Who is at Fault for a Pool Accident in Houston, Texas?
One thing people love about Houston is the beautiful warm weather and the fact that you can go swimming for much of the year. But as you’re no doubt aware, swimming pools can sometimes be dangerous — especially for young children — and nothing is scarier than an accident at a pool.
In fact, the Center for Disease Control reports that from 2005-2014, about 3,500 fatal unintentional drownings occurred each year in the United States, or about 10 per day. In addition, about one in five or children age fourteen or younger. And it gets worse. According to the CDC, for every child who dies from drowning, five others end up in the emergency room.
If you or a loved one has been injured recently, you might be wondering who is at fault for a pool accident in Houston, Texas. You may also be wondering if you can file a swimming pool accident claim or if you should consult a lawyer. The accident lawyers in Houston at Carabin Shaw have the answers, so read on.Determining Who is at Fault for a Pool Accident in Houston, Texas
An accident at a pool can be terrifying; from a slip on wet cement to an accidental drowning death, pool accidents may often be the result of poor supervision or the failure to follow basic safety guidelines by the property owners. In fact, in Houston and the rest of Texas, a swimming pool is considered an “attractive nuisance,” which is an area that attracts people and kids, even if they do not have permission to be there. This means that people who own residential pools have a reasonable legal obligation to make sure they are well-maintained and the chemicals in the water are balanced and non-toxic, that the premises are secure and safe, and that kids can’t simply wander in and get hurt.
If you or a loved one has been injured, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.Preventing Pool Accidents
There are several common-sense (and, as all personal injury lawyers in Houston know, legally required) ways to help prevent pool accidents (note these apply to above-ground pools as well as below-ground pools):
- Reinforce strong swimming skills with formal swimming lessons
- All adults should learn CPR
- Make sure everyone uses the buddy system when swimming
- Provide one-on-one supervision around water for anyone with seizure disorder
- Don’t mistake floating pool toys as safety devices
- Install four-sided fencing at least four feet high that doesn’t contain gaps or other openings
- Gates should open outward and be self-closing and self-latching, as well as having latches out of the reach of young kids
- Other barriers such as auto locks and alarms can prevent people from getting in, or alert the homeowner if someone does
- Always clear your pool and deck of toys
- Public pools should have signs helping swimmers navigate the water (such as depth) and emergency equipment on hand, as well as lifeguards
- Ladders or steps for above-ground pools must be secured, locked, or removed to prevent access
- A cover for the pool when it is not in use
It’s crucial that you, as a parent, understand your rights in the awful and tragic event of a drowning or other pool injury, and consulting with an attorney will help. Experienced accident lawyers in Houston can help you evaluate your case and recommend if you should file a claim.
Keep in mind that parents and other adults also have a reasonable expectation of responsibility for proper behavior. However, swimming pool accidents typically fall under “premises liability” cases, which refer to rules requiring property owners to keep the area safe for visitors.
Finally, note that the Texas statute of limitations (that is, the time you have to file a claim or bring a wrongful death case) is two years from the date of the accident, so it’s important to get in touch with personal injury lawyers in Houston as soon as possible.Experienced Injury Attorneys
If you believe that the fault for your pool accident lies with the property owner — by not having a four-sided fence, for example, or not securing the latch on a gate — then you should take steps to make sure you get the most compensation possible for you injuries, pain, and suffering. Reach out to the accident lawyers in Houston at Carabin Shaw right away. Our lawyers can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 800-862-1260 for a free consultation.