Baton Rouge Swimming Pool Injury Lawyer
Louisiana Swimming Pool Injury Attorneys
Louisiana is known for its scorching summers, and with the heat comes days spent splashing around at lakes, rivers, and swimming pools. Jumping into a cold pool on an unbearable summer day is refreshing and fun, but it can quickly turn hazardous if swimmers aren’t careful or if facilities don’t take necessary safety precautions to protect their guests. But who exactly is to blame if an injured swimmer followed the pool’s safety guidelines and still suffered injury? A swimming pool injury attorney can help you sort out who’s responsible for you or your loved one’s accident.
The Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys at Joubert Law Firm are highly experienced with Louisiana premises liability law and attractive nuisances such as swimming pools. Our law firm is happy to offer a free consultation to discuss your swimming pool accident and injuries. If you think you may have a case, please request our legal assistance by calling (225) 761-3822 today.
What Causes a Swimming Pool Accident?
A swimming pool accident occurs when a person is hurt while swimming in various types of pools, including water parks, apartment complex pools, hot tubs, public pools, and pools at private residences. Swimming pool accidents are often blamed on a lack of swimming lessons or a victim’s poor swimming skills. However, the accident may actually be due to the fault of a pool owner, parent, or guardian, or it can be the result of the swimmer’s own reckless behavior.
Pool accidents may also be the result of lifeguard negligence, pool design defects, poor-quality equipment for pools and hot tubs, and a lack of life jackets and other rescue equipment. More specifically, however, the main causes of swimming pool accidents include lack of supervision, intoxication, and defective equipment or property.
Types of Swimming Pool Accidents
All bodies of water pose a drowning hazard. However, spas and pools are particularly hazardous, leading to over 7,000 pool-related injuries and deaths in 2020 alone, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (cpsc.gov). Victims receive treatment in emergency rooms for injuries caused by drowning, pool drains and filters, and slips and falls on wet surfaces.
The most common types of pool accidents include:
- Drowning: Someone suffocates under the water. It is considered a drowning when a person dies within the first 24 hours after submersion in the water.
- Near Drowning: A swimming accident is called a near drowning if a victim survives longer than 24 hours after submersion occurs.
- Diving or Diving Board Injuries: Paralysis or serious injuries may result when swimmers dive in shallow water or from faulty diving boards.
- Electrical Defects: Water and a malfunctioning electrical system can create a life-threatening hazard.
- Entrapment: Drowning, intestinal injuries, or severe head injuries may occur when a suction force holds a victim’s hair or a body part under water.
- Pool Slides: Serious injuries may occur when people go down head first or the slide deposits swimmers into a shallow pool.
- Pool Toy Entrapment: Inexperienced or young swimmers may become trapped under the water when their inflatable pool toy flips over.
- Slips and Falls: Slip and fall accidents may occur at a pool due to slippery surfaces or a lack of caution in or around the pool.
In the United States, statistics list accidental drowning as the second leading cause of mortality in young children (car accidents and other transportation accidents being the first). Drownings and other swimming accidents are tragic and may cause severe harm such as paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, or even death. If this is the case for you or a loved one, you need a skilled personal injury lawyer to help you obtain compensation for the preventable injuries and damages that resulted from the accident.
The legal team at Joubert Law Firm helps victims of swimming pool accidents at various types of properties from hotels, resorts, and water parks to pools at private residences, apartment complexes, and public pools.
What are Common Swimming Pool Injuries?
You need a dedicated Louisiana swimming pool accident lawyer on your side when a pool tragedy strikes. Your legal representative will ensure you receive maximum compensation for your property or submersion-related injuries, including lost wages and medical expenses, and see to it that the at-fault party is held responsible.
Where the accident happened and who was providing pool supervision essentially determines how your attorney proceeds. Injuries may happen at any aquatic recreation location, such as:
- Apartment Complexes
- Hotel Pools and Hot Tubs
- Private Pools
- Public Swimming Pools
- Water Parks
No matter how your accident happens, swimming pool accident victims often suffer:
- Broken Bones
- Lacerations and Cuts
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from hitting the side or bottom of the pool
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Unintentional Death
Do I Have a Swimming Pool Premises Liability Claim?
There are plenty of cases where a swimming accident is a true accident and is either no one’s fault or is simply due to the swimmer’s own behavior. However, many drowning accidents do occur as a result of negligence. Children are especially susceptible to injury when property owners or lifeguards don’t emphasize or enforce swimming pool safety. Poolside injuries may be caused by:
- Attractive Nuisance: A property owner must construct proper barriers around a pool area or hot tub, such as a fence, locked gate, or protective cover, to prevent children from being enticed onto a property.
- Horseplay and Roughhousing: Other swimmers may be responsible if their behavior, such as pushing children into the deep end of the pool or holding someone under the water, caused another’s injuries.
- Malfunctioning Pool Equipment: Faulty pool filters may cause accidental drownings if their suction holds children underwater. Uneven ground near the pool or a broken ladder is also hazardous. In this instance, a manufacturer or construction company may be the negligent party.
- Negligent Lifeguard: Severe injuries or death may occur when a lifeguard does not give their full attention to swimmers under their watch at a public property.
- Parental Negligence: Parents, babysitters, or other guardians act as lifeguards at a private backyard pool. As a result, they may be held liable for injuries that happen while they were in charge.
It may be difficult to prove a pool owner or another party is liable for swimming pool injuries. This is especially true if a claim is made against a homeowner’s insurance policy. Insurance companies frequently offer less than an accident victim needs or deserves because such payouts cut into the insurer’s profits.
It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive full compensation when you suffer submersion-related injuries. The Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys at Joubert Law Firm excel at getting our clients the damages they deserve for their pain and suffering, medical bills, costs of future therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages and future earning potential, and much more.
Louisiana Premises Liability Law for Swimming Pool Accidents
Louisiana premises liability law states that a property owner should be liable when an injury occurs on their property due to a hazardous or dangerous condition that the owner knew about or should have known about. Pool owners also have a duty of care to warn swimmers about risks that may not be apparent to the average person. However, this duty of care varies according to whether or not the person has permission to be on the property. Property owners are not automatically liable for every injury that occurs in or near a pool.
Trespassers use a pool without an owner’s permission or knowledge. As such, a property owner owes no duty of care to a trespasser and, therefore, might not be held legally responsible for any serious injury that occurs on their property.
A licensee is someone who has the property owner’s permission to enter the property but does so for his or her own purposes. Property owners must warn licensees about any potential dangers on the property. A property owner is usually free from liability once the warning is issued.
A duty of care is owed to those who are invited onto a property. Property owners must take reasonable measures to protect invitees from experiencing harm on their property.
Per the attractive nuisance doctrine, pool owners always have an obligation to keep young children who cannot comprehend the inherent dangers safe from a swimming pool. This duty includes restricting access to the pool with deterrents such as fences and locks.
Who is Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents in Louisiana?
The circumstances surrounding a pool accident, including where the incident occurred, determine which parties may be held liable. Potential liable parties include:
- Parent/Guardian: Parents or guardians are responsible for the safety of children swimming in a private pool.
- Parts Manufacturer: Parts manufacturers may be held liable if a faulty part, such as a malfunctioning pool filter, causes injury.
- Property Owner/Lifeguard: A lifeguard may be held liable for negligence if someone gets hurt in a public pool while they’re on duty. The lifeguard’s employer may also be to blame under the theory of “respondeat superior” if the lifeguard was working under the scope of their employment.
- Other Swimmers: A swimmer participating in roughhousing or horseplay may injure another swimmer. The party that caused the injury may be held liable.
For a successful negligence case to move forward, victims and their injury lawyers must prove:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim.
- The defendant breached their duty of care through negligent behavior.
- The accused’s fault played a significant role in causing the victim’s injuries or death.
Wrongful Death by Drowning
It is not unusual for a person to die in a drowning accident. In these cases, a victim’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. Any of the following family members may file suit after the wrongful death of a loved one:
- Domestic Partner
- Grandchildren (if the deceased’s children are not living)
- Other family members entitled to the deceased’s property
For drowning victims who survive, many are left with permanent injuries or even in a vegetative state. A person with power of attorney, including a spouse, relative, or another legal representative, may sue on the victim’s behalf.
For a successful Louisiana wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s family must demonstrate:
- The defendant caused the victim’s death through negligence or malicious intent.
- The family sustained financial harm because of the death.
- A personal representative is appointed to the deceased’s estate.
Compensation for Swimming Pool Injuries
Drowning victims and/or family members who sue for the damages suffered from the accident may be able to recoup financial compensation for their injuries. Victims may be able to recover personal injury damages for:
- Counseling or therapy
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of wages or future earning capacity
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities or scars
Wrongful death damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s income and the loss of companionship and support
In instances of extreme negligence, a judge or jury may also award punitive damages. However, the plaintiff must show that the negligent party’s behavior was particularly harmful or outrageous.
Free Case Review With an Experienced Swimming Pool Injury Lawyer in Baton Rouge, LA
Drownings and other pool-related injuries happen far too frequently in Louisiana each year, whether at public swimming pools, private residences, or another aquatic facility. The utmost concern of our Baton Rouge swimming pool injury attorneys at Joubert Law Firm is to help victims of swimming pool accidents and their families become whole again by pursuing financial compensation for their harm.
In addition to swimming pool accidents and attractive nuisance claims, our injury lawyers handle Baton Rouge boating accidents, Baton Rouge pedestrian accidents, Baton Rouge dog bite claims, and many other areas of personal injury law.
Please call a Louisiana personal injury lawyer at Joubert Law Firm about your serious injury in a public pool, private pool, hot tub, water park, or other pool areas. Once an attorney-client relationship is established, we’ll work to ensure your legal rights are protected while fighting to get you the compensation you need to pay for medical care or make up for lost earnings. For a free consultation, call (225) 761-3822 or complete our online intake form today.
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