As the weather continues to heat up, many Florida residents are heading to their local pools and beaches to cool off. Although swimming can be a great way to relax on a hot day, it is important that the risks associated with this activity are fully appreciated, and that anyone injured in a swimming accident contact a Miami personal injury attorney immediately.
The risks associated with swimming are especially high for children, especially when they are inadequately supervised or permitted to swim without appropriate safety equipment. According to statistics published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is the second leading cause of death among children aged one to nineteen, with over a thousand such children drowning every year.
As this blog has discussed on several occasions, premises liability is a legal term that references a property owner’s duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Owners and operators of private pools and breaches are no different, and owe certain duties to guests of their property.
The extent of the duty owed by a property owner depends on the type of relationship between the owner and the injured party. Usually, this relationship is defined based on the status of the guest as either: (1) an invitee (individual who enters a property for business purposes); (2) a licensee (individual who enters a property for social purposes); or (3) a trespasser (individual without permission to enter onto a property).
With regard to private pools and beaches, which are run for profit, swimmers are considered invitees, therefore the owner of the property owes such guests a duty to ensure that the premises are free of dangerous conditions that the owner knew or should have known about. In addition, operators of private pools and beaches also owe their patrons a duty to regularly inspect the property so as to discover potentially dangerous conditions, and can be found liable for injuries caused by hazards which they did not have actual knowledge of, but should have known about.
Common hazards associated with pools and lakes are:
- Poor maintenance resulting in hazardous conditions such as slippery surfaces or broken glass.
- Dangerous behavior by guests such as horseplay; and
- Improper or insufficient training of safety personnel and/or lifeguards.
Any one of these dangerous conditions, and myriad others not referenced above, may result in serious injury, or in extreme cases, death of a pool or beach patron. In the event that the owner of such premises owner knew, or should have known, about a dangerous condition on his or her premises, and did nothing to remedy it, a person hurt or killed by such a hazard may be entitled to compensation.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of the dangerous condition of a pool or lake, it is important that you discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to determine the merit and value of your claim, as well as to preserve any favorable evidence. The qualified personal injury attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured by the negligent actions or omissions of property owners. If you have been injured on the premises of another, or know someone that has, contact the Miami injury lawyers of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.