Florida has over 1 million private residential swimming pools, and thousands more at hotels and public parks. Pools provide cool relief for friends and family during our hot days, but they can also cause death or injury at a moments notice. Florida leads the nation in fatal swimming pool drownings. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3 children die from drowning every day in a swimming pool accidents. It is also one the the leading causes of death for children ages 1-4 because it takes less than 5 minutes for an unsupervised child to drown. Attorney Mark Bidner and the Bidner Injury Law firm agree with the Association of Pediatrics and recommend that every parent have their child receive professional swimming lessons starting at age 1.
Near Drownings – For every child that loses their life in a swimming pool accident, multiple children and adults will suffer near drownings or accidents that can result in brain damage, spinal chord injuries, bone fractures, Recreational Water Illness (RWI) and lifelong disabilities requiring millions of dollars in care. The statute of limitations in Florida for filing a claim for a swimming pool accident is 4 years.
Some causes of swimming pool accidents:
- Inadequate supervision of young children.
- Improper or damaged entry gates or pool barriers.
- Inadequate maintenance around pool and deck.
- Lack of safety signs. (No Diving, No Running, etc.)
- Broken or damaged drain or filter systems.
- Broken glass.
- Broken pool lights.
- Inaccurate chemical treatments of swimming pool water.
- Inaccurate water levels.
Pool Owner’s Liability – Under Florida’s “Premises Liability”, a swimming pool owner may have different levels of liability depending on the type of entrant to the pool. The three types of entrants are Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser. An owner must maintain the swimming pool in a reasonably safe condition. If there are places which are not reasonably safe, then the owner must protect an Invitee or Licensee by warning them of these dangers and correcting the dangers in a reasonably expedient manner.
- Invitee – Public Invitee or Business Invitee. A person who is invited to enter the pool facilities as a member of the public.
- Licensee – Someone who is a the swimming pool by invitation, most commonly a social guest of the homeowner.
- Trespasser – A trespasser is someone who does not have permission to be at the swimming pool and yet enters anyway. The lowest duty of care is owed to trespassers. However, swimming pool owners must have special protections for child trespassers. This is called the “Attractive Nuisance Doctrine”.
Attractive Nuisance – Swimming pools can be attractive to young children who do not know the dangers posed by the pool. They can be drawn to it by curiosity and easily fall in and drown. This is called an “Attractive Nuisance”. Florida homeowners are required by state law to provide “reasonably safe conditions” and warn of any dangers. Failure to do so can result in injury and liability for damages. As a result of “Attractive Nuisance”, Florida as enacted the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (RSPSA). The RSPSA provides a checklist of safety precautions from which pool owners must enact ONE. Bidner Injury Law recommend the installation of multiple safety features in the event that one of them becomes broken or inactive.
Florida swimming pool accident laws are complex, very tricky to navigate and require an attorney with the skill, experience and knowledge to establish the elements of a successful case. You deserve to be compensated fully for the injuries you have suffered because of the negligence of another. Bidner Injury Law has the experience and knowledge to fight for what you rightfully deserve.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Mark Bidner or another Bidner Injury Law firm attorney, call 786-765-4120 or fill out and submit our online Contact Us form.