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Summer Safety: Pool Accidents

As Memorial Day weekend gets closer and the weather heats up, more and more Pennsylvania residents are looking forward to cooling off and lounging by their private or community pools. Unfortunately, the negligence of pool owners or supervisors can turn this beloved warm weather activity into a devastating tragedy.pic-pool-accidents

Pool accidents can occur at any type of pool, whether it be public, commercial, or private, and when they do, death and longterm debilitating injuries are often the result.

According to the CDC, “drowning is a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages. For toddlers (children ages 1 to 4 years), swimming pools pose the greatest risk of submersion injury.”

Common causes of pool-related injuries and fatalities include:

  • Slippery surfaces
  • Toxic pool cleaning chemicals
  • Too few lifeguards on duty
  • Inaccurate water depth markings
  • Diving boards placed over water that is too shallow
  • Inadequate measures to warn of slipping and other hazards
  • Lack of barriers that prevent children from entering a pool unattended

pic-head-injuriesTypes of injuries resulting from these conditions can range from concussions and broken limbs to traumatic brain injury resulting from a lack of oxygen in the brain, and even death.

What are the responsibilities of pool owners and managers?

In order to maintain a safe, hazard-free environment, private pool owners, as well as supervisors of public or commercial pools are required to follow a variety of safety practices mandated by State and Federal Law.

Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code requires pools more than 24 inches deep to be enclosed by a fence or enclosure with self-closing gates to prevent children from entering the area unattended. It is also a PA requirement that there be a lifeguard on duty for every 4,000 square feet of water.

Since the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act in 2007, it is required by Federal Law that all public pools equip anti-entrapment drains or covers.

What to do in the event of a poolside injury

If you, a loved one, or a friend have suffered any pool related injury due to the negligence of a private owner or supervisor, you may be entitled to compensation based on premises liability.

If the owner of the pool abided by all safety regulations, it is possible that injury or death could be caused by a design flaw in a piece of equipment, such as a defective drain, pool ladder, or diving board, in which case you could have a valid product liability claim.

If an accident at a public or private pool results in the death of a loved one, you may also be eligible to pursue a wrongful death case against the facility, supervisor, or private owner. While this can never make up for the death of a loved one, it can help ease the financial burden of unexpected medical and funeral costs.

Should yourself or a loved one experience any pool-related injuries, contact Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation. Our compassionate team of lawyers knows how to help you recover the damages you deserve. We make ourselves available to you at any time, even nights and weekends, and will make visits to your home, hospital, or rehab facility if you are unable to travel.


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