Beating the heat with an afternoon of swimming fun is a treasured New Orleans pastime. Sadly, what should be a pleasant time cooling down while enjoying the company of friends and family can become dangerous in an instant. You may find yourself dealing with extreme medical or even funeral bills after a drowning accident. Making matters worse, you could be unable to work while recovering and have no means of paying those bills.
Common Louisiana Swimming Pool Injuries
When tragedy strikes during a pool outing, you need the assistance of a premises liability attorney. A lawyer is critical to ensuring you are fully compensated with the actual amount you deserve and that the at-fault party is properly held accountable.
Exactly who is ultimately responsible and how you proceed with legal action can vary depending on where the accident took place and who was supposed to be supervising the pool. Aquatic recreation injuries can take place at locations such as:
- Apartment complex recreational areas
- Hotel pool and hot tub rooms
- Public city pools and water parks
- Private backyard pools
Whether from a slip and fall around the pool or a drowning incident in the actual water, victims of mishaps in New Orleans pools may suffer:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Lack of oxygen to the brain, often resulting in long-term or even permanent repercussions
- Traumatic brain injury when striking the bottom or side of the pool
- Spinal cord damage
- Wrongful death
Holding the Negligent Party Responsible for Swimming Pool Accidents
While there are instances where accidents are truly no one’s fault, or where the swimmer’s own behavior caused the injury, in many cases drowning incidents are directly caused by negligence.
Adults are obviously at-risk of suffering injuries when property owners don’t put safety first, but children are placed in particular jeopardy when homeowners or lifeguards don’t behave responsibly. These types of poolside injuries may be caused by:
- Attractive nuisances – Pools on private property may entice children to enter if they aren’t properly protected, such as failing to put up a fence, keep a gate locked, or use pool covers.
- Faulty pool equipment – Broken ladders or uneven ground near the pool can cause harm, while suction from faulty pool filters can trap children underwater. In these cases, the negligent party may be a construction crew or manufacturer rather than the property owner.
- Negligent lifeguard behavior – When lifeguards stop paying attention to swimmers, serious injuries or even death can easily occur.
- Parent negligence at a private pool – Guardians, babysitters, or parents take the role of lifeguard at a private residence, and they can be liable when injuries take place while they weren’t watching.
- Roughhousing and horseplay – Sometimes other swimmers are responsible for the injury, such as if they were pushing people near the pool’s edge.
Proving a homeowner or other party is liable can be difficult, especially when dealing with the attractive nuisance doctrine. No matter how the injury occurred, you need an attorney with ample experience in premises liability cases to fully investigate the incident and provide compelling evidence that negligence was the root cause.
It’s important to keep in mind that a lawsuit may be required to get the full amount you are owed from a pool injury, especially if funds are coming from a home owner’s insurance policy. Insurance companies make less profit when they have to pay out claims, which means they have a strong incentive to offer less than you actually deserve.
The negligent party or their insurance company may need to be compelled by a court to provide a fair amount commensurate with your actual costs, covering damages like:
- Emergency room and other medical bills
- Future medical costs if the victim requires rehabilitation and therapy
- Lost wages, as well as lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering or other non-economic damages affecting your quality of life
Talk to an Attorney After Any Swimming Pool Injury
When you are grieving the loss of a loved one or recovering from a near-drowning incident yourself, the last thing you want to worry about is legal or financial issues. Let an attorney handle that side of the situation and hold the negligent party responsible. Get in touch with the Vicknair law firm to discuss your case and find out how we can help.