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What Should I Do After a Public Pool Accident?

Posted on 07/01/24 by admin in Premises Liability

Summer is here in earnest and the heat and humidity has wasted no time in bearing down on our region. The DC area has experienced regular temperatures comfortably exceeding the mid-90s and heading for triple digits Fahrenheit. In times such as these, many of us will decamp to the closest public pool. Our area can boast a well-maintained assortment of public aquatic centers which are ideal for cooling oneself down amidst the soupy heat of a DC summer. But amidst the excitement, the crowds, and the hazards of water, tile, and concrete, injuries are unfortunately inevitable. Today’s Malloy Law Offices Blog Post will explore the legal options available to you after a public pool accident.

Public pool accident

Common Causes of a Public Pool Accident

The hazards which surround a public pool environment can lead to a few general categories of accident and injury. These may include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents – Water splashed from or tracked out of pools can make surrounding surfaces slippery.
  • Diving Injuries – Diving into the shallow end of a pool can lead to serious traumatic brain injury or spinal injury.
  • Poor Maintenance – Ladders, diving boards, and other pool fixtures may become hazardous to swimmers through lax maintenance.
  • Rowdy Crowds, Irresponsible Lifeguards – Lifeguards have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all swimmers. If they fail to intervene in situations such as excessive horseplay, poolside running, or other dangerous behaviors, this may constitute negligence.

As with any other premises liability case, where damages are sought from the owner of the property where an injurious accident took place, the first step to any successful personal injury lawsuit is to prove negligence. In general: negligence can be understood as a synonym for “carelessness” or “irresponsibility.” Let’s examine this concept in more specific terms which are relevant to public pool accidents.

Public pool accident

Explaining and Determining Negligence

Keep in mind that we will be speaking in general, layman’s terms. Negligence is a complex subject hotly debated among legal experts. The specifics of your situation, as well as your state and municipal laws, may make the specific picture around your or a loved one’s injury appear rather different.
In premises liability terms; the owner of a given property owes a duty of care to all guests on that property. It should be noted that the term “guests” implies that these persons are present by the owner’s consent. Someone trespassing or otherwise illegally entering a property is not owed this duty of care.

In this case, the owner and operator of the facility is the municipal government. They affirm their consent to allow guests to use their pool by charging an entrance fee at the door. Paying guests of the pool, therefore, can reasonably expect that the facility will be maintained in such a way to keep them safe while using it in a responsible way. In addition; they should expect to be warned of any persistent hazards. At a public pool, this may mean closing slides or diving boards, or roping off certain ladders or stairs in need of repairs. Even something like an anti-slip floor mat or a sign warning of a loose railing can meet this duty of care.

This duty is why it’s common to be warned vociferously when diving is forbidden in certain parts of the facility. Facilities open to the public, especially those owned and operated by the government, will take extra pains to ensure that all guests are appropriately informed of potential hazards.

Public pool accident

Who is Liable?

Obviously, if your injury caused by another’s negligence occurred at a public pool, then your first thought will likely be seeking compensation from the relevant government agency. But the most obvious path forward is not always the best. The liable party for your injury may be a private company subcontracting to the public pool. It may be the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment. A personal injury attorney will be able to determine the best path forward for your case.

Public pool accident

How Malloy Law Can Help

If you or a loved one was injured at a public pool, contact Malloy Law today for a free consultation. Our talented legal team is home to the area’s premises liability specialists. We’ll evaluate your case and plot a path to maximum compensation. Don’t face your recovery alone, contact Malloy Law today to get started.