Swimming pool slip and fall accidents can cause serious bodily injury and in the worst cases, even fatalities. Many potential slip and fall claims go unreported because injured victims blame their own clumsiness. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your accident and resulting injuries are your fault.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident on another person or business’s property in Florida, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for some or all of your damages. The attorneys at Florin|Roebig have collected millions of dollars against negligent business and property owners by working tirelessly on their client’s behalf.
Swimming Pool Accidents
According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, there are more than 10 million residential, and upwards of 300,000 public swimming pools in the United States. Nationally, Florida ranks second only to California in the number of swimming pools.
Native Floridians know all too well how unbearable summer heat and humidity can be. Whether you are a tourist or a Florida resident, it is likely that you will be visiting a pool sometime this summer to get some relief from the hot temperatures.
Swimming pools are popular staples at many Florida hotels, motels, resorts, theme parks, yacht clubs, country clubs, schools, and residences. Unfortunately, slip and fall injuries are regular occurrences at pools in Florida.
Common Causes Of Slip And Fall Injuries At The Pool
There is nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in the pool on a hot Florida day. While you may expect to get a nice tan, you rarely see a slip and fall accident coming. Anytime you visit a pool it is important to keep safety in mind. Some hazards are easily identified, but other risks are often overlooked. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Excessively wet concrete pool decks and surrounding areas
- Lack of slip resistant coating on diving boards, ladders, and decks
- Debris, dirt, or algae accumulation inside or around the pool
- Slippery surfaces caused by spills of suntan lotion or concession stand products
- Hoses, tools, pool equipment, toys, or towels left in walkways
- Improperly constructed, faulty, or defective pools, pool equipment, diving boards, or slides
- Moisture in other areas of high foot traffic such as locker rooms, bathrooms, and entryways
- Uneven or cracked surfaces on decks, stairs, and pavement
The majority of slip and fall accidents at Florida swimming pools are a result of excess water around the pool area. Proper precautions should be taken to minimize risks at the pool, but safety is never guaranteed. Call the experienced swimming pool injury lawyers at FlorinIRoebig today to determine if your accident is eligible for compensation.
Types Of Swimming Pool Injuries
Most Florida pools are constructed and surrounded by hard concrete. Slipping and falling on unforgiving concrete can result in catastrophic injuries. The nature and extent of swimming pool injuries usually depend on how the victim falls and lands. Common types of swimming pool slip and fall injuries include:
- Concussions and head trauma
- Dislocations, fractures, and broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and contusions
- Abrasions, lacerations, and cuts
Although they are not as prevalent, more serious injuries may lead to long term medical problems, chronic pain, permanent disability, or even loss of life. Severe pool related injuries may have life altering consequences and include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Traumatic neck and spinal cord injuries
- Loss of sight or hearing
- Internal organ damage
Typically, slips and falls that result in a person landing in the pool tend to be worse in severity. Victims that sustain head injuries have an increased risk of drowning. If you are at a swimming pool and you see an accident happen, try to help or seek help from a lifeguard immediately.
Pool Owners Owe A Duty Of Care To Visitors
Florida pool owners owe a duty of care to their visitors and if they breach that duty, they may be held liable for injuries. The level of care that is owed depends on the relationship between the property owner and the visitor. There are three different classifications for visitors of a property:
Invitees are those persons who have been invited to the premises to provide a material benefit to the landowner, often for business transactions or if the individuals are employees. Although this classification is typically reserved for customers, you are still considered an invitee when you visit a public pool.
Under Florida law, invitees are owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must maintain reasonably safe conditions, conduct regular inspections, correct known dangers in a timely manner, and take steps to discover any unknown hazards. When an invitee is injured, a property owner can be held liable for perils they should have known about. Invitees have been described as having reason to believe that “the premises have been made safe to receive them.”
Licensees are those persons who enter a property with the permission of the landowner , either explicit or implied Licensees enter for the purpose of pleasure or their own benefit; such as, a door-to-door salesperson. If your slip and fall accident occurred at a friend or family member’s private pool, you are usually considered a licensee.
Residential pool owners are still required to maintain safe standards, pool owners have a duty to licensees to not intentionally harm them, as well as to either fix known dangers or sufficiently warn of their existence, but they are only liable for hazards they know about.
All entrants to a piece of property are trespassers, until the landowner gives them permission to enter (either explicitly or implicitly). Under Florida law, trespassers are owed no duty of care from the landowner, which means that the only requirement for pool owners is to refrain from intentionally harming the trespasser. There is one important exception, though.
If a Florida pool owner has reason to know that trespassers are currently on their land, or that individuals regularly frequent their land; such as, children cutting across the property. The landowners must warn these trespassers of any dangerous conditions that are not open or obvious to the trespasser. Therefore, if the pool owner knows of the trespassers, they effectively become invitees and are owed the same duties.
Proving Liability In A Slip and Fall Swimming Pool Accident
All successful personal injury lawsuits have one thing in common- proof of negligence. Cases involving premises liability are no exception. To recover compensation, you will have to prove that at least one of the following factors caused your injury:
- The property owner or their employees had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and did not take action to remedy it.
- The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that the property owner should have been aware of it.
- The dangerous condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.
Proving liability is sometimes a difficult feat and may require legal representation. The responsible party will likely try to undermine the value of your personal injury case by arguing that your actions contributed to the resulting injuries.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as a result of a dangerous condition at a swimming pool, contact the highly knowledgeable premises liability lawyers at FlorinIRoebig for a free case evaluation.
During your swimming pool slip and fall case, don’t be surprised if the pool owner or his attorney argues comparative negligence in an attempt to reduce your potential for full recovery. Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence system. In other words, if you are found partially at fault for your slip and fall accident, your recovery is reduced based on the percentage of fault you were assigned.
For example, let’s say your damages are $100,000, but you were deemed 10% responsible for your slip and fall accident because you didn’t have appropriate footwear on. Your settlement will be reduced by 10% and you will get $90,000.
Some of the most common defenses property owners will use to establish comparative negligence are:
- You were distracted at the time of the accident and the injuries you sustained were caused by your lack of awareness of your surroundings.
- The accident occurred due to the victim’s own actions like horseplay, running, or jumping.
- The injured victim disregarded warning signs about the dangerous condition.
- The dangerous condition and associated risk were so “open and obvious” that any reasonable person would have taken the necessary precautions to avoid it.
- The injury occurred on an area of the property that was off limits to visitors.
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Types Of Damages Awarded in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
After being injured in a slip and fall accident at a Florida swimming pool due to someone else’s negligence, there are several different types of damages you may be entitled to recover. In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be eligible for compensation for the following losses:
- Special compensatory damages are designed to cover monetary expenses that are incurred as a direct result of the injury. These damages include past medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced future earning capacity, and household expenses.
- General compensatory damages provide victims funds for non-economic damages. The most common awards in this category include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.
- Wrongful death damages provide compensation for surviving family members to cover costs associated with funeral expenses, loss of financial contribution, and loss of consortium.
To maximize your compensation, you will need to accurately calculate and present the full extent of the damages you have incurred. The law firm of FlorinIRoebig has expertise in conducting high quality damage analysis that will ultimately help you receive the most money from your personal injury claim.
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Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a swimming pool accident or any other type of slip and fall accident? Don’t miss out on a full and fair settlement by making the mistake of not hiring a qualified, top-rated personal injury attorney. All law firms are not the same and we encourage you to do extensive research before choosing an attorney to represent you. The slip and fall lawyers at our law firm.
At the law offices of FlorinIRoebig, our award-winning trial attorneys believe that our experience, successful track record, client review ratings, and testimonials speak for themselves. If you would like to find out if your case qualifies you for a significant cash settlement, call us at (800)-226-6581 for a free, no risk consultation.