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The Dangers of Swimming Pool Accidents in Florida and How to Stay Safe

04/28/2023
Personal Injury
BY

Florida is home to many swimming pools as our weather allows residents to enjoy swimming for greater parts of the year than they would in other states. Unfortunately, the large number of swimming pools in our state also results in a high number of pool-related accidents. Whether a swimming pool’s owner or operator takes steps to keep the situation safe can determine whether they are liable for the damages of an injury victim. This article will discuss the numerous responsibilities of swimming pool owners.

Florida Swimming Pool Owners and Operators Have a Duty to Provide a Safe Environment

If you own or operate a Florida swimming pool then you have a duty to take reasonable precautions so that the environment is safe for those who are permitted to swim in it. It is important to understand, however, that a pool owner must only take “reasonable” steps to keep patrons safe. If proper steps are taken, and an individual is injured, then the owner will not be liable as Florida law recognizes that accidents sometimes happen without the fault of a pool owner. If a pool owner is found to be at fault for a drowning, or some other injury, then they may be liable for medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss of companionship.

Steps Which Florida Swimming Pool Owners Should Take to Keep the Environment Safe

Close Or Restrict Access to the Pool During Poor Weather

Lighting creates an obvious risk to anyone swimming in a pool. The owner or operator of a swimming pool should monitor weather reports and if rain or lighting is in the forecast, they likely should close or restrict access to the pool. Failing to do so could lead to liability against the owner or operator in the event of an injury.

Properly Maintain the Pool and Repair any Damage

A damaged swimming pool can easily lead to injuries. Such damage can range from a broken diving board and other equipment to broken plaster. Swimming pool owners must take steps to properly maintain the pool so that such damage is less likely to occur. If the pool is damaged, then the owner will likely have a duty to perform necessary repairs before allowing others to swim in it. Failing to maintain and repair the pool can be seen as negligent and can leave the owner responsible for a victim’s injuries.

Swimming Pools Should be Kept Clean and Sanitary

Pool debris and unclean water can create a number of hazards for swimmers. Such debris can include bottles, other sharp objects, plastic bags (which can become caught on someone’s face), etc. Unsanitary pool water can lead to rashes, skin irritation, and even serious illness. Pool owners should have a regular schedule for cleaning and sanitizing the pool. They run the risk of injuries to others if they do not.

Safety Devices Should Be Present Near Any Swimming Pool

An emergency can happen at any moment in a swimming pool. Having nearby and accessible safety devices can mean the difference between a drowning and someone getting out of the pool safely. Life jackets and life preservers should be kept near the pool in a manner which allows for them to be thrown in at a moment’s notice. The location of the devices should also be clearly marked and visitors should be able to spot them easily. A failure to provide accessible safety devices can mean that an owner was not taking reasonable steps to keep visitors safe.

Swimming Pools Should Have Clearly Marked Levels Of Depth

Individuals in a swimming pool should be able to see markers which clearly inform them of the levels of depth. These markings should be clear on each side of the swimming pool so that they are viewable from different angles. If, for example, an individual is swimming and gets a cramp, they may sink to the bottom. If they are in a part of the pool which is deeper than what they would have otherwise entered, due to a lack of markings, then the depths they sunk to may be found to be the owner’s fault.

Pool Owners Or Operators Should Know CPR

If you regularly have others in your swimming pool then an important safety step can be ensuring that they have access to CPR. If a homeowner regularly has guests in their pool, then they themselves should become certified in CPR. If one operates a public pool, or a facility such as a hotel that has a pool, then it is important that someone who is trained in CPR be available during any hours where the pool is accessible.

Also, it is important that CPR certifications be kept up to date. A typical certification will only last for two years. Suppose, for example, a drowning victim is not resuscitated. Now suppose that the pool operator “knows CPR” but they have allowed their certification to lapse. This can open the door to liability on the grounds that the operator was not properly administering aid.

Post a Clear Policy Regarding Alcohol and Swimming

Any swimming pool, whether at a private residence or in a more public facility, should have a posted policy regarding the consumption of alcohol and swimming. Mixing drinks with swimming creates an inherently dangerous situation and it can lead to drowning or serious injury. The failure to post such a policy can arguably be seen as the pool’s owner consenting to people drinking while swimming

Contact a Florida Swimming Pool Accident Attorney For Assistance

If a loved one has drowned or been injured in a swimming pool accident then it is important that you contact a lawyer immediately. Our office is dedicated to protecting the rights of victims. We assist with such matters, including those that have resulted in wrongful death. We may be reached by telephone at 800-780-8607. Also, you may contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with a Florida swimming pool accident attorney. We look forward to speaking with you.

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