the owner of a pool be held liable?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Every year in the United States there are an estimated 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings—that is an average of 11 drowning deaths per day. 8,000 nonfatal drownings—that is an average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day.”
Pool owners may be held liable for entrapment, drowning, and brain injuries under certain circumstances. Here are some key factors that determine when pool owners may be considered liable:
- Failure to comply with safety regulations. Pool owners have a responsibility to adhere to local, state, and federal safety regulations regarding pool construction, maintenance, and operation. This includes installing proper safety measures such as pool fences, gates, alarms, and covers. If a public or private pool owner neglects to meet these requirements, they may be held liable for injuries that occur as a result.
- Inadequate supervision. Pool owners are responsible for ensuring appropriate supervision, especially when children are present. If a pool owner fails to provide proper supervision or allows unsupervised access to the pool, and an injury occurs, they may be held liable for the consequences.
- Lack of warning signs or safety instructions. Pool owners should display clear and visible warning signs regarding potential risks and safety rules. This includes indicating the depth of the pool, warning against diving, and providing instructions on the use of pool equipment. Failure to provide adequate warning signs or safety instructions may contribute to accidents and increase the pool owner’s liability.
- Negligent maintenance. Pool owners must maintain the pool and its equipment in safe working condition. This includes regular inspection, repair of any defects or hazards, and ensuring that pool water quality is appropriate. If a pool owner neglects maintenance duties and an injury occurs, they may be held liable for the damages.
- Attractive nuisance doctrine. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, pool owners may be held liable if they have an unsecured pool on their property that poses a significant attraction to children. If a child is injured or drowns in the pool due to inadequate security measures, the pool owner may be held liable based on the principle that they should have foreseen the potential danger to children.
It’s important to note that liability laws may vary by jurisdiction, and the specific circumstances of each case will be considered when determining liability. Consulting with a Memphis personal injury lawyer who specializes in premises liability and pool accidents is crucial to assess the details of your situation and determine the potential liability of the pool owner.
What sort of injuries can a child suffer from a pool accident?
Children involved in drowning or entrapment accidents in pools can suffer various types of injuries, some of which can have severe and life-altering consequences. Here are common injuries associated with drowning and entrapment accidents in pools:
- Brain damage. Lack of oxygen during a drowning incident can lead to brain damage, which may result in cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, memory loss, and motor function deficits.
- Respiratory problems. Submersion in water can cause significant damage to the respiratory system, leading to breathing difficulties, lung infections, or even respiratory failure.
- Cardiac arrest. In some cases, drowning can cause cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating. Cardiac arrest can result in brain damage or death if not promptly treated.
- Organ damage. The lack of oxygen and the strain placed on the body during a drowning incident can cause damage to various organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys.
- Hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to cold water can lead to hypothermia, a condition where the body’s core temperature drops dangerously low. Hypothermia can cause confusion, fatigue, and in severe cases, heart failure.
- Physical injuries. Children involved in entrapment accidents may suffer physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, fractures, or sprains due to being trapped or attempting to free themselves.
- Psychological trauma. Drowning or entrapment incidents can have lasting psychological effects on children, including anxiety, fear of water, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other emotional distress.
It is important to note that the severity of these injuries can vary depending on factors such as the duration of submersion, promptness of rescue, and the child’s overall health. Immediate medical attention is crucial in any drowning or entrapment incident, even if there are no visible injuries. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer experienced in pool accidents can help assess liability, pursue legal action, and seek appropriate compensation for the child’s injuries and related damages.
How can a Memphis premises liability attorney help me?
If you or your child has been injured in someone else’s pool, you should absolutely seek legal advice from an injury attorney. Tennessee’s premises liability laws can be complex, so you want someone with experience on your side. If your child is younger than seven, or if he or she has an intellectual or cognitive disability, it’s likely to trigger the attractive nuisance doctrine – but there’s no guarantee.
So, the first thing we do at Bailey & Greer is establish liability, or fault. Because of Tennessee’s comparative negligence laws, we need to prove that you’re not responsible for your or your child’s injuries, so we can maximize the amount of compensation you can obtain.
Next, we take a look at the extent of your or your child’s injuries and how they’re affecting your life. Can you go to work? Are the injuries permanent? Does your child need extra educational care? Are his or her growth plates affected? We need to understand just how severe the injuries are and what your potential maximum medical improvement can be. This is how we are able to calculate the cost for your damages in the long run, too.
Finally, we take on the insurance companies for you. Our reputation as some of the fiercest litigators in Memphis often works to our clients’ advantage; insurers know we’re already prepared to take your case to a jury before we even meet with them, so they may be more likely to negotiate fairly and in good faith.
A catastrophic injury can have profound and lasting effects, especially when it is the result of someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one has experienced a severe injury or condition from a pool accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to seek legal guidance. Consulting with an experienced Memphis personal injury attorney at Bailey & Greer, PLLC can provide the support and expertise needed to navigate your situation. During a free initial consultation, our dedicated attorneys will carefully assess your case, address any concerns you may have, and outline the legal options available to you. To schedule your consultation, you can call us or fill out our contact form. We are committed to fighting for your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve for your pool accident injury.
As founder of Bailey & Greer, R. Sadler Bailey has battled his fair share of insurance giants and wrongdoers and has achieved numerous multimillion-dollar results for the victims of catastrophic injuries and their families. What’s more, he has been involved in more than 40 appellate court decisions affecting Tennessee personal injury law, including many landmark appearances before the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read more about R. Sadler Bailey