If you or someone you love has been injured in a swimming pool accident in the Long Beach area, contact Madison Law Group for a free consultation to see how we may be able to help.
The allure of swimming in Long Beach is undeniable. With the abundant sunshine and so many swimming pools in our area, it’s hard not to be enchanted by the endless opportunities to take a refreshing dip. But what happens when that joy turns into tragedy due to someone else’s negligence?
The perfect escape from the day’s heat turns into a nightmare in a split second. Maybe a lifeguard is distracted by their phone, or a pool owner neglected to fix a faulty drain. Suddenly, the safety of the water is compromised, and someone’s life is changed forever.
Swimming pool accidents often result in serious injuries and death. At the Madison Law Group, we understand the devastating impact swimming pool accidents can have, and we are committed to fighting for your rights. We know that swimming is a treasured pastime in Long Beach, and you should enjoy it safely and without risk of harm.
Accidents happen, and they are not always someone’s fault. But when there is negligence at play, the law states that you have the right to seek compensation to recover the damages you have experienced.
The Most Dangerous Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming is a popular past-time for Long Beach residents. Whether a casual swimmer or a seasoned pro, you can dip into the cool water of a swimming pool almost anywhere. You can choose a backyard, hotel, apartment, or public pool.
- Drowning: This is the most serious and usually fatal swimming pool accident. Drowning can occur in minutes and often happens silently.
- Slip and fall accidents: The wet, slippery surfaces around the swimming pool cause people to slip and fall, resulting in injuries ranging from minor bruises to broken bones or even traumatic head injuries.
- Chemical exposure: The swimming pool chemicals used for cleaning pose a hazard, especially when misused. For example, chlorine can cause skin and eye irritation, breathing problems, and other health issues if the levels are too high.
- Electrocution: Electrical equipment and wiring around a swimming pool are highly dangerous if not correctly installed or maintained. Examples include sound systems, heaters, and pump motors. If faulty wiring or equipment comes into contact with water, it can result in electrocution.
- Diving accidents: Diving accidents can result in injuries, such as arm, leg, and back strains, broken facial bones, and spinal cord injuries.
- Entrapment: Entrapment occurs when a swimmer gets stuck or trapped by a pool’s drain or suction outlet. Injuries from this swimming pool accident can range from cuts and bruises to bowel ruptures and drownings.
- Injuries caused by pool toys or equipment: Children (and adults) enjoy pool toys, such as water guns and inflatable rafts, but these items pose a potential danger. The same applies to heavy equipment, such as pool covers or diving boards. Swimmers suffer injuries ranging from corneal abrasions to concussions.
What Swimming Pool Accidents Affect Children the Most?
Swimming pools can provide endless hours of fun and relaxation for families during the summer, but they can also be a significant risk to children. Children are especially vulnerable to swimming pool injuries. As a result, parents and caregivers must ensure proper safety measures are in place to prevent a swimming pool accident.
The following are the typical accident risks of swimming pools to children:
One of the most severe risks associated with swimming pools is accidental drowning. A child can drown in a few inches of water, and it only takes a few seconds to slip below the water’s surface. According to the National Safety Council, accidental drowning is the second highest cause of mortality for children aged 14 and under.
Parents, caregivers, and pool owners must ensure that children are supervised at all times while in or around a swimming pool. A child being left unsupervised at a family pool party or social gathering even for a few seconds could lead to a tragic swimming pool accident.
Slips and Falls
Swimming pool areas are very slippery, especially around the edges and steps, leading to slips and falls. A child running around the pool deck, chasing after a friend, and slipping on a wet pool deck could result in a life-altering swimming pool injury. These accidents can result in broken bones, head injuries, and other serious injuries.
Entrapment and Entanglement
Another risk associated with swimming pools is entrapment and entanglement. Children can get their hair, clothing, or jewelry caught in the pool drain or suction fitting, which can lead to drowning. Parents, caregivers, and pool owners should ensure that pool drains get fitted with anti-entrapment covers and that children know the dangers of getting too close to the drains or suction fittings.
Swimming pool chemicals keep the water clean and safe for swimmers. However, exposure to pool chemicals can be extremely hazardous, especially to children. If too much chlorine is added to the pool water, it can cause a host of problems for swimmers, especially children.
Long Beach Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys: Your Partner in Seeking Justice
At the Madison Law Group we’re not just personal injury attorneys. We’re advocates for those injured due to someone else’s negligence. Let us be your voice in the legal system. We have decades of experience evaluating the facts of swimming pool accident cases to determine the best course of action for our clients. Contact our offices for a free case evaluation.
A Closer Look at the Various Types of Drowning Accidents
Long Beach’s water-centric culture brings many drowning accident types. These range from public pool drownings and hot tub drownings to beach drownings and diving accidents. When someone dies in a drowning accident, the family is left to suffer and grieve. They may also face mounting expenses as medical bills roll in, and if the person who drowned was earning income, the family is losing that as well.
Not all drowning accidents are because of negligence, but many are. In the cases where a liable party can be established, such as a lifeguard not paying attention or a pool owner not providing adequate safety equipment, citizens have the right to bring legal action to be compensated for the damages they have sustained.
Drowning accidents happen in all of the following places:
- Public swimming pools
- Residential swimming pools
- Slides and diving boards
- Oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water
- Boats and other watercraft
- Bathtub accidents
Statistics of Drowning Accidents in the United States and California
Swimming pools are great for having fun and staying cool but can also be very dangerous if property owners don’t take proper safety measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 11 drowning deaths occur per day in the U.S.
Here are other startling statistics:
- Non-fatal drownings account for an estimated 8,000 hospital emergency rooms every year.
- In the United States, there were 1.28 drowning deaths per 100,000 people, including boating-related drowning deaths between 2016 and 2020.
- In 2017, there were 3,709 drownings in the United States, and over 12% were children aged four and younger.
Swimming Pools: Injuries and Consequences
The consequences of drowning accidents are devastating, and those affected may suffer physical, mental, and emotional trauma.
Physical Effects of a Swimming Pool Accident
The physical effects of a pool accident range from mild to severe and can have lasting impact. Those who survive usually face health issues, such as:
- Permanent brain damage
- Oxygen deprivation
- Heart attack
- Lung damage
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Difficulty breathing
- Vision problems
- Hearing loss
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Bruises and scars
Cognitive and physical impairments make it difficult for pool accident victims to work or engage in the activities they enjoyed before their accidents. Additionally, victims may require lifelong medical care due to the severity of their injuries and the complications arising from them.
Emotional Effects of a Pool Accident
A pool accident can also cause emotional trauma for years after the incident. Those who have been injured in a pool accident may suffer from the following:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Nightmares related to the accident
- Flashbacks when they come near water
They may also experience difficulty concentrating, sleeping disturbances or insomnia, irritability, and mood swings. Finally, they could develop phobias related to water activities, such as swimming or boating, if they don’t receive adequate support or counseling during their recovery.
The monetary hardship associated with drowning accidents is often staggering. Understanding the common economic difficulties that families face is the first step in seeking compensation.
Medical Expenses. The medical costs associated with an accidental drowning can be astronomical. Depending on the severity of the injury, victims may require out-of-pocket costs for the following:
- Extensive hospitalization
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitation services
Even after discharge from the hospital, ongoing medical care may be necessary. Those with permanent disabilities may require specialized equipment such as wheelchairs or assistive technology devices, which can further strain finances.
If the person involved in the accident passes away, there are other expenses their family member may be able to collect, including funeral and burial expenses.
Lost Income. The inability to work due to disability caused by a swimming pool accident can compound financial hardships for those involved in such accidents. Here are some examples of lost income:
- Lost Wages: The loss of work-related income can include hourly or salaried wages, bonuses, and other compensation they would have earned if they could work.
- Reduced Earning Capacity: The injured party may not be able to work at the same level or in the same capacity as before the accident, leading to a decrease in their potential future earnings.
- Self-Employment Income Loss: Victims may not be able to work, or their ability to run their businesses may be compromised, leading to decreased income.
How a Lifeguard Can Save Lives at the Pool: Reducing Drowning Incidents
Sizzling summers are all about swimming and enjoying the water. The Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department gives its residents access to 12 city-wide public pools. Even though this is a fun recreational activity, it can be dangerous without proper lifeguards on duty.
Having a lifeguard on duty provides extra safety for pool users of all ages. Without these trained professionals vigilantly watching the pool area at all times, near drownings and fatal drownings increase.
Their role is so vital that the City of Long Beach offers a Junior Lifeguard program teaching physical fitness, water safety, and basic rescue techniques. There are several ways a lifeguard’s presence can help reduce the likelihood of swimming pool drownings.
What Does a Lifeguard Do?
A lifeguard is a trained professional responsible for overseeing the safety of swimmers in the pool. They know CPR, administer first aid, and understand swimming pool safety. Additionally, lifeguards must have appropriate certifications from organizations, such as the American Red Cross, before being allowed to work at pools.
The Importance of a Lifeguard
The presence of a lifeguard is essential in any swimming pool setting. They spot potential dangers before they turn into accidents. A lifeguard’s primary role is to prevent drowning incidents. They monitor the pool area to ensure that everyone follows safety rules and that no one is struggling or in danger. If they do see someone struggling, they act quickly to enact life-saving measures.
How Lifeguards Prevent Drowning
A lifeguard’s job is to prevent drowning incidents from occurring by being vigilant and proactive. They keep a close eye on the swimmers, ensuring they stay safe and do not engage in dangerous roughhousing behaviors. A lifeguard will intervene if they see someone struggling or exhibiting signs of distress.
Lifeguards also enforce pool safety rules. Standard rules usually include no running, no diving in the shallow end, and no horseplay. By enforcing these rules, lifeguards help prevent drowning accidents.
An Example of a Lifeguard Saving a Life
Lifeguards are often unsung heroes, quietly doing their job without fanfare. For instance, in June 2021, a lifeguard pulled a young boy from the deep end of a public pool in San Diego. The lifeguard quickly performed CPR and revived the child, saving his life. Without that lifeguard present, that swimming pool accident would have become a terrible tragedy.
What to Do After a Swimming Pool Accident
Experiencing a swimming pool accident involving a family member can be a terrifying and traumatic experience. Act quickly to ensure your loved one receives the necessary medical attention Here are some steps you should take after a loved one has a swimming pool accident:
- Call for Emergency Services – Dial 911 and report the accident. Give the 911 operator your exact location and a brief description of what has happened. The sooner you call, the sooner help will arrive, which could save your loved one’s life.
- Perform CPR – If your loved one is not breathing, start performing CPR immediately. The emergency operator will guide you if you don’t know how to perform CPR. This rescue technique can help keep your family member alive until medical help arrives.
- Monitor Vital Signs – While waiting for the Long Beach Fire Department and other first responders, check your loved one’s vital signs, including pulse and breathing. If their pulse is weak or they have stopped breathing, continue CPR until help arrives.
- Provide First Aid – If your loved one has injuries or wounds, provide first aid. For example, if they are bleeding, apply pressure to the wounded area with a clean cloth or bandage to stop the bleeding.
- Gather Information – Once your family member is in the care of medical professionals, gather as much information as possible about the accident. Provide details such as the location and time of the accident, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and other relevant details. This information will be helpful for the medical team and can help them provide the best care.
- Seek Support – A drowning accident involving a loved one can be a traumatic experience. Seek support from family, friends, or a professional counselor to help you cope with the situation.
- File an Insurance Claim – If appropriate, you can file an insurance claim to receive compensation for damages due to the drowning accident. An experienced Long Beach swimming pool accident lawyer can help with filing paperwork and negotiating the maximum recovery for your family.
- Research Legal Options – Once you have taken care of any immediate medical needs, it is in your best interest to seek legal guidance. A qualified swimming pool accident attorney can determine if you have grounds for litigation against those responsible for the accident. Our attorneys offer a free consultation so we can help determine whether you have a case.
Who Is Liable for Swimming Pool Drownings?
Swimming pool drownings are a major cause of accidental death in our country, with approximately 4,000 deaths occurring every year. Sometimes, these accidents are caused by someone’s negligence and are entirely preventable. Here are the different liable parties who may be responsible for a swimming pool drowning:
The Homeowner or Landlord
In most cases, the homeowner or landlord of the property where a swimming pool is located will be held liable if someone drowns. This is because they must ensure that visitors to their property are reasonably safe from harm, which means properly maintaining any pool on the premises.
Here are some examples of safety equipment that should be present at any pool:
- Non-slip mats
- A cover
- A fence
- First-aid kits
- Rescue buoys
- Signs warning of drowning risk
- Life jackets
A homeowner or landlord may be held liable for any injuries or fatalities if the pool area lacks these items.
The Pool Owner or Manager
If the person responsible for overseeing and managing a particular pool is negligent, they may also be liable for a drowning accident. For instance, if they fail to ensure that all essential equipment is present and functioning correctly, they could be held accountable if someone drowns due to their negligence.
Lifeguards monitor swimmers and ensure that everyone remains safe while using the pool. If a lifeguard misses signs of distress from a struggling swimmer, they may be liable for any related injuries or fatalities.
Manufacturers and Retailers
Diving accidents can occur due to defective diving boards. In this example, negligence may rest with manufacturers (or distributors) and retailers who sold the faulty product(s).
The same goes for devices used in a swimming pool, such as ladders and handrails. If these items are unsafely designed or installed, those responsible could be liable for any accidents.
Swimming Pool Accidents and Negligence Suits: An Overview
It is devastating when someone you love gets injured or killed due to negligence. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against those responsible for a swimming pool injury or death.
Negligence occurs when someone fails to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. For example, a pool owner or operator may be considered negligent if they fail to provide adequate supervision of the pool area, especially if children are present.
In order to hold someone liable for negligent behavior surrounding a swimming pool accident, there are some elements that must be proven.
Duty of Care. This is the way the law defines the responsibility we all have to behave in a way that is reasonably safe to avoid bringing harm to others. For example, a driver on our roadways has a duty of care to other drivers to operate their vehicle safely and according to the traffic laws. Likewise, a pool owner has a duty of care to have proper safety equipment on site.
Breach of Duty. This establishes that the liable party did not uphold their duty of care. An example of this breach is when someone drowns because the on-duty lifeguard isn’t paying attention.
Causation – The breach of duty must be shown as the direct cause of harm or death. For instance, if a drowning accident occurs due to a malfunction or defect in pool equipment, such as a drain or pump, you must be able to prove that the malfunction or defect caused the drowning.
Damages – There must be evidence showing actual damages because of negligent behavior. This is usually established by showing medical bills from treatment after the incident or funeral expenses from wrongful death cases.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Swimming Pool Accident Claim?
According to California law, you only have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit for a swimming pool injury or a drowning accident. For example, if the incident occurred on June 1, 2022, the two-year statute of limitations would expire on June 1, 2024.
There are always exceptions to this rule which could mean you have even less time to file, no don’t wait until the last minute to call a swimming pool accident lawyer. Get legal counsel as soon as possible after the incident occurs to ensure you have the best possible chances of securing a favorable outcome.
Types of Compensation Damages Available
In many cases, those who get injured in swimming pool accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. The recovery of damages can help ease the burden of a difficult time.
You may be entitled to the following:
- Medical Expenses – Includes emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and medication costs.
- Lost Income – Covers wages that were lost due to missed work while recovering, and this may also cove future lost wages if there is a long-lasting or permanent disability
- Pain and Suffering – These damages may include physical pain, mental distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive Damages – The courts occasionally award this type of compensation to a plaintiff in a lawsuit to punish the defendant for their negligent actions and deter careless behavior in the future.
What Can a Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Do for You?
If you’ve been involved in a swimming pool accident, or you have lost a loved one due to a drowning accident, then you need the expertise of a Long Beach personal injury lawyer. We provide experienced legal representation and ensure that your rights are protected at all stages throughout the process of filing your lawsuit.
A Long Beach swimming pool accident lawyer understands the ins and outs of personal injury laws as they relate to pool and drowning type accidents. If you have been injured in the Long Beach area, or lost a loved one in a tragic accident, seek legal representation as soon as possible. We can provide the following services to help you get the compensation you deserve:
Investigating the Accident – The first step in filing a lawsuit is to investigate the accident. Your lawyer may review police reports, medical records, and witness accounts to determine who should be held liable for what happened.
Gathering Evidence – Your lawyer will want to collect as much evidence as possible. This includes photographs of the scene, medical records, and witness statements. Your lawyer can also obtain expert testimony from medical professionals and other experts who can shed light on how the accident occurred and why negligence may have played a role in it.
Identifying Liable Parties – Another step in the legal process is identifying who may be legally responsible for the swimming pool accident. These personal claims can include pool owners or lifeguards whose negligence led to the pool accident. It’s also possible that a manufacturer of defective swimming pool equipment, such as diving boards or ladders, could be liable for injuries resulting from their product. There may be more than one party who can be proven liable in your case.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies – Once the responsible parties have been identified, your Long Beach swimming pool accident lawyer will begin negotiations with insurance companies. Your lawyer will present evidence to support your claim and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available for your swimming pool injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit If Necessary – If negotiations with insurance companies fail, then your lawyer may advise that the best next step is to file a lawsuit. Your lawyer will prepare and file the case and represent you in court.
Why Hire The Madison Law Group for Your Swimming Pool Accident Claim?
When looking for a personal injury lawyer to handle your pool accident case, you want to ensure they have the necessary experience and track record to represent you successfully. Fortunately, Madison Law Group is here to help.
Our team of personal injury attorneys have been representing Southern California families in swimming pool accident cases since 2000. We know well the intricacies of this type of litigation.
We are committed to holding those liable for swimming pool injuries accountable for their actions. We work hard to obtain justice for our clients. By choosing a swimming pool accident attorney at Madison Law Group, you can feel confident that you have a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer representing your interests.
Thousands of Successful Personal Injury Cases Handled
The Madison Law Group has served Southern California for over 20 years. In that time, we have successfully handled countless personal injury cases, including drowning accident claims and swimming pool accident injuries as well as wrongful death matters relating to these types of accidents.
Our law firm has a high success rate when settling cases out of court, which allows our clients to avoid the time and expense of a lengthy trial. We have settled thousands of cases for fair amounts that go a long way toward helping our clients heal and move on from this tragic incident.
Let Us Help You Recover: Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers Today at 1-866-LEGAL-911
We offer a 24-hour call-back policy and free case evaluation to discuss your case. Don’t wait another minute to get the help you need.