A Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensation
Swimming pool accidents and drownings can occur in private pools, or in public facilities such as hotels, motels, apartment complexes, and parks. Tragically, these accidents often involve young children. However, teenagers and adults are at risk, too, especially when accidents are the result of poor maintenance or management. When negligence is present, a single mistake might cause serious injuries such as brain damage or paralysis, or even prove fatal.
Swimming pool owners and operators, like other property owners, are responsible for making sure their premises are safe and properly maintained and must fix dangerous conditions to prevent injury to others. When a pool owner fails to maintain safe conditions and you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a swimming pool accident, you may be able to receive compensation through insurance or a premises liability lawsuit. However, Texas laws are complicated, and insurance companies will try to get you to settle for the lowest amounts possible or even try to put the blame on the victim, so it’s difficult to get compensation on your own.
Fortunately, there is help available from the Houston swimming pool lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law. Our attorneys understand that the effects of a serious swimming pool accident can be devastating, and that you may be facing mounting medical expenses at a time you may be unable to work. We know the laws, the system, and the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying, and we are fully prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Let us take the burden off you by handling all legal requirements and negotiations, so you can concentrate on rebuilding your life.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and determine the best way to move forward. There are no costs to you unless and until we win your case, so call us today at 713-973-8888 or toll-free at 1-800-444-5000 to get started.
How Our Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers Work to Help You
When you hire our attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, it is our job to investigate how the accident happened and determine who is liable, and act accordingly. To this end, we will:
- Meet with you to discuss what happened and who the at-fault parties may be. We will determine whether you have a valid case and what it should be worth.
- Make sure you get proper medical care and that your injuries are documented.
- Investigate the scene of the accident to assess any damage or defects in or near the pool, or lack of proper fencing or signage.
- Gather evidence from surveillance videos, police and accident reports, medical records, and interviews with witnesses and first responders.
- Hire relevant expert witnesses to demonstrate negligence as well as assess damages, and costs you and your family sustained and will in the future.
- Negotiate aggressively for a full settlement with insurance companies and attorneys.
- Build your case and take it to court if necessary.
Most cases settle out of court, but should negotiations break down, we are fully prepared to go to trial. When insurance companies realize this, they are more apt to come up with a fair settlement.
Houston Swimming Pool Drowning Lawyer Must Prove Negligence
Many factors can contribute to an injury or drowning incident. However, most accidents are preventable with basic safety measures. Owners who fail to take these basic safety measures can be held liable for negligence.
Some of the most frequent risk factors include:
- Unfenced water – The risk of fatal injury to young children decreases by about 80% if the water is fenced on all four sides, not just protected by property fencing.
- Overcrowded water – In especially crowded water, a lifeguard may not be able to see someone who is struggling to stay above the water’s surface.
- Missing barrier or signage pointing out deep water – Just cordoning off the deep areas with rope can give parents and lifeguards enough time to notice a child attempting to enter deep water.
- Murky water – Poorly treated water will eventually become so cloudy that it is nearly impossible to see into from a distance.
- Lack of safety equipment and personnel – Shepherd’s hooks and throwing ropes must be available to rescue people from the water, and lifeguards may also be required in some instances.
- Malfunctioning lights, drains, or ladders – These provide a safe experience for people in the water, and if any are not functioning correctly, it might be impossible to exit the water safely or see into it at night.
When one of these factors causes swimming pool and drowning accidents, liability will be determined using premises law. Premises law outlines who is responsible for injuries that occur due to a property feature.
In general, whoever owns and is responsible for managing the water or pool will be liable if anyone is harmed due to negligence, and an injured person can file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the property owner or other negligent party.
In some cases, there may be multiple negligent parties responsible, and our attorneys would look to find them all, as they all may have assets and insurance that can go toward a settlement. Negligent parties may include:
- Homeowners of a residential pool
- Corporate owners of a private pool such as in gyms, hotels, and apartment complexes
- Government entities that own public pools, community pools, and school pools.
Negligence in a Swimming Pool Drowning Lawsuit
The Texas Department of Health has numerous laws, rules, and regulations for public swimming pools and spas, and Texas premises liability laws apply to both public swimming pools and private residences.
Pool owners and operators have a duty of care to prevent injuries to others, including invited guests, customers, visitors, and even minors who trespass onto the property, as a swimming pool is considered an “attractive nuisance” to children. If a defendant knows about a hazard, or should know about a hazard and does not fix it or warn about the danger, the defendant may be found negligent in a lawsuit and be liable for damages.
To win your case, our attorneys would have to prove that the defendant:
- Knew or should have known about the hazard
- Violated that duty by failing to fix or warn about the hazard
- This violation caused the accident
- You suffered damages as a result.
If someone is invited onto the property, or the property is open to all, then the property owner must alert all guests of hidden dangers around the water, provide safety equipment, maintain fencing, and keep all lights, drains, and ladders in good working condition. These protections are not extended to people who trespass on the property, except for young children, who are considered particularly vulnerable to swimming pool and drowning accidents and must be kept out by secure fencing.
If the drowning resulted in the death of a loved one, you may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party in Texas civil court if you are a close family member or representative of the deceased’s estate. The death does not have to be deliberate or intentional to be wrongful; it only has to be shown to have occurred through some act that the party negligently did or failed to do.
Damages Our Houston Pool Accident Lawyers May Help You Recover
In a successful lawsuit, our Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law attorneys can win an award for both your monetary costs, called “special damages,” as well as your non-economic damages, called “general” damages. Economic damages would cover your calculable costs and bills, and non-economic damages are for intangibles such as pain and suffering that negatively impact your life.
There are many expenses and losses for which you can seek compensation after a swimming pool accident. These include:
- Medical, hospital, and surgical costs
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Ambulance services
- Dental work
- Future treatment costs
- Lost wages from being unable to work
- Reduced earning capacity for the future
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
- Funeral costs, if a death is involved.
To qualify for non-economic damages in Texas, you must have had physical injury and costs in addition to developing emotional trauma because of the accident.
In rare situations when the accident was caused by actions that were wantonly reckless and negligent, you may also be awarded punitive damages. Texas law puts caps on the amount of punitive damages. (C.P.R.C. Title 2 Subtitle C Chapter 41)
Call Our Houston Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer for Help
After a serious pool accident, the experienced and compassionate swimming pool lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to take the burden off you and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. No matter what your situation, when you have our legal team on your side, you as a victim are taking the first step in receiving the necessary financial help you need to recover from the harm you suffered and ensure that those who are at fault are held accountable.
There are no fees to you unless and until we win your case, so call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today at 713-973-8888 or toll-free at 1-800-444-5000 for your free case evaluation to get started.