Swimming is a great way to cool down or relax on a hot summer’s day in Long Island. Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents can cause serious drowning injuries and deaths. When lifeguards fail to pay attention to swimmers or pools that are defective or dangerous, the results can be devastating.

If you or your loved one were seriously injured in a swimming accident in New York, you aren’t alone. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC, are prepared to help you understand your legal options. Our compassionate attorneys represent drowning injury survivors and the families of wrongful death victims. Contact us schedule an initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Safety Measures for Preventing Swimming Pool Accidents

Anytime a person of any age has access to the water, a drowning can happen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more children ages 1-4 die from drowning in the U.S. than from any other cause. Drowning deaths can happen in mere seconds, and they are often silent. Property owners with pools, parents, and lifeguards can practice simple safety tips to prevent drowning injuries and deaths.

Fully Enclose Pools with Fences

Building a fence around a pool is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidental drownings. Property owners should construct a four-sided fence that’s at least four feet high. The fence should fully enclose the pool and separate it from the house or building. Additionally, the fence needs to have self-watching and self-closing gates. Property owners should also remove toys from the pool area that could attract unsupervised children to swim in the pool when the pool isn’t in use.

Lifeguards Should Carefully Supervise Swimmers

When a public or private pool employs lifeguards, they need to be thoroughly trained and constantly vigilant to prevent drowning injuries and death. When there are many swimmers in the pool, it’s even more critical for lifeguards to continuously monitor every area of the pool and quietly look for victims who may have slipped underneath the water.

Lifeguards should also be proficient in CPR, which can save a victim’s life while they wait for paramedics to arrive. Additionally, lifeguards should not be under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs while they are supervising the pool. 

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Swimming Pool Accident Case?

Personal injury cases involving swimming pools fall under premises liability law. The term “premises liability” is a legal doctrine that comes into play in cases involving an injury caused by unsafe or defective conditions on a person’s property. Visitors to pools that are open to the public, whether for a charge or for free, are usually considered “invitees” onto the property. Swimming pool owners owe invitees a duty to keep the swimming pool reasonably safe and well-maintained to prevent invitees from becoming injured or drowning. 

When social guests are invited onto someone’s private property to use their swimming pool, they are considered “licensees.” Swimming pool owners have a legal duty to warn licensees of any dangers associated with the pool that aren’t obvious to the average, reasonable person. Swimming pool owners do not owe trespassers an illegal duty of care other than to refrain from causing them harm.

Victims of swimming pool accidents or their surviving loved ones can hold swimming pool owners liable for their injuries in certain circumstances. The victim will need to prove that the owner or operator of the swimming pool failed to meet their legal duty to keep the swimming area and its surroundings reasonably safe, as required under New York law. When a victim or their family members can prove that the drowning or other injury happened because of the property owner’s negligence, the property owner can be required to pay monetary damages.

Pursuing Compensation for Your Damages

Survivors of drowning incidents can require long-term medical care, especially if they have experienced a brain injury due to a lack of oxygen. Victims can seek compensation for their injuries and losses. Depending on the facts of the case, victims may be able to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. Victims may be able to pursue a product liability lawsuit against manufacturers or distributors of dangerous and effective pool equipment that causes their injuries. 

Another option for pursuing compensation is filing a claim with the property owner’s insurance company. Most often, insurance companies end up paying swimming pool accident claims. The settlement may come from a homeowner’s insurance policy, a business liability insurance policy, or another type of insurance policy. 

Victims can recover damages depending on the specific type of claim they’re pursuing and the severity of the injuries. Economic damages include easily quantifiable medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitative costs, durable medical equipment, and long-term care. Non-economic expenses are more challenging to quantify and include compensation for disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

Wrongful Death Claims 

If your loved one died in a drowning accident caused by the property owner’s negligence, you can pursue a wrongful death claim against the property owner. Damages available in wrongful death claims include compensation for the victim’s medical expenses before death, funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, loss of future earning potential, and other damages. 

The compassionate attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC, understand the devastation that happens when a loved one dies prematurely from a drowning death. Although nothing can bring your loved one back, pursuing a wrongful death claim can help you hold the negligent party accountable and help you cover your financial expenses while you grieve.

Contact Our Swimming Pool Accident Attorney in Long Island & New York

Swimming pool accidents and drowning deaths are devastating for victims and their loved ones. If you or your loved one have become injured or killed in a swimming pool accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC to learn more about how we can advocate for you.

Dell & Dean, PLLC, represents clients throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Garden City on Long Island, as well as the boroughs of New York: Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx.