Swimming Pool Injury Cases in Arizona

 

The State of Arizona is known to have high-temperature ranges, especially in summer. A popular remedy to the heat is to go dip in a pool. So it is understandable why Arizona is one of the states with the highest number of swimming pools in the country.

Consequently, the number of accidents and injury cases that occur in and around swimming pools in the State is quite alarming. In 2020 alone, there were 20 drowning deaths in Arizona between January and May.

Most of these cases were unintentional, a result of negligence more than any other thing. But this does not stop the tragedy from happening or the injury from being inflicted.

Preventing Swimming Pool Accidents

In Arizona, there is what is called “premises liability.” It refers to the rules that compel property owners to take responsibility for their property and ensure it’s safe for visitors. These visitors could be invitees, licensees, or trespassers. Invitees are people who enter a property to carry out some business with the owner. They aren’t granted express permission but are expected. For instance, a customer entering a store. On the other hand, licensees are individuals who have express or implied consent to enter a property for non-business purposes. An instance is having a friend over for a pool party. Lastly, trespassers are people who are not authorized to be on the property.

A property owner’s duty to these visitors varies depending on the classification. They owe the greatest degree of care to invitees. As such, they must keep the property safe and warn invitees of any dangerous conditions. Homeowners also owe a duty of care to licensees and must also warn them of any hazards that they are not likely to discover.

Unlike invitees and licensees, property owners do not owe any duty of care to trespassers, except the trespasser is a child. For child trespassers, property owners have a duty of care to reasonably prevent any risk of harm to children. In trying to reduce the number of casualties caused by drowning, the State of Arizona passed the Arizona Revised Statute 36-1681. This law mandates pool owners to take specific safety measures when little children are around.

For instance, pool owners are required by law to surround their pools with a fence that is at least five feet high. This fence should have no openings or handholds for climbing over. It should also be at least 20 inches from the water’s edge.

Other safety measures that pool owners should take to prevent swimming pool accidents include:

  1. Never leaving children unattended in the pool or pool area, even if they have flotation devices and have taken swimming lessons.
  2. Posting CPR/CCR instructions, as well as the 911 emergency number or a local emergency number in the pool area.
  3. Placing a phone at the pool area for easy accessibility in case of an emergency.
  4. Attending water rescue and CPR/CCR classes.
  5. Keeping lifesaving equipment near the pool area and easily accessible
  6. Checking all gate locks and latches to ensure that they are working properly.

 

These precautions were put in place because the possible injuries resulting from a swimming pool accident can be pretty severe. They include:

  • Concussions
  • Severe head trauma
  • Loss of memory
  • Brain damage
  • Hypothermia
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Death

When pool owners fail to take the necessary precautions, they may be liable for any injuries sustained as a result of their negligence. So, if you’ve suffered injuries from a swimming pool accident caused by the carelessness of another, you have recourse.

What to do After a Swimming Pool Accident

Swimming pool accidents can be fatal. And even when they aren’t, the consequent injuries can still be devastating. They can follow a person for the rest of their life. As such, the actions you take in the minutes, hours, and days following the accident are crucial. They include:

  • Get Medical Attention Immediately

Immediate medical care is vital for any person who has been involved in a swimming pool accident. This is particularly true if the victim is a child or was submerged in the water for a long time. Getting medical attention right away lessens the risk of serious and possibly life-threatening complications.

  • Report the Accident to the Appropriate Authorities

You may not want to call the police on your family, friends, or neighbors. However, it is essential to have the accident reported and documented. A police officer could carry out a preliminary investigation and write up a report.

This report helps to ensure that essential details relevant to the swimming pool accident are preserved.

  • Document the Details of the Accident

If you suffered injuries in a swimming pool accident on another person’s property, you might have a legal claim for damages. And to be successful in that personal injury claim, you must prove that your injuries were a direct result of the pool owner’s negligence.

As such, you need to gather enough evidence before it has the chance to disappear. So, try to take pictures of the pool and the surrounding area after the accident.

When taking the photos, focus on the place where the injury occurred. Check for loose cords or wires, puddles of water, swimming toys, missing fences, and flotation devices. Make sure to document as many details as possible. Your personal injury attorney can review the photos later on and determine if you have enough proof of negligence on tape.

  • Do Not Talk About the Accident

It is always advisable to keep quiet after an accident. And even if you think you are partly to blame for the accident, do not apologize for it. Insurance companies and property owners may try to use your apology, however innocent, to deny liability.

So, answer any questions briefly and make sure not to admit fault. Direct any invasive or detailed questions to your attorney. Also, avoid accepting any settlement offers, especially if it’s soon after the accident.

That way, you can be sure that the settlement amount you accept will cover all of the accident’s expenses.

  • Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

You should only hire an attorney that specializes in personal injury law. These attorneys will most likely have the experience and skill that would directly benefit you. This puts you in the best position to obtain a substantial monetary award.

The Ferguson Law Group is a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. Our team of personal injury attorneys has a wealth of experience when it comes to dealing with swimming pool accident cases.

Recovering Compensation After a Swimming Pool Accident in Arizona

A person that was injured in someone else’s swimming pool due to the owner’s negligence may recover the following:

  • Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering
  • Economic damages such as lost wages and past and future medical expenses
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death damages

In most cases, the claimant will recover non-economic and economic damages. The Court rarely awards punitive damages, but it may do so in extreme cases when the defendant was grossly negligent or caused the accident intentionally. And if a person drowns, the person’s immediate family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Note that most homeowners insurance policies cover swimming pool accidents. This increases your chances of recovering compensation if the property owner does not have any money.

Contact an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries sustained as a result of drowning can lead to astronomical medical costs. You shouldn’t have to bear these costs yourself. The negligent property owner should be held accountable for your injury or loved one’s death.

The compassionate and competent team of personal injury lawyers at the Ferguson Law Group are ready to fight for you. We can help you get the settlement you deserve.

 

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602-780-1226