Although swimming is excellent exercise and a great activity for children, pools can be a dangerous place under the wrong circumstances. If you experienced a swimming pool accident that resulted in injury, you should consult with the attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo. A Port St. Lucie swimming pool accident lawyer could review your case to determine whether someone else’s negligence contributed to your losses and you have a viable claim. If so, you and your family could claim money damages for personal injuries from any negligent parties.
The owner or operator of a pool used by the public or business guests has a duty to provide an environment safe from reasonably foreseeable hazards. Visitors must have adequate warning about any hazards that the owner or operator is aware of, and the owner or operator must make reasonable efforts to discover and repair any hidden hazards that exist.
Despite this legal obligation, municipal pools and pools in apartment and condominium complexes, sports clubs, country clubs, and hotels often pose real dangers to the guests. A poorly trained or inattentive lifeguard may not respond appropriately to a swimmer in trouble, or there may be no lifeguard on duty at all, resulting in a drowning or near-drowning. Serious injuries from diving are common, as are fractures and head injuries from improperly installed or inadequately maintained pool decks. A local attorney could investigate all the circumstances surrounding a swimming pool accident to identify any potentially negligent parties. After reviewing a case, one of our lawyers could initiate settlement negotiations with these parties. If negotiations do not conclude satisfactorily, we could file a personal injury lawsuit seeking money damages.
When a lawsuit alleging negligence in a swimming pool accident goes to trial, Florida Statute Title XLV, §768.81 requires the judge or jury to apportion blame for the accident amongst the parties. Each party is responsible for paying a percentage of the damages proportional to their degree of fault.
It is important to note that judges and juries may assign some of the responsibility to the claimant. However, an injured party who bears most of the blame for an accident could still collect damages from other negligent parties. In these situations, the judge may reduce the claimant’s total damages award by their percentage of fault.
One exception to this rule according to state law is that claimants who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident and are more than 50 percent of the fault for the accident, may not collect damages from other negligent parties. One of our Port St. Lucie lawyers could review the specifics of a swimming pool accident and determine how the court may apportion fault.
It might be surprising to learn that a social host has minimal duties toward their guests. If someone suffers injuries in a pool at a private residence and tries to collect damages, they typically would need to prove that the host knew of a hazard and failed to warn the claimant of it.
In these situations, a claimant would present evidence that the defendant violated the state’s residence pool safety laws. This law requires most residential pools to have certain enumerated safety systems in place to prevent entry into the swimming area. If the homeowner does not have any of these safety features, the attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo may only need to prove only that the injured party suffered damages and does not need to prove homeowner negligence.
There are many complications and legal nuances to these negligence cases that could make it difficult for someone to pursue a claim without an attorney from Kogan & DiSalvo by their side. Fortunately, a Port St. Lucie swimming pool accident lawyer could help you and your family if you have suffered a drowning or a near-drowning. For more information about how we could help you, call today and schedule your initial consultation.