It’s May, and temperatures are already climbing toward 100+ degrees in the Valley. If you are a parent, your child or children will most likely be splashing around in a pool this summer, at a public pool or maybe a pool at a friend’s house.
Unfortunately, pool injuries and drowning deaths are a danger in Arizona. The 2017 Arizona Child Fatality Review Program’s 24th Annual Report states that in 2016, there were 27 child deaths by drowning. Every single drowning fatality reported was preventable, and lack of supervision was identified as a factor in 89 percent of drowning fatalities. Boys accounted for three-fourths of these fatalities, and children younger than the age of 5 are at the highest risk.
Parents should be aware of other types of pool injuries their children might experience, including:
- Hitting their head while jumping off a diving board, or into shallow water
- Getting clothing or extremities tangled in drains and pumps
- Slipping and falling while running around wet surfaces or climbing ladders and stairs
- Exposure to harmful water chemicals
- Broken bones when an above-ground pool collapses
If your child has experienced a pool injury on someone else’s premises, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills. If your child dies in a pool away from home, you should consult with a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer immediately for help. Here’s what to be aware of this summer and whenever your child visits a pool.
Premises liability laws mandate that any pool owner who runs a business or who has invited guests to swim in a pool must take proper precautions to ensure the safety of anyone at the pool. Owners should:
- Warn visitors about potentially dangerous conditions, such as a pool area that is shallow but that appears able to dive into
- Alert those in a pool of hazards, objects or obstructions inside the pool
- Provide proper supervision, including lifeguards at pools with large amounts of people in them
- Have safety equipment on hand, such as life preservers
- Secure any hazardous obstacles around a pool
- Keep all pool apparatus in perfect working condition, including diving boards, drains and ladders
- Post noticeable warning signs of dangers where appropriate
If your child is injured at a pool where an owner was negligent and did not follow these safety measures, your family may be able to file a successful premises liability claim.
In cases where another child or adult was the cause of harm to a child, and the pool owner otherwise created a safe environment, the offending party may be to blame. For example, if a child shoves another child off a slippery surface and causes a serious injury, you may be able to file a claim against that child’s family for personal injury.
When a pool accident happens, it’s often a stressful situation because there may be many other people around. Call emergency services to get medical treatment for the child. You will also want to, with help from police, gather witness statements. These may include statements from other children or parents around the scene. You should also take photos of the pool conditions, if there is something notable that may have contributed to the accident.
If your child experiences serious injuries or dies at a pool, and you suspect negligence in some way may have been to blame, please contact a Phoenix personal injury or wrongful death lawyer. You can get a free consultation and get insight into what your next steps should be to protect your family.
What Happens If Your Child Was Trespassing?
Even children who are trespassing on someone else’s property may be protected if they are injured due to property conditions. According to the Arizona Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, when a property owner knows the property is attractive and might inspire trespassing, and the property owner does not safeguard conditions that may harm child trespassers, the property owner may be deemed liable if a child is injured. If a child drowns while trespassing, the family may be entitled to compensation.
Get the Compensation You Deserve for Your Family
Entrusting your child to the care of others, especially around a pool, will pose some risks. While you can do everything in your power to make sure the pool site is safe before leaving your child, a lack of supervision or the harmful actions of another can still result in tragedy.
If your child has been seriously injured at a pool or has died on the premises of someone else, it’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations places a time constraint on how long after an accident a claim can be filed.
An attorney can help you navigate this traumatic situation and recommend the best course of action. Contact the Millea Law Firm if you are a parent or guardian of a child who has been seriously injured or died while under the supervision of someone else.