Columbus Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
When summer comes Ohio, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the swimming pool. Unfortunately, that trip to the community pool or to your friend’s house can lead to a less-than-desirable trip to the emergency room when pool owners act irresponsibly. If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed in a swimming pool accident, the Columbus premises liability attorneys at Rinehardt Law Firm can help you take legal action and recover damages to help pay for medical bills and other expenses associated with your injuries.
Many victims of swimming pool accidents aren’t aware that pool owners owe guests a duty of care whenever they are on their property. This includes individuals in and around their swimming pool.
While drowning, especially for young children, is one of the most common swimming pool accidents, adults can also suffer injuries if a pool owner acts negligently and fails to protect the safety of swimmers.
You don’t have to suffer financially because of someone else’s actions or lack of action. To learn more about your legal rights and options following a swimming pool accident, contact the Columbus swimming pool accident attorneys at Rinehardt Law Firm today by calling (419) 529-2020.
Common Swimming Pool Accident Injuries
Swimming pools can be the scene of fun-filled or relaxing time with friends and family, but they can also be dangerous when pool owners fail to protect guests. The most common type of swimming pool accident is the accidental drowning of a young child. This can be caused by either poor supervision or a negligent pool owner who doesn’t secure their pool with a fence.
Swimming pool accidents don’t always involve drowning and end in loss of life. In some cases, victims can be injured simply by being around or in the pool, even when acting responsibly. We’ve represented victims who’ve suffered various swimming pool injuries like:
- Slip and fall accidents – Every surface surrounding a swimming pool can become wet and slippery, increasing the chance for an accident. While pool owners aren’t always responsible for ensuring the deck stays dry, an attorney can help you determine whether they could have prevented the accident.
- Entrapment – When a swimmer’s hair or clothing becomes caught or tangled up in pool equipment or a drain, it can result in serious injury and even drowning.
- Diving accidents – If a person dives into shallow water and strikes their head, the results can be catastrophic. From brain and spinal injuries to paralysis, and even death, pool owners may be held responsible if they don’t provide adequate warning.
- Electrical problems – If an electrical issue occurs while swimmers are in the pool it could result in electrocution, and in some cases, death.
- Infections or other illnesses – With many people swimming in the same pool, pool owners are expected to take the necessary steps to clean the pool regularly, including “shocking” it at the scheduled intervals. If they don’t, it could result in swimmers contracting a serious or deadly infection.
Who Can Take Legal Action?
Swimming pools are considered part of the property they sit on, and therefore are subject to normal premises liability rules. Like many states, Ohio determines what level of care a property owner owes a person based on the entrant’s classification. While other personal injury lawsuits clearly spell out the level of duty one owes another, premises liability cases are more complicated because a defendant’s duty to the plaintiff is fluid and changes depending on why the injured party entered the property.
The three types of entrants on a person’s property are:
- Invitees – A patron of a swimming pool that is open to the public. This includes public pools that are free or charge a fee to enter. The pool owners are expected to maintain and repair the pool to prevent injuries.
- Licensees – These are social guests at a swimming pool on someone’s private property. Licenses are friends or family of the property owner who are asked to be on the property and to swim. Here, pool owners have a duty to fully warn licensees of any dangers that may not be clear.
- Trespassers – As the name suggests, these entrants are not invited or nor welcomed onto public or private property. Therefore, the pool owner does not owe trespassers a duty of care unless they cause serious harm through setting booby traps or installing extreme security.
The one exception to the trespasser classification is if the trespasser is a child. All pool owners are responsible for erecting and maintaining a safety fence to prevent young children from accidentally falling into the pool and drowning.
When Can You Take Legal Action?
No matter the classification, whether invitee or licensee, swimming pool owners are expected to keep pools relatively safe for people at all times. However, this duty doesn’t cover all injuries.
For example, it’s reasonable to expect the surface around a swimming pool to be wet and a swimmer running around the edge of a pool who slips and falls won’t have a solid case against the pool owner. A similar situation would be someone diving from inappropriate locations that are too high, like the roof of a house, and are not intended to be used in conjunction with the pool.
That being said, if it isn’t clear that the pool is too shallow for diving or the pool has hidden obstacles, and the pool owner failed to warn guests with signs, the owner may be held liable for the injuries.
Club or hotel swimming pools open to hotel guests and club members (invitees) are expected to maintain a safe swimming pool, but they are also expected to provide safety gear like life preservers. Additionally, hotels or clubs are expected to repair any damage to the pool equipment like ladders, diving boards or drains.
As for public pools owned by a municipality, the municipality can be held liable if they don’t protect patrons with supervision in the form of lifeguards. And while government agencies may be protected from paying out damages to injured victims through government immunity, an experienced attorney can look at your case and determine whether or not you have a case against a city or county government.
Contact Rinehardt Law Firm Today
The aftermath of a swimming pool accident can leave you feeling scared and alone. Swimming pool injuries are serious and potentially life-threatening, especially when it involves a child. It’s time to take legal action and hold the pool owner responsible.
Even though identifying the owner of the pool may be easy, these types of cases are far from simple. They can be incredibly complicated, and facts that might be easily accepted in any other personal injury case may be extrapolated and interpreted very differently.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a swimming pool accident on public or private property, we want you to know that you are not alone. You need a skilled and experienced premises liability attorney by your side every step of the way during this trying time.
At Rinehardt Law Firm, our team of Columbus swimming pool accident lawyers will help you file your claim within the two-year period and we will work tirelessly to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today at (419) 529-2020 or fill out an online form to schedule a free consultation.