Swimming Accidents; Diving Injuries, Drowning Cases
Water. We are made of it, we are drawn to it, we love it. Especially children. But every year many children, as well as adults, die or are seriously injured in or near water, in swimming pool accidents, diving accidents, and by drowning. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of death among children under 12 years old (second to car accidents). Children ages 1 to 4 drown more often than any other age group. Children have a known tendency to wander and explore, and that is true especially with pools and other water sources. Therefore, owners of pools are required to keep their pools properly locked and fenced in to prevent this foreseeable danger.
Drowning is usually a “silent death”. Forget about those old cartoons and movies depicting drowning victims floundering and calling out for help. Most drowning victims can’t call out or make any noise at all, because they are underwater, and incapable of uttering a sound. That’s why a small child can drown in a pool while her parent sits nearby reading a newspaper. The child’s body slips quietly into the water never to emerge again.
Swimmers, divers and pool users can be careless, but so can the owners of swimming pools or waterfront properties. Owners of pools must guard against people accidently falling into their pool. They must also take reasonable measures to prevent children from entering their pool without proper supervision.
Pool owners and waterfront owners must also take reasonable measures to warn users of shallow diving areas. Diving accidents cause hundreds of brain and spine injuries, including paralysis, every year. Sometimes defective or poorly maintained diving boards are the culprit.
Lifeguards are charged with fulfilling their important life-saving duties carefully, and if they fail to be vigilant, and to act appropriately when an emergency arises, their employer can be held liable.
Sometimes chemicals or other components in pools can cause injury where improper, inadequate, or overabundant chemicals or chlorine are added.
Defective drains can sometimes suck small children down to the bottom of the pool, and trap them there.
Wave pools can be dangerous because of the large number of swimmers who disappear behind each incoming wave.
Federal and New York State rules regulate public pool safety. Pool owners can be held liable for violating these important safety rules. Health clubs, apartment complexes, and other large pool owners sometimes have their own internal safety rules including, for example, the number of lifeguards required per swimmer in the pool. When these rules are violated, and a drowning or other accident occurs, these owners can be held liable for negligent supervision of the pool and surrounding areas and negligent enforcement of their own rules.
The Syracuse, New York swimming accident lawyers of Michaels & Smolak have recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in swimming, driving and pool accident cases and for other injuries to cover their medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. If a loved one has been a victim of a drowning, or if you or a loved one has been the victim of a swimming, diving or pool accident, CONTACT US for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your legal rights and maximize your compensation.