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Swimming Pool Accidents

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New York Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers

Swimming is a fun recreational activity that many New Yorkers enjoy, particularly during the warmer months. Large numbers of New Yorkers visit public pools, hotels, resorts, water parks, and country clubs to swim for exercise or leisure. And some New Yorkers also have private pools at their homes.  

While swimming pools can be a great source of pleasure, they can also be hazardous. There are many risks associated with using or owning a swimming pool, and property owners must abide by state regulations to prevent pool accidents from occurring.

If you have been injured in a swimming pool accident, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered.

Through a premises liability claim against the property owner, you could recover compensation for medical costs, lost income, non-financial losses, and more. If you lost a loved one due to a drowning accident in a swimming pool, you might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent property owner.

Contact the New York swimming pool accident attorneys of Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law to discuss your options for recovering compensation. We offer a free consultation to all our prospective clients, so that you can understand your legal rights and the likely outcome of your case. Call 800-724-6529 today.

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person drowning in a pool

Why Choose Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law?

Whether you are pursuing a personal injury claim after being harmed in a swimming pool accident or a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family member who was killed in a drowning accident, you can significantly increase your chances of recovering full and fair compensation by hiring an attorney to handle your case.

At Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law, our trial attorneys have extensive experience helping victims of swimming pool accidents seek the financial relief they need to cover their injury-related expenses and rebuild their lives. Since our founding in 1996, our firm has helped numerous previous clients secure multi-million-dollar verdicts in personal injury and wrongful death cases. You can review some of our success stories here

Our attorneys have the resources to handle every aspect of your claim and guide you through the legal process, from your initial consultation to the resolution of your case. Our proven track record of success, combined with our strong ethics and compassion, have earned us the respect of New York’s legal community, including our competitors. 

If you have been injured in a swimming pool accident, our attorneys will provide you with competent legal advice, fiercely protect your rights, and aggressively fight your case in court if necessary.

Swimming Pool Accident Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is the most common cause of death for children ages one to four, apart from birth defects. And for children aged one to 14, drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional fatalities, with auto accidents being the leading cause. 

According to Stop Drowning Now (SDN), about 3,500 to 4,000 people perish in drowning accidents each year in the United States, which averages out to about ten drownings per day. They specifically note that 23 percent of child drownings occur at family gatherings that take place in the vicinity of a pool. 

Swimming pool accidents don’t only affect children. Adults and teens are at risk as well. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 353 people between the ages of 5 and 24 drowned in 2017. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is the third most common cause of unintentional injury deaths in the world. In addition to children, people with increased access to water, and men are the most prone to drowning. 

Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

While swimming pool accidents can sometimes be the fault of the swimmer, often, a property owner’s negligence or carelessness leads to accidents in and around a pool. Some common property hazards that lead to pool accidents include: 

These are just a few of the potential dangers that could lead to a swimming pool accident. Most pool accidents are preventable if the property owner takes steps to ensure that the property is safe and well-maintained. 

person drowning in a pool

Types of Accidents That Occur In & Around Swimming Pools

As is the case with many other recreational activities, there are risks associated with swimming. Some of the most common types of accidents that occur in and around swimming pools include:

Drowning

Drowning occurs when a person experiences respiratory failure due to being submerged in water. Drowning can be fatal or non-fatal (near-drowning). However, near-drowning can still have serious consequences, including permanent disability.

Diving accidents

If a pool fails to post no-diving signs or allows visitors to use a defective diving board, serious diving accidents can occur. Traumatic brain injuries are a common consequence of diving accidents.

Slip and falls

If there are no non-slip surfaces around the edges of a pool, slip and fall accidents can easily occur. Slipping and falling on a hard surface around a pool can result in serious harm, including head injuries and spinal cord injuries.

Drain injuries

Pool drains that are not properly covered can generate intense suction that entraps swimmers, especially children, and can cause tissue and organ damage, among other injuries.

If you suffered injuries in or near a swimming pool, you should seek medical attention right away. Even if you don’t believe that your injuries are all that serious, it’s still important to get checked out. You could suffer complications later on, or your injuries could be worse than you originally thought. Keep all bills and medical records related to your treatment, as these documents can serve as evidence in your insurance claim. 

For insurance purposes, we recommend being seen by a doctor within 72 hours of the accident. If you wait to be seen by a doctor and later try to file a claim against the property owner, their insurance company might allege that your injuries stemmed from a separate accident and deny liability. 

Who Is Liable for a Swimming Pool Accident?

In New York, premises liability laws dictate that property owners are required to prevent visitors to their property from being harmed by eliminating potential hazards that could lead to an accident. If a property owner fails to eliminate a potential danger and a visitor to the property is injured as a result, the injured person can hold the property owner liable for negligence. 

Whether the accident occurred at a private or public pool, a thorough, independent investigation will be needed to determine the exact cause of the accident and whether the property owner can be held responsible. To bring a successful case against the property owner, you will need to demonstrate the following: 

A hazardous condition existed

You must be able to show that the property owner knew about or reasonably should have known about a dangerous condition on the property and that they failed to repair the hazard or to warn visitors about it.

The owner’s negligence caused your injury

You will need to successfully link the property owner’s negligence with your injuries. For example, If the property owner knew about a broken diving board, failed to repair it, and then you suffered a diving injury, that would be proof of causation.

You suffered losses

You must also show that you suffered compensable losses as a result of the swimming pool accident. If you were injured, you will likely have incurred medical costs to treat your injuries. Compensable losses can be economic or non-economic. Many victims of swimming pool accidents endure physical and emotional pain and suffering, which is also compensable.

Depending on the circumstances of your case and where the injury occurred, the liable party could be a property manager, a landlord, a company, a residential homeowner, or even a government entity. 

Some pool accidents are not caused by a property owner’s negligence but by a defective part. If a faulty swimming pool component, such as a dangerous drain or filter, led to the accident, then the manufacturer of the defective part could potentially be liable for your damages. 

Timeline in a Swimming Pool Accident Case

The length of your case will be dependent on many different variables, including the time it takes to gather evidence and investigate the accident, the insurance company’s willingness to offer a fair amount, and the property owner’s willingness to accept liability. 

The basic steps in a swimming pool accident case include: 

File a claim

Once your attorney determines which party could be held liable for your injuries, they will file a claim on your behalf with that party’s insurance company.

Demand letter

After your attorney completes their investigation into your accident, they will draft a carefully worded demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The letter will include a description of the losses you incurred and a demand for restitution.

Negotiate a settlement

Next, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit entities, so their main goal is to minimize the company's losses. Their initial settlement offer may not be particularly generous, but if your attorney is a good negotiator, you could recover a fair settlement this way. While they want to save money and keep their shareholders happy, insurance companies also recognize that going to trial can be costly.

File a Complaint

If settlement talks fall through, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf stating the allegations against the defendant. The Complaint will then be served on the defendant.

Discovery

During discovery, both sides will turn over whatever evidence they have gathered so that each side is aware of the arguments that the other side plans to make.

Mediation

During mediation, the two parties will have another chance to reach a settlement agreement. Mediation proceedings are often presided over by a neutral third party, often a retired judge, who helps the two parties seek a resolution.

Trial

If a settlement still can’t be reached, the case will go to trial. Note that your case can still settle at any time during litigation. At trial, your attorney will present evidence on your behalf and argue your case before a judge or jury.

If you are successful at trial, the judge or jury will return a verdict in your favor and will determine the amount of compensation that you are owed. 

Compensation for Swimming Pool Accidents

Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you might be able to recover financial relief for: 

Many personal injury claims settle before they ever reach the trial stage, but some go on to be litigated in court if the property owner refuses to accept liability or their insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith.

If you lost a loved one due to a swimming pool accident caused by negligence, you could pursue damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. If successful, you and your family could obtain compensation for: 

Every case is unique, and the amount of compensation you will likely be entitled to will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries. A seasoned New York swimming pool accident lawyer can help you determine the total value of your losses, both economic and non-economic. Once you have an assessment, you (or your attorney) can begin negotiating with the property owner’s insurance company. 

person drowning in a pool

Statute of Limitations in a Swimming Pool Accident Case

New York’s statute of limitations allows a three-year period to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of New York. This means that, in general, you have three years from the date of your accident to initiate legal action against the property owner whose negligence caused your injuries. 

New York courts take the statute of limitations very seriously. If you do not file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within the allotted time frame, you will most likely lose your right to pursue compensation through the courts. Once the statute of limitations period passes, you could also lose bargaining power with the insurance company because you can no longer threaten to sue.

That’s why it’s so important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a swimming pool accident. It takes time to conduct an investigation into the accident and gather the necessary evidence to build your case. Note that your case doesn’t have to be resolved within the statute of limitations. You merely have to take the first step by filing a Complaint against the defendant. 

Contact a New York Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer Today

If you were seriously injured in a swimming pool accident on someone else’s property, you are likely facing steep medical bills, and if you can’t work while you are being treated, your source of income could be cut off, as well. You should not have to sink into debt because of an accident that you did not cause. 

 

The New York swimming pool accident attorneys at Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law have the resources to independently investigate the accident that caused your injuries, build a strong claim on your behalf, negotiate with the insurance adjuster, and take your case to trial if necessary. 

 

If you lost a loved one in a swimming pool accident, we could fight tirelessly to help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve through a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law today at 800-724-6529 for a free consultation or complete the intake form on our website and one of our staff will reach out to you.

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