Swimming Pool Accidents
About 500 children who are under age five drown in swimming pools each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Near-drowning injuries are responsible for many children seeking hospital ER treatment. After car crashes, swimming accidents cause the most deaths in the United States. It does not take much time under water for drowning to result in permanent harm or even death. When someone in Los Angeles is hurt in a swimming pool accident, the premises liability lawyers at Sharifi Firm may be able to help the victim sue for compensation.Proving Liability for a Swimming Pool Accident
Near-drowning can lead to devastating injuries for the victim of a swimming pool accident. Hypoxia, for example, can result in brain damage if it lasts for four minutes. Injuries can be permanent and may even require a lifetime of care or assisted living. You can potentially recover compensation from different parties under any of three possible theories: premises liability, general negligence, and products liability.
Premises liability cases are designed to hold a property owner liable for injuries caused by dangerous or hazardous conditions that the owner knew or should have known about. California property owners have a duty to take steps to protect someone lawfully coming onto their premises. Some dangerous conditions could include a lack of fencing, a failure to post warning signs, a failure to supervise children after affirmatively representing that the owner would, or poor maintenance. Whether you can recover compensation in any of these situations depends on the particular circumstances.
If the danger is open and obvious, there may be no liability because a reasonable adult understands the risks of swimming. However, if the bottom of the pool or the sides are slippery due to lack of maintenance, sludge, or chemicals, and a victim cannot get out of the pool and drowns, his or her family may be able to sue for wrongful death because the dangerous condition was not open and obvious. The key in that case will be whether the pool owner knew or should have known in the exercise of reasonable care that the sides were slippery.
Proving that someone actually knew about a dangerous condition can be challenging. If a dangerous condition has existed for long enough, the passage of time can buttress a claim that the owner should have known about it.
Most swimming pool accident cases depend on a premises liability theory. However, you also may have a claim for negligence, which exists when someone fails to behave reasonably under the circumstances. For example, if a lifeguard is not qualified and fails to save someone from drowning, the lifeguard's employer could possibly be held liable for negligent hiring. There are several laws and ordinances that swimming pool owners must follow, including locked gates. A swimming pool owner's failure to follow the applicable law may give rise to a negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law) claim.
Another relevant theory may be products liability. Under a products liability theory, you may be able to hold a manufacturer responsible for a defective device. For example, if you installed a pool cover that was defective, resulting in your child suffering from a near-drowning injury, you might be able to hold the manufacturer responsible under a products liability theory.Consult an Experienced Los Angeles Lawyer for Your Injury Claim
If you have been hurt or have tragically lost a loved one in a swimming pool accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, you can explore your options with the injury attorneys at Sharifi Firm. We can help you decide which strategy may apply to your particular circumstances. Our firm represents accident victims throughout Southern California cities, such as Temecula, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.