Drowning is among the top ten leading causes of accidental death in young children throughout the world. In the United States, swimming pool accidents account for thousands of serious injuries and drowning-related fatalities every year. The CDC cautions that children ages 4 and under are at the highest risk for swimming pool deaths, and every summer this hazard becomes increasingly evident as tragic reports of “child drowns in pool” throughout Louisiana roll out like clockwork. According to a report by Partners for Family, an average of 14 children die every year in Louisiana due to accidental drownings.
Nearly 90 percent of fatal drowning incidents occur in residential swimming pools, highlighting the burden of responsibility for both parents and homeowners. When Louisiana barrier requirements are ignored, or reasonable safety precautions not taken, pool owners and operators may be held liable for resulting harm. Attorney Bart Bernard advocates for victims of swimming pool accidents that result in serious injury or death.
Whether the incident occurred on private or public property, we leverage an in-depth knowledge of premises liability to bring justice to families. Reach out for compassionate, skilled legal guidance from a swimming pool accident lawyer who fights for maximum financial recovery. Initial consultations are confidential and offered at no charge.
While the majority of swimming pool accidents and drownings take place in concrete in-ground pools, research has shown that wading pools, inflatable pools and portable soft-sided models pose a significant drowning risk as well. A toddler can drown in just a few inches of water, and in just a matter of seconds. Constant supervision and isolation fencing around the pool’s perimeter are paramount to keeping young children safe.
Some of the most common swimming pool dangers include:
From 2008 to 2012, pool drain accidents have injured or killed 39 children, reports the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Few parents realize the imminent dangers posed by the powerful suction of hot tub and pool drains that can trap and drown even the strongest of swimmers. A spate of horrific pool drain deaths spurred legislation that requires all public pools to install anti-entrapment drain covers.
Those that survive a pool drain entrapment may suffer brain damage, severe internal injuries and paralysis. Non-fatal drowning injuries may lead to long-term medical problems and learning disabilities caused by neurological impairment.
When a pool accident leads to near-drowning or death, it’s important for victims and their families to understand their legal rights. While no amount of monetary damages can erase the heartache of a child’s pain and suffering, parents bearing these financial and emotional burdens can hold negligent parties accountable with civil action.
Victims of pool accidents may have a viable claim for damages if a property owner or operator failed to erect a childproof barrier around the pool, failed to perform routine maintenance, erect cautionary signs, or failed to replace defective pool equipment. Louisiana Administrative Code stipulates that all public swimming pools must be protected by a wall, fence, enclosure or barrier at least 4 feet tall. This perimeter fencing must be self-closing or have a self-latching mechanism in order to prevent small children from gaining access.
Swimming pools, just like playgrounds, are enticing to children. For this reason, they are a classic example of what the law terms an “attractive nuisance.” Thus, Louisiana homeowners with a pool in their backyard must use common sense and take reasonable measures to keep a curious neighborhood child from entering their pool area.
Swimming pool injuries as they relate to civil liability are rarely clear-cut. An experienced premises liability attorney like Bart Bernard has the knowledge and resources to pinpoint what lapses occurred and whether victims are eligible to pursue a claim for compensation.
Legal reparations will factor in the extent of economic and non-economic losses, including medical expenses, pain, suffering, emotional distress and future care needs.
Laws are designed to safeguard both adults and children against swimming pool injuries and drownings. Our job is to protect the rights of victims and ensure they are rightfully compensated. There is a deadline, or statute of limitations for filing a swimming pool accident claim in Louisiana, after which time plaintiffs are barred from seeking damages. For efficient, proactive legal support, contact The Bart Bernard Law Firm today.
Last modified: March 10, 2018