Residential, private, and public swimming pools are relatively common in the Atlanta metro area because we have nearly nine months of warm weather each year. When you visit the swimming pool, you expect to have a relaxing experience. You also expect the swimming pool owner to safely maintain the pool. Unfortunately, some pool owners are careless and don’t obey the basic safety rules of pool maintenance.
When swimming pools aren’t safely maintained, they can cause devastating injuries. For instance, if you slip on an unstable diving board, you could break your neck and/or suffer a traumatic brain injury. If the swimming pool filter is not maintained, it might trap a child and drown them. Even if you or your child survives a swimming pool accident, you might have to endure a lifetime of future medical expenses. Swimming pool injuries are also caused by careless lifeguards and other pool attendants.
If you were injured by a poorly-maintained pool, or if your child drowned because of a negligent lifeguard, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, our attorneys have helped personal injury clients recover millions of dollars from property owners that have harmed them. If you or a loved one sustained injuries while visiting a swimming pool, contact our Atlanta premises liability lawyers at (404) 419-6674, or reach out through our online form to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.
Common Swimming Pool Accidents
Our Atlanta swimming pool accident attorneys have handled many types of accidents, including:
Slip and Falls
Property owners are responsible for maintaining their pools so that their pools are safe for visitors and other guests. When a pool deck becomes slick with water, pool patrons are at risk for slip and fall injuries. Concrete pool decks also crack over time. If a portion of the pavement splits and you do not see it as you’re walking towards the entrance or exit of the pool, you could trip and fall.
When you slip and fall because of slick or cracked pavement, call a swimming pool accident lawyer for help right away.
Fatal & Near Drownings
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 people die every day from accidentally drowning. Factors that cause drowning accidents include lack of adequate supervision, lack of the ability to swim, health-related issues (such as seizure disorders), and more. Even when a victim survives a drowning, he or she can have permanent brain damage.
Diving Board Accidents
Some diving boards have rails that you can use to steady yourself as you walk to the edge of the board. Those rails can become loose and rusty which can cause you to lose stability if you’re leaning on them. Water and sunscreen can also pool on the diving board, making it slick. There also might not be proper signage near the diving board that identifies the water depth and other unforeseeable hazards.
Each one of those hazards can cause concussions, spinal damage, brain damage, and other serious injuries. An Atlanta swimming pool accident lawyer from Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC will investigate the hazard that injured you and hold the negligent party responsible.
Pool Drain Accidents
Pool drains are supposed to keep the water in a pool clean and safe for swimmers to enjoy. However, they are extremely dangerous – especially for children. According to Paul Pennington, founder of the non-profit advocacy group Pool Safety Council, “the force of a drain on a residential pool has a weight of at least 500 pounds.” If an individual’s limb gets caught in a drain, the force is often too strong for them to fight it.
Even if the victim is able to overcome the drain force, the victim might suffer any one or more of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Concussions or more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Brain damage from lack of oxygen
- Internal organ damage
Therefore, it’s important to reach out to an attorney following such an accident. If you or someone you love was injured because the pool managers didn’t safely cover the pool drains, you might be able to file a claim for compensation.
Georgia Private Swimming Pool Regulations
Homeowners with pools on their properties must obey Atlanta’s swimming pool regulations. If they don’t, their carelessness can cause serious injuries.
There are several private swimming pool ordinances throughout the state. Many regulations, however, are determined by the homeowner’s county of residence. According to the Georgia State Minimum Standard Swimming Pool and Spa Code, pool owners must abide by the following safety rules:
- Pools deeper than two feet must have a fence.
- The fence needs to be at least 48 inches high, with no more than four inches between the slats, or four inches off the ground. (Some counties have a greater minimum height.)
- The fence usually may not be lattice or chain-link, although chain-link fences with openings no bigger than 1.75 inches may be lawful.
- The fence cannot have any foot or hand holds for young children to climb.
- Any gates within the fence should be self-closing and locking and should swing outward, away from the pool.
If you or someone you love was was injured at a pool due to inadequate fencing or other means of security, call a swimming pool accident attorney at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC right away.
Swimming Pool Liability
Property owners are responsible for the injuries that most people sustain while on their property. The injured victim’s purpose for the visit will determine the duty the property owner owes to the victim.
An invitee has permission to be on the property owner’s land for a business purpose. The owner or occupier of that land owes the invitee a duty to keep the premises safe. When you pay to go to a club’s private pool, you are an invitee. The club owner is responsible for inspecting their property; identifying dangerous and hidden hazards; and either providing warnings regarding the dangers, fixing them, or making them inaccessible.
A licensee is on the land with permission, but for the licensee’s own purposes. When you swim in a friend or family member’s pool, you are a licensee. The property owner must refrain from willfully or wantonly causing you injury. In other words, they cannot recklessly or intentionally cause you harm.
If you were a trespasser in someone’s private pool, then they do not owe you any duty of care. However, if a child was injured after trespassing in someone’s pool, the owner is usually liable for the child’s injuries. Georgia recognizes the attractive nuisance doctrine, which treats young trespassers differently than adults. If your child was harmed in someone’s swimming pool, even if they did not have permission to be there, call a swimming pool accident lawyer immediately.
The Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance
Georgia recognizes that child trespassers should be treated differently than adult trespassers because children are immature and less capable of making reasonable decisions. If a child was drawn to a property because of an “attractive nuisance,” the property owner might be responsible for the child’s injuries if the child was injured on the owner’s property. An “attractive nuisance” is an inherently dangerous condition that might tempt children because of their age, size, and/or lack of maturity. Swimming pools are typically attractive nuisances.
A child victim that wandered onto someone’s property and was injured in the owner’s swimming pool must satisfy five criteria in order to hold the swimming pool owner responsible.
- The property owner knew or had reason to know children were likely to trespass onto the property where there is a swimming pool.
- The landowner knew or had reason to know that the swimming pool involved an unreasonable risk of injury or death to children.
- Because of his or her age, the child did not realize or understand the risk involved in playing in or around the pool.
- The property owner’s burden to maintain the pool or eliminate the danger is slight compared to the risk to the children.
- The property owner fails to exercise sensible care to get rid of the danger or protect the children from the risks associated with the pool.
Contact Our Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers for Help
Swimming pools are meant to be fun places for you and your family to escape the Georgia heat. They can, however, turn dangerous when property owners violate the basic pool safety maintenance rules. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state is two years, so it is important that you act quickly and reach out to an experienced swimming pool accident lawyer for help.
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, our attorneys have decades of experience guiding accident victims through the legal process. We will fight for you to recover damages for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as wrongful death compensation if a loved one passed away due to a swimming pool accident.