Resort Drowning Liability
While most resort guests are careful when they enter the pool or hot tub, accidents do happen. From diving into shallow water to slipping on wet surfaces in the bathroom, there is always a risk of serious injury when you travel.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured victims harmed by another's negligence. Many resorts fail to provide adequate supervision and lifeguards, especially when children use the pool.
Call a Chicago drowning attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Resort Swimming Pool Accident Problems
Resorts offer guests a wide array of amenities, including access to swimming pools, ideal for swimming and diving, to smaller pools designed to provide a beautiful view.
All resort swimming pool owners must ensure that every pool at the facility is free from potential hazards that could lead to a swimming accident. This duty includes posting warning signs, baring dangerous areas, and supplying sufficient lifeguards on duty to ensure everyone's safety.
Guests should generally be kept away from the pool with fencing and locked gates to prevent swimming pool accidents. In addition, the pool deck should be clean and free of debris or litter, and the resort owner must utilize flooring with adequate grip to prevent visitors from slipping and falling into the pool.
The swimming pool owner should routinely inspect the pool area walkways, tiles, and surroundings to identify any damage or cracks leading to a tripping hazard. In addition, any malfunctioning filtering system or drain could pose a significant entrapment hazard to adults and children.
Sufficient signage should be posted warning old and young swimmers against diving in that area to avoid head, neck, and spinal cord injuries.
The maintenance crews should use the leased toxic chemicals in the proper amount when treating pool water to avoid chemical imbalances that could burn the guests' skin and cause eye injuries or breathing problems.
Pool drains, and filtering systems that are regularly maintained are far less likely to pose an entrapment hazard to guests.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Dangerous Pools
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), over 20 million people visit emergency rooms every year due to injuries sustained from pools and spas. Accidents can occur at any time, and while some may be minor, others could have a lasting impact on your health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental drowning is one of the leading causes of injury-related fatalities in young children under five years old.
In addition, nonfatal drownings and other pool and spa accidents can cause serious health consequences such as brain damage, spinal cord injuries, bone fractures, and permanent disability.
In 2017, The number of people that died in swimming pool accidents reached 5,162 (CDC Injury Prevention and Control 2017).
According to the CPSC, there were 3,589 drowning accidents in swimming pools or spas across America. There were also 907 fatal falls into the water and 36 fatalities from other causes associated with pool accidents.
The most tragic cases involved toddlers and young children under age five who often wander around unsupervised and drown because they do not know how to swim or have enough stamina to remain afloat for long periods.
That is why parents must watch over their children at all times when they are near a swimming pool area.
Common Swimming Pool Injuries
Even the best swimmers with years of training can slip and fall, strike the bottom of the pool with their heads, and drown in minimal water. However, nearly all suing pool injuries result from low-quality equipment, design flaws, or a lack of lifeguards.
This negligence can lead to:
- Fractures and broken bones strains and sprains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Skin irritation and burns from pool chemicals
- Drain suctioning entrapment
- Drowning and near-drowning
In many cases, the pool equipment is poorly maintained or installed. As a result, the CPSC estimates that at least four million people are put into swimming pools or spas every year.
A substantial amount of these incidents entails drain suctioning, which can cause drowning and severe injuries to swimmers and other individuals in the pool.
Dangerous Pools: Drowning Statistics by Age Group
According to statistics published by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, drowning is the fourth leading cause of death in children ages one to four years old.
While newborns (ages 0-12 months) are not allowed near any body of water for safety purposes, toddlers ages 1-4 represent the highest number of fatalities due to falling into swimming pools or spas.
Over 1,500 kids die every year from pool drownings because many parents don't know how to swim themselves, and they often underestimate their child's ability to stand or walk on water.
Another important factor that greatly contributes to this problem is that small children tend to have weaker swimming abilities than older kids.
Statistics show an average of 283 injuries related to defective pool drains per year in America alone between 2003 and 2013, which amounts to roughly 40 personal injury cases every year. Also, 1 out of 6 children under the age of 5 was involved in a near-drowning incident at least once in life.
According to the CPSC, an estimated one hundred people die from pool currents or drain entrapments each year. While men are more likely to get struck by lightning than succumb to swimming pools' fatal effects, women are almost twice as likely because they usually supervise young kids at home while their significant other is away for work purposes.
It's important to note that most pool and spa-related accidents involve males and not females because men rarely ask for help when facing a dangerous situation like this (Statistics: Pool and Spa Safety).
Statistics: 90 Percent of All Drownings and Near-Drowning Incidents Involve an Unsupervised Child
According to the CDC, there were 816 drowning fatalities in the U.S. alone in 2010. Of these, over 410 (51%) involved children under age five years old; among children ages one to four years old, pool drownings account for more than one out of every five fatal incidents (CDC: Childhood Drowning).
The main reason why people die from drowning or near-drowning is that they panic when finding themselves in an underwater emergency despite having average swimming skills.
Generally speaking, it's safe to say that well over 90 percent of all drowning and near-drowning victims are unsupervised children who are not aware of how to swim or are too impatient to ask for help.
Statistics: Pool Accidents Result in More Fatalities Than Shark Attacks
The U.S. is one of the most developed countries globally, yet it has some of the highest drowning rates worldwide, with an average of 3 deaths by drowning every day.
According to CDC statistics, there were 3,582 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) in 2015 alone; this means that roughly ten people die each day from swimming pool accidents (CDC Injury Prevention and Control 2017).
On average, more than five people drown on American soil every day, which amounts to nearly 11 fatalities per every 100 million people living here. Furthermore, America is home to 2.5 million hotel pools, within which 1 out of every three is considered "very dangerous" to children under the age of 5 years old.
Statistics say that drowning-related accidents cost Americans well over 2 billion dollars in medical expenses and lost work time each year. It is primarily because pool accidents require immediate medical attention since they can lead to permanent lung damage or even death by asphyxiation if not addressed immediately.
Statistics: Drownings Account for Millions in Lost Work Days Each Year
Considering that 90 percent of all drownings and near-drowning cases involve unsupervised children who do not know how to swim, it's safe to assume these figures will increase drastically by 2020.
As more families fail to install the proper safety equipment at home, it is up to us as parents and friends to ensure everyone enjoys safe swimming conditions.
Parties Likely Legally Liable for a Resort Pool Accident or Drowning
Under premises liability laws, every resort is legally obligated to ensure the property is free of any pool hazards.
Therefore, depending on the extent of what occurred, numerous parties could be held legally accountable, including the property owner, lifeguards, pool maintenance companies, and even the parties themselves (Bryant & Associates).
Below are some common cases where resorts could be held liable for injuries sustained at their locations:
- A guest drowns in a resort pool after diving headfirst; although there is no signage around the area, this does not automatically equate to the resort being off the hook. Assuming there was no lifeguard on duty or insufficient safety measures, such as a pool alarm and child safety locks, the resort could be held accountable for failing to uphold its "duty of care."
- Lifeguards pile up chairs around a pool after closing time; this is enough evidence to prove they knew about unsafe conditions but still failed to take preventative actions such as putting away loose equipment or implementing a rescue procedure. In this case, it will be extremely easy to demonstrate that the property owner did not take proper steps towards safeguarding their patrons from potential harm.
- Guests are injured after diving into an above-ground pool with no ladder or other means of exiting in an emergency. In this case, a jury could conclude that the resort knew about the absence of a rescue system and decided to take no action towards safeguarding their patrons from potential harm.
- The equipment or pool manufacturer might also be legally liable if a defective product or design directly leads to injuries sustained by the victim(s). In such cases, it will be up to expert witnesses who specialize in pool equipment or hydrodynamics to determine whether the defendant was negligent.
- In addition, those responsible for designing and constructing public pools could also be held liable if they failed to take preventative actions towards making the area safe for all patrons. That would be categorized as a design defect, which refers to any product being improperly designed or configured for its intended purpose, resulting in injuries to consumers using it properly.
In all types of resort pool accidents, it is extremely important to involve local authorities as soon as the incident occurs since they are responsible for ensuring unsafe swimming conditions are immediately addressed.
Furthermore, victims might consider working with a swimming pool accident attorney specializing in premises liability lawsuits in cases where there isn't enough evidence to prove who is at fault.
Liability for Swimming Pool Drowning and Injuries
Swimming pool injuries can be deadly if not dealt with promptly because victims could suffer from shock, panic, or hypothermia. In addition, if the person is not treated for drowning immediately, they might die due to a lack of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs within four minutes.
Some examples of swimming pool accidents and the resulting in harm to the injured party include:
- Slips and falls (on wet surfaces) leading to broken bones
- Diving accidents leading to head injuries or traumatic brain injuries
- Attacks by wild animals and pets near poolside
A waiver may reduce a property owner's liability in some cases when children under the age of 14 use the swimming pool.
However, parents or legal guardians are held responsible for their child's safety. They can still be sued if a child under their watch accidentally gets into a pool without a fence that meets certain standards.
The Power of Signing a Waiver of Responsibility
In many cases, the resort requires that every guest sign a waiver when using amenities, acknowledging that they will be facing risks when using services like enjoying the swimming pool.
However, legal waivers do not protect the resort 100% if they fail to meet their legal obligations to ensure guest safety. The waivers are often legal releases of employees and the resort from liability if the guest was harmed while using the facility services as intended.
The law doesn't protect the resort and employees if the injury was caused by negligence or the intentional act of others.
The key to recovering damages is proving the personal injury was caused by negligence. Negligence means carelessness or failure to act in a way that protects others from foreseeable harm.
For example, if you are hurt because an employee or pool owner did not properly clean the pool and get sick with diarrhea, the resort could be negligent for allowing guests to swim in dirty water.
But, your signed waiver of responsibility would protect them unless they did something on purpose (like put razor blades in the pool) or knew about the condition but failed to do anything about it (like having no lifeguards on duty).
Did you sign a waiver of responsibility with the property owners when using the pool, beach, or other facilities at the resort?
Are you now injured because of some reason that was not your fault? You still have legal rights to recover damages depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
What You Need to Prove for A Valid Personal Injury Claim
it is extremely important to work with an experienced swimming pool accident attorney who specializes in negligence lawsuits and attractive nuisance claims so they can help you prove your claim by showing how the defendant's negligence caused you harm.
Only then will you be able to recover damages for your loss, including compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent injuries, lost wages from being out of work, and other losses.
Slipping and Falling at the Pool
Injuries from slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere at any time. No matter where you are or the circumstances surrounding how you fell, there is a good chance that someone else might be responsible for your injuries.
Slip, and falls make up a large percentage of personal injury claims each year, which is why it's important to understand who has responsibility if something like this happens to you. In most cases, more than one party could be held liable for your injuries – but only if the accident was caused by negligence!
You should not immediately assume that you will receive maximum compensation just because you slipped and fell on someone else's property. Instead, contact a pool accident attorney today to learn more about your legal options and what you can do to collect damages.
Defective Diving Boards and Waterslides
The dangers associated with defective diving boards and waterslides are well known. What is not so well known are the dangers of diving or sliding down defective water slides, of which there have been several reported cases of injuries and fatalities.
Since 2000, at least three fatalities have occurred in the United States resulting from people riding down water slides headfirst.
- In 2008, a 10-year-old boy from Illinois died after riding a waterslide at a resort in Wisconsin. The child went down the slide feet first but was rejected due to turbulence created by the slide. According to reports, he struck his head on a retaining wall and later died from his injury.
- In May 2009, an eight-year-old girl from Colorado lost her life after going down a slide at a resort in Texas. Again, she was ejected from the ride and later died of her injuries.
- In July 2011, an 18-year-old man from New Jersey drowned after riding a waterslide at a park in Pennsylvania. He went down the ride feet first but was ejected from the ride and struck his head on the concrete.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 3,500 injuries were treated in Emergency Rooms in 2009 due to amusement parks, water slides, and zip lines. Of those injuries, 1,000 occurred on waterslides, and about 900 occurred on water slides.
In addition to the likelihood of a head or neck injury, there is a relatively high probability that a rider may sustain a leg injury from the fins at the slide bottom.
Swimming Pool Accidents That Lead to Wrongful Death
Catastrophic swimming pool accidents and drownings claiming the lives of victims can Negatively impact the family for a lifetime. However, when that death occurred due to the negligence of others, the devastation was almost unbearable.
Illinois law provides legal remedies for surviving family members who lost a loved one in a devastating pool accident or drowning death. Qualifying family members likely include spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents.
By filing a civil lawsuit against all responsible parties, the plaintiffs can recover damages that can assist in paying for medical bills, funeral costs, and other economic losses. With the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney, you may be able to collect full and fair compensation to cover those expenses.
Swimming Pool Slips and Falls
Swimming pool slip and fall accidents happen every year. Here is where you file a claim for your serious injuries or a loved one's injury if it was fatal? You would need to prove the following:
- When the accident happened
- Where the accident happened
- Who was at fault
Determining fault could include whether any conditions may have caused or contributed to your injuries, such as slippery surfaces, debris, construction materials such as fencing, or ladders left open, which can result in a trip and fall accident.
You should seek the assistance of an experienced swimming pool accident attorney who has handled many slip and fall cases like yours.
Hiring a Resort Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Were you severely injured in a resort swimming pool accident, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by another's negligence? Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to schedule your free consultation today.
Our law firm works on contingency, meaning you will only pay us when your swimming pool accident lawyer recovers damages for you; therefore, there is no risk in contacting our team today.
Additionally, all confidential or sensitive information you share concerning your premises liability claim remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers offers legal services in many areas, including car accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, product liability, dog bites, dangerous drugs, pedestrian fatalities, premises liability, and wrongful death.