Pool drownings are tragic events that claim far too many lives every year, and these victims skew young.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in five people who die from drowning are 14 years of age or younger. Additionally, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for submersion injuries.
Given the prevalence of pool drownings, it’s important to know the safety precautions that property owners should take in order to prevent these terrible events, and who you may hold responsible in the event of a pool drowning at your apartment complex.
Property Owners’ Responsibility
Premises liability law states that a property owner has a legal responsibility to ensure their premises are in safe working order for legal tenants and visitors. This includes identifying and resolving any hazards on the property in a timely manner.
In the case of a pool drowning at an apartment complex, the property owner must take reasonable precautions to make sure that their pool is safe for tenants or anyone else on the property. This may include the following provisions:
- Installing adequate fencing around the pool
- Installing a gate in the fence that locks or is otherwise difficult for a child to open
- Posting signs around the pool warning swimmers of potential dangers, including shallow depths or no lifeguard on duty
- Ensuring the pool’s water is clean and transparent in order to see anyone who may need help under the surface
Other Parties That May Be Held Liable
The property owner is not always responsible for a pool drowning. There are a couple of other situations in which other parties may be held accountable, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Another individual who acted negligently. Negligence is the failure to do what a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances. Other parties may be held liable if their negligence caused someone to drown, such as a pool service provider improperly installing equipment or a lifeguard failing to supervise swimmers.
- A manufacturer or retailer. A manufacturer or retailer may be held liable if a product they designed or distributed was defective and caused someone to drown. An example may be a pool drain grate that traps a child’s foot and prevents them from swimming to the surface.
Was Your Loved One Harmed in a Pool Drowning? We’re Here to Help
If your loved one was seriously injured or killed in a pool drowning at your apartment complex, our San Jose personal injury attorneys can help you seek justice in the wake of this tragedy. We’re well-versed in this area of law, and we know how to fight for you.
Contact Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP today at (800) 900-0863 to schedule a free consultation with our team.