Swimming Pool Accidents
Over 100 Years Combined Experience Representing Victims of Swimming Pool Accidents
Each year, hundreds of people tragically drown in swimming pools across the country. Thousands more are seriously injured. Most pool accidents are preventable, often occurring when the adult in charge fails to properly supervise a child, or when pool equipment fails or is not properly maintained.
Drowning can take a person’s life quickly. Young children are the most vulnerable. When a loved one drowns, a family is left with the devastating and painful challenge of trying to move on without them. Even when someone survives a near-drowning, there are often serious personal injuries. Permanent brain injuries can result just minutes after a person stops breathing or if a person experiences decreased oxygen.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, you may not be able to work for a period of time. You may face significant medical bills and need time to focus on rehabilitation. You may need to bring a claim against the property owner, pool operator, maintenance company or manufacturer of defective pool equipment to recover damages. If a loved one has been killed in a drowning, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim.
The Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck are experienced in handling cases involving premises liability, product liability and wrongful death. If you or a family member has been injured, contact us today for a free legal consultation at 617-723-7676 or 800-379-1244.
Types of Injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries from Diving Accidents
Head Injuries from Diving Accidents
Drain Cover Entrapments
Slips and Falls
Injuries from Defective Pool Equipment
Requirements for Keeping Safe and Secure Home Swimming Pools in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts law, swimming pool owners must surround their pool with a fence at least four feet tall. The fence should have a self-latching and self-closing gate.
If the enclosure includes the home, doors must have alarms. Property owners must also take other reasonable steps to prevent children from getting past their pool fence.
Pool owners assume a responsibility when they invite guests to use their pools. They have a responsibility to maintain their pool and surrounding areas. They need to prevent the use of glass in and around the pool. They need to make sure their pool diving boards and pool ladders are safe for use. They should make sure they are using anti-entrapment drain covers which comply with state and federal requirements.
Requirements for Keeping Safe Public Pools in Massachusetts
Public pools provide the public a place to cool down and exercise. But those who use public pools should be aware there may be supervision lapses, equipment hazards and pools may not be properly closed and secured during off hours.
Massachusetts allows local health boards to determine whether public pools are staffed with lifeguards. Lifeguards must be 16 years or older so many of the lifeguards at public pools are teenagers. While they must receive training and pass certain fitness tests, teenage lifeguards can only have a few years of experience on the job at most and may be put in charge of large numbers of swimmers. State regulations allow one lifeguard for every 25 bathers, though local health boards have discretion over the number and should set different numbers based on the needs of the location.
Public pool operators have an obligation to make sure diving boards and other pool equipment are safe for use. Public pools are required to use drain covers that comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Safety Spa Act, a federal law that took effect in December 2008. The law was passed to prevent personal injuries and wrongful death from children getting stuck in swimming pool and hot tub drains.
Pool owners should properly secure pools outside of pool hours when lifeguards are not present. Pools should be covered and doors to the pool area should be locked.
Filing a Claim for a Swimming Pool Drowning or Accident in Massachusetts
Drownings and swimming pool accidents may arise from a defect on the premises, the negligence of the owner or operator or a defective product. If you or your child are injured in a swimming pool accident, you may bring a claim against one or several parties, including the property owner, landlord, tenant, contractor, property management company or equipment manufacturer.
You may be able to seek damages for loss of future net income, medical expenses, loss of companionship and love and loss of support. In wrongful death cases, punitive damages may be awarded.
If the accident was caused by a condition on the premises, you must prove that the party knew about the condition or reasonably should have known. The party has a reasonable period of time to correct the condition. But in general, the person responsible for a public pool or semi-public pool has a shorter period of time to respond to conditions that may cause injury than a private pool owner.
Choosing a Massachusetts Pool Accident Lawyer
In Massachusetts, all accidents have a Statute of Limitations restricting how long you can file a claim. This makes it important to speak to an experienced Boston personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your legal rights need to be protected following a swimming pool accident. The key to the successful handling of your case is prompt investigation and aggressive representation.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston, we have over 100 years of combined experience handling complex premises liability cases involving residential and commercial property owners. Our attorneys have the experience, expertise and resources to achieve the best results for you.
To learn more, visit our Case Results page to see the success we have had for our past clients.
If you feel you have a case, it is vital that you act immediately to protect your rights. Please call our experienced swimming pool accident attorneys at 617-723-7676 or toll-free at 800-379-1244 or use our contact form.