Miami Drowning And Pool Injury Lawyer
Miami provides perfect pool weather for the entirety of the year. Pools are a fantastic way to beat the heat and get some exercise. However, pools present a high risk of drowning or other injuries if a property owner does not properly maintain their pool. When an injury or death occurs because a pool owner was negligent, the victim or their family is entitled to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
I am attorney Jared Newman, and I am committed to holding negligent pool owners accountable for the harm that they cause. If you were injured in a pool or lost a loved one in a drowning accident, contact my firm, Jared Newman, Esq., immediately to review your legal rights and options. Call 954-866-1790 to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes Of Drownings And Pool Injuries In Miami
It does not take a long time for someone to suffer permanent brain damage underwater. Someone will typically lose consciousness if they are underwater for two minutes. If that time frame increases to four or six minutes, the person could suffer brain damage or drown. Young children are especially susceptible to accidents and injuries in a Miami pool.
Under Florida law, any homeowner with a pool on their property must have at least one of the required safety measures:
- A 4-foot-tall fence
- Exit alarms on all windows and doors that offer pool access
- A pool cover
In addition to the necessary safety features, a homeowner with a pool is responsible for supervising any children using their pool. If a Miami homeowner fails to have one of these features or neglects their responsibilities, they could be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur.
While lack of supervision is a common cause for injuries and drownings in Miami residential pools, another reason is defective or dangerous equipment. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a pool injury, the equipment manufacturer could be held liable if its product contributed to the injury or drowning. Some defective products include drainage covers, ladders and diving boards. A defective product does not free the homeowner from accountability. If they were aware or should have been aware that the pool equipment presented a danger or was in disrepair, they could still be held responsible for any injuries that occurred.
Another common cause of injuries and death in swimming pools is electrocution. An injury could happen if someone is operating electrical equipment around or the pool’s design, resulting in it being near unsafe electrical wires.
The surfaces surrounding a pool are naturally wet and often slippery. If the surfaces around a pool are unreasonably slippery or lack rubber matting to secure footing, a person is liable to slip and fall.
These types of accidents and injuries are not limited to residential pools. People in Miami suffer the same injuries at public pools, swim clubs or other facilities that offer either pools, spas or hot tubs.
Liability For Miami Pool Injuries And Drownings
In many cases, if a pool accident occurs on another person’s property, commercial space or public area, the property owner, manager or government agency in charge could be held liable if the injury resulted from their negligence. Under Florida premises liability law, a Miami property owner, homeowner or manager must keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This law exists to ensure that anyone who lawfully enters their property or pool is not subjected to unreasonable dangers. When a property owner or manager fails to exercise reasonable care in operating or maintaining their pool, they could be held legally accountable if a person is injured or drowns. It is important to understand that a pool owner or manager does not have to create the dangerous condition to be held liable.
Establishing legal liability for a pool injury will depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury and the relationship between the parties. To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit arising from a pool-related accident, I will have to establish negligence. This requires proving four separate elements, described below.
Duty Of Care
The first element a plaintiff must prove is that a duty of care existed. A duty of care is a legal obligation that one party owes another. Determining if a duty of care exists and what it entails depends on the parties’ relationship in the case. The duty of care that a neighbor owes an invitee to a pool party is different than the duty a manager or operator owes guests at a commercial pool and waterpark facility.
Breach Of Duty
To prove the second required element, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty. A breach of duty is any conduct that fails to adhere to the obligations imposed by the duty of care. For example, if a public pool manager does not have the necessary number of lifeguards on duty, they create an unreasonable danger for those in the pool and could be breaching their duty of care. Additionally, if a parent invited a number of children over for a swim party and allowed them to swim without adult supervision, their conduct could constitute a breach of duty.
Demonstrating that someone made a poor decision or acted recklessly is insufficient to win a personal injury lawsuit in Miami. The defendant’s conduct must have caused the injury. If a homeowner was aware that their diving board was in disrepair but allowed friends to use it, they could be held liable if the diving board caused an injury. In many personal injury cases arising from a pool-related accident, proving a breach of duty and causation are the two most challenging legal hurdles to overcome.
The final element is actual damages. If you or a loved one did not suffer an injury, then there is no basis for a personal injury lawsuit. However, if you required medical attention or otherwise lost money because of the injury, then there are damages. In drowning cases or wrongful death, an eligible family member or the deceased’s estate will have suffered emotional and/or economic losses.
Call Jared Newman, Esq., For A Free Legal Consultation
If you were injured while at a pool or lost a loved one due to an accidental drowning, I provide professional, vigorous and compassionate representation while helping victims and their families fight for the compensation they deserve. For a free legal consultation, call my Miami office today at 954-866-1790.