Particularly during the summer months when children are on summer vacation from school, people are excited to go swimming and attend backyard barbeques. Of course, the possibility for accidents involving pools grows with increased pool use.
Spinal injuries can occur when people dive into shallow water. People can become electrocuted if the electrical component of the pool is not installed or maintained properly. People can slip and fall on wet pool decks.
However, the most common accident many think of involving a backyard pool is drowning. According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida has the highest incidence of drowning deaths of children under 5 than any other state in the country. Also, in 2013, Florida had the second highest rate of drownings for children ages 1 to 14. Most drownings of children occur in the summer months.
Many children die from drowning. However, many other children suffer severe, life-altering injuries from near drowning incidents.
Liability for Backyard Pools
Generally, under Florida law, the owner of a pool has the duty to protect people from harm involving the pool. Pool owners need to ensure that people, particularly children, cannot freely access the pool. Further, pool owners even need to secure their pools in the event trespassers enter the pool area.
Specifically, Florida’s Residential Pool Swimming Safety Act provides for certain things a pool owner must do to secure or protect their pool. For instance, to comply with the law and have a “safe” pool, an owner must have the pool “isolated from access” by an appropriate fencing system, have an approved safety cover for the pool, have exit alarms on all doors and windows that face or provide access to the pool, or have self-closing latches on all doors that face or provide access to the pool. If the pool owner chooses to have fencing around the pool, the Act provides for the specifications of that fencing, such as being at least 4 feet high and having no gaps that could allow a child to get through.
Local county and city ordinances can also provide regulations for keeping pools safe by limiting access.
Particularly if a pool owner has failed to comply with the requirements of the Residential Pool Swimming Safety Act, a pool owner can be responsible for injuries associated with the pool.
Call Us Now
If you have experienced a drowning or any other injury associated with a pool, you should call us immediately. A pool owner could be liable for a drowning wrongful death; injuries sustained from a near-drowning can be life-altering. The Florida attorneys at Reed & Reed have the experience needed to fully represent you with your case and to get you all the compensation to which you are entitled. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.