Houston Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys

Representing Clients in Texas & Across the United States

In the summertime, swimming quickly becomes one of the favorite pastimes of children and adults alike. Whether at the beach, on the lake, or in the neighborhood pool, swimming is a pleasurable activity that can also be very dangerous. It is important for owners of private pools, water parks, hotels, and similar facilities maintain these areas so that swimming is as safe as possible for patrons. Swimming pool accidents often happen more than people realize, sometimes resulting in severe injuries. People know the risks of drowning—10 people drown every day statistically—but catastrophic injuries such as brain damage, fractures, or concussions can also result from a pool accident.

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Types of Swimming Pool Dangers

Aside from drowning, pools contain several other safety hazards:

  • Chemicals: All pools must be treated with chemicals to remain sanitary; however, when added in excess or left unsecured, swimmers are at risk of chemical burns or related injuries. Liable parties may include the property owner or the pool maintenance company.
  • Slip & Fall Injuries: One common swimming pool injury involves slips and falls in the pool area, which quickly becomes slick as swimmers enter and exit the water. In order to prevent injuries, pool decks must be constructed from concrete or other materials designed to prevent slips and falls. Warning signs, lifeguards, and other personnel should also inform guests of safety measures.

Pool Drain Accidents

Pools clean themselves through a scheduled circulating system that runs even if there are people swimming. Typically, these systems are harmless—if drains have proper safety coverings. One of the biggest hazards posed by pool drains is entrapment. This is where a body is held against a pool or spa drain by the force of the pool’s suction, or when an article of clothing, jewelry, hair, or a body part becomes caught in a faulty drain. Entrapment is a particular danger with older drain models because those drain covers are flat and have large holes. Newer drain covers are safer because they have many more vents and are raised up off the pool floor instead of sitting flush.

Per a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report, there were 106 cases of pool drain entrapment from 1999 to 2011. Of those cases, 12 people died, 89 were injured, and 5 escaped without injuries. 79% of the victims in these incidents were children under the age of 18.

Pool drain accidents became such a problem in the United States that a federal law known as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) was passed in 2007 to prevent them. Virginia Graeme Baker, the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III, died in 2002 after she was trapped underwater by a spa drain. The VGBA created a national standard for pool and spa drains and required all pools to be retrofitted with drain covers designed to prevent entrapment. However, clearly, that law has not translated to private pools. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the pool owner to keep the pool safe and free from defects like a broken drain lid, which can result in serious injury or death. The manufacturer may also be at fault if the product was faulty.

If you, your child, or someone you love was harmed in a pool or spa drain accident, it’s likely that it was caused by someone who failed to follow VGBA regulations. Our attorneys are equipped to investigate what happened and build a case against whomever failed to keep your loved one safe. Building the case could help get the financial relief your child or your family needs to recover from the trauma of a pool drain accident.

Hotel Pool Accidents

One common location for swimming accidents is hotel pools. Whenever hotel owners or staff fail to follow pool safety rules, drowning accidents occur, causing families to suffer for the rest of their lives. If your family suffered because of an accident at a hotel pool, Arnold & Itkin is equipped to investigate the incident and fight for the legal and financial justice your family needs to move forward. A hotel’s property owner and its staff are responsible for making sure the pool meets local safety standards and is adequately maintained and supervised. While the laws for every state and municipality differ, most areas have similar safety requirements for hotel swimming pools.

Hotel swimming pool regulations often require:

  • A pool fence or gate
  • Safety signage for emergencies posted in clearly visible locations
  • Posted pool rules with hours of operation listed
  • Emergency phones
  • ADA-compliant pool lifts
  • Proper drain covers
  • Pool equipment that meets safety standards

While most hotel pools are not required to have a lifeguard on duty, management must have the training and equipment to prevent accidents and provide aid. If you or someone you love was killed or injured at a hotel pool, the management failed their duty to create an adequately safe environment. Find out what your options are by speaking with a hotel pool accident lawyer from Arnold & Itkin as soon as possible.

Country Club Pool Accidents

If you or a loved one were injured in a pool accident at a country club, you are entitled to seek compensation. Although you’d think country club pools would be well-maintained and safe because they are privately-owned, this is not always true. Any swimming pool holds potential risk, and numerous country clubs around the country have been sued for causing drowning accidents, exposing swimmers to elevated chlorine levels, and other dangers.

What Is the Country Club’s Responsibility?

The country club’s property manager must ensure the property is safe and hazard-free for all visitors and club members. They should make routine inspections of the property to identify potential hazards and fix any risks they find, especially in the pool. For example, wet and slippery walkways around the pool should be cleaned up regularly, and there should be a caution sign to alert visitors.

Other country club responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining a Safe Pool Area: It is their responsibility to take extra precautions around the pool area to protect children and other visitors. This may include installing a pool fence that makes it difficult for children to enter without an adult, having employees stationed near the pool to prevent unaccompanied children from entering, and any other necessary precautions.
  • Having Lifeguards: Country clubs should have a trained lifeguard on staff. They should have floating devices, first-aid kits, and other tools available in case of an emergency.

Aquatic Center Accidents

Aquatic centers are a popular destination for many families during hot summer days. Aquatic centers often have large lap pools and water recreation areas that are fun for adults and children. Unfortunately, aquatic centers across the country are where people can also suffer serious or fatal injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission discovered that an average of 393 deaths occur every year due to drowning accidents in swimming pools and spas. The unhealthy behaviors of pool goers have put swimmers at a 200 percent higher risk in developing recreational water illnesses in recent years. If you or your loved one were injured or drowned in an aquatic center, contact the aquatic center accident lawyers at Arnold & Itkin. Our firm has helped thousands of injured people nationwide get the compensation they needed after serious accidents.

Common Aquatic Center Accidents Across the Nation

Aquatic pool accidents can result in serious injuries that can harm a person for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, many of these accidents occur because aquatic center owners fail to provide visitors with a safe environment. Many are negligent because they disregard safety violations and fail to repair hazards or hire lifeguards.

Common accidents that occur at aquatic centers across the United States include:

  • Slip & Falls: Pool decks and  areas are often wet and increase the risks of a slip and fall accident. If the tile or cement surrounding the pool has cracks, walking around the pool can be hazardous for children and adults like.
  • Diving Board Injuries: According to the Ohio State University Medical School, about 6,500 adolescents go to the emergency room every year for traumatic diving-related injuries.
  • Lack of Supervision: It is vital for aquatic centers to have adequate supervision, especially at peak hours and throughout the summer. A lifeguard needs to have their eyes on the water to identify potential hazards and emergencies. Lifeguard supervision can prevent serious injuries and fatal accidents.
  • Drowning Accidents: Believe it or not, most drowning victims can go completely unnoticed in a crowded environment. Statistics revealed that about 750 children drown every swimming season, and half of these accidents occurred within 25 yards of an adult.
  • Chemical Exposure Injuries: With more than 300 million Americans visiting pools every year, injuries can result due to continuous exposure to disinfectants. Although disinfectants are vital for hygienic pools, chemical agents can react with organic and inorganic material in the water to form disinfection byproducts (DBP).
  • Chlorine Poisoning: This occurs when pool managers add too much chlorine to the water. Chlorine poisoning symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and fluid buildup inside the lungs. Chlorine poisoning is deadly on its own, but can also contribute to a drowning incident.

Apartment Pool Accidents

During hot summer days, countless families enjoy spending time at their apartment complex pools to cool off. Unfortunately, a day in the pool can quickly turn into a nightmare. If your loved one drowned at an apartment pool, it is vital for you to have an experienced attorney on your side to get justice for your family.

The apartment pool accident lawyers at Arnold & Itkin have helped thousands of individuals and their loved ones harmed by negligence. Our firm has obtained billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. If your loved one drowned in an apartment pool because of another’s negligence, let our firm hold them accountable and help your family secure the financial relief you need to secure your future.

Our nationwide apartment pool accident attorneys aggressively fight to help our clients get back on their feet. Contact our firm today for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629!

What Laws Apply to Apartment Drowning Cases?

In 2007, the Virginia Graeme Barker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) was passed to protect people harmed in swimming pools. This law requires pool owners and property operators to maintain basic safety at their pools to protect others. Among other things, the law requires pool owners to install pool drain covers to protect children and other swimmers from being caught underwater in the drain. Property owners also have to maintain the swimming pool area frequently. If a property owner disregards safety hazards and fails to fix problems or hire lifeguards, they may be held liable for you or your loved one’s injuries. Violation of “standard of care” will be determined through administrative regulation or municipal ordinance. With the guidance and help of an attorney, your family can get what you need to move forward while making sure this never happens to anyone else.

When Companies Make Defective Pool Gates, Children Pay the Ultimate Price

Thousands of lives are claimed by drowning each year, and many of these drownings occur in our own backyards. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children between the ages of one and four. To protect our children and others, we place fences and gates around our pools. These barriers are meant to prevent unsupervised children from gaining access to a pool, but when fences fail, the consequences can be devastating. Since pool gates and fences are safety features, they must be built to exacting standards. Any defect in a pool fence or gate can cost a life. When a drowning happens because of an inadequate pool fence, manufacturers and installers should be held accountable.

Pool Fence & Gate Malfunctions

A pool fence or gate has only a few requirements to be effective. First, they need to be tall enough to prevent children from climbing over them and low enough for them to be unable to crawl under. Next, they should be sturdy enough to prevent children from passing through them. Finally, a safe pool fence or gate needs to have a strong foundation.

Features that pool fences should have include the following:

  • Made from unclimbable materials
  • Gaps that are too small for children to fit through
  • A height of at least four feet
  • Gates that are lockable, self-latching, and not easy for children to open

If any of the requirements above are not met, a pool fence will not keep children safe. Two parties might be responsible for the malfunction of a pool fence or gate: the installer or the manufacturer of the fence. Pool fence installers should install products safely and according to manufacturing standards, and manufacturers must ensure that their products meet proper safety standards. If your child suffered injuries or death because of the failure of a pool gate or fence, we can help you hold the manufacturer or installer accountable.

Who Is at Fault for a Pool Accident?

When a pool injury occurs, insurance companies and pool owners often try to blame the victim. In the case of a drowning or other serious injury, that individual is not able to explain what truly happened. That is why Arnold & Itkin is here to investigate your case and identify negligent parties that contributed to your or your loved one’s damages. We can identify who is at fault and hold them accountable for your loss.

The following parties may be at fault for a swimming pool accident:

  • Water park owners
  • Municipal pool overseers
  • Private swimming facilities
  • Swimming management companies
  • Lifeguards
  • Private property owners
  • Maintenance companies
  • Pool product manufacturers

Proving Liability in Your Case

Another important factor in a swimming pool accident case is proving liability. While you may believe a pool owner is responsible, can you prove that they can be legally held liable for the damages they caused? Is it possible that the design or construction of the pool itself was at fault? There are several different approaches that can be taken in swimming pool accidents, from product defect liability to premises liability.

In the case of premises liability, the following elements must be proven:

  • The property owner (defendant) maintained possession of the premises.
  • The plaintiff had the right to or was allowed on the premises.
  • The property owner failed to meet their duty of safely maintaining the property.

Some cases may involve a young child who wandered into a neighbor’s yard and was hurt in or around a swimming pool due to a lack of security gates, latches, or fencing. While premises liability may apply, other forms of liability can be proved if one of these elements isn’t a factor.

Call Our Top-Rated Houston Pool Accident Lawyers at (888) 493-1629 Today

In the wake of a swimming pool accident, only an experienced Houston premises liability attorney will have the resources necessary to discover negligence or defective equipment that may have caused accident or injury. If you or a loved one was injured in a swimming pool accident, you don't have to fight for your rights to compensation alone. If you are unsure if you have a case, we're more than happy to give you answers.

Contact the Texas swimming pool accident lawyers at Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation. We're here to help.

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