Nothing beats diving into a swimming pool on a hot summer day in Santa Ana, but swimmers of all ages should always keep an eye out for unsafe waters. Unsecured handrails, a lack of depth signs, and unclean pools are just some ways that pool owners put swimmers in danger, and all it takes is one act of negligence to cause a catastrophic injury or drowning. Pool owners should only allow swimmers onto their property when their pools are free of danger, and any failure to protect guests can lead to a premises liability claim.
If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent property owner in a swimming pool accident in Orange County, reach out to our team at HN Injury Lawyers. With more than 50 years of combined experience, our Santa Ana swimming pool accident attorneys have spent decades fighting for clients and families who were injured because of unsafe property conditions. We can thoroughly investigate the cause of your injuries, determine who is responsible for your trauma, and use our trial experience to get you full compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (657) 333-5726 to get a free case evaluation from a compassionate legal team.
Owning a pool comes with significant responsibilities. Pool owners must make sure their properties are free of danger, otherwise a friendly summer BBQ can turn into a tragic event. The most dangerous situation that can occur is a drowning.
Drownings are the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 14, according to the CDC, and there is an average of 22 non-fatal drownings every day. Non-fatal drownings can still have serious consequences, as at least 40% of emergency room visits require further hospitalizations and treatment. Many victims even suffer from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.
Drownings occur due to dangerous property conditions such as unsecured handrails and ladders, leading to swimmers falling into the pool and striking their heads on the pool’s rim. Cracked or damaged steps also increase the risk of a swimmer suffering a slip and fall, which has a high risk of causing a catastrophic injury. Diving into the shallow end of a pool presents other risks of drowning and brain injuries, as well as spinal cord injuries. Diving injuries can occur due to a lack of depth signs around the pool which warn swimmers of the risk of striking the bottom of the pool.
In addition to drownings, swimmers can also suffer from:
- Infections due to unclean pools
- Chemical burns from pool owners overusing cleaning equipment
- Trips and falls on pool hoses, brushes, and nets
- Circulation entrapments due to pool suction
Most swimmers blame their injuries on a lack of experience, but the truth is that property owners have a duty to make sure their pools are free of danger. When a guest enters another person’s pool, they do so under the assumption that it is safe and free of hazards. To protect guests, owners should thoroughly inspect their properties and remove or fix any hazards. Santa Ana’s Municipal Codes also require property owners to take basic steps to prevent serious injuries. This includes checking for and fixing:
- Entrapment risks
- Faulty handrails
- A lack of depth signage
- Unclean waters
- Dangerous or loose equipment
- Open gates and broken locks on fences
- Loose wires and electrical hazards
Under California’s premises liability laws, property owners can be held responsible when they are aware of dangerous property conditions — or reasonably should be aware — and they fail to fix those conditions, resulting in a guest’s injuries. If a swimmer was injured because of unsafe property conditions, then they can pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner to recover compensation for their injuries.
The costs of a drowning or other swimming pool injuries can be significant for the average family in Santa Ana. Beyond the high costs of an emergency room visit, swimmers may also require hospitalizations, surgery, physical therapy, medication, and long-term care. If your child or loved one had to go to the hospital due to a careless property owner, you should not have to be the one to pay for their negligence.
Alongside your medical bills, you should also consider how your injuries have impacted your career. The average worker cannot risk losing wages due to a sudden injury, and a serious injury can cause you to lose weeks to months of wages. Even if your child was injured, you may still be able to recover lost wages in a claim if you had to take time off work to care for him or her.
In addition to the financial impact of a swimming pool injury, your claim should also account for the personal costs of an injury. Whether you suffered from mental distress due to a disability or were left in great pain after an accident, you deserve proper compensation for the pain you have gone through.
Altogether, your premises liability claim can allow you to recover compensation for:
- All medical expenses, including past and future treatment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential if you had to change jobs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In order to recover compensation from a negligent property owner, you must prove that:
- The property owner was aware or reasonably should have been aware of a safety hazard on the property;
- The property owner failed to fix the safety hazard in a timely manner and warn guests of the danger;
- A guest was injured due to a dangerous property condition; and
- The guest suffered financial hardships due to his or her injuries.
Property owners and their insurance companies rarely accept liability immediately after a swimming pool accident, delaying your ability to pay your medical bills and recovering lost wages. In the state of California, you have two years to file a premises liability claim against a private pool owner and six months against a public pool owner. In either situation, you should trust your claim to a dedicated Santa Ana personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the claims process.
At HN Injury Lawyers, we have more than 50 years of combined experience standing up for accident victims throughout Santa Ana. We know you just want to get your medical bills paid and move on with your life, but you should never accept a quick settlement right out the gate. When we take on a premises liability claim, we calculate the full costs of our client’s injuries and never settle for anything less than the highest possible award. We can sit down with you in a free consultation, learn how you were injured, and advocate for your best interests.
Call us at (657) 333-5726 today to learn how HN Injury Lawyers will fight for you in a free consultation.