During the summer of 2017, Texas had the highest number of swimming pool fatalities in the country. The casualty count in the Lone Star State increased over 30 percent from 2017.
These victims may be entitled to substantial compensation if the landowner had a legal duty and the owner knew about the dangerous condition. Most swimming pool injury victims were invited, either directly or indirectly, to the pool. So, the owner usually has a duty of reasonable care. That's one of the highest duties in Texas law. Furthermore, the owner must have actual or constructive knowledge (knew or should have known) of the hazardous condition.
Additionally, the victim must sustain an injury. The three most common types of swimming pool injuries are outlined below.
A few brief moments underwater can cause serious or fatal brain damage, especially if the victim is a child. In fact, unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death for children under 4.
Many pools have signs like "Swim At Your Own Risk" or "No Lifeguard On Duty." These signs do not immunize owners, but they do lay the groundwork for the assumption of the risk defense. Owners are not responsible for injury if the victim:
A known risk.
In plain English, for the assumption to be voluntary, the victim must be able to see the sign, read the sign, and interpret the sign. Sometimes, the "no lifeguard" language is buried on a long list of pool rules. Additionally, many people who are young or have limited English proficiency may not be able to read the sign and/or understand what it means.
Unsafe Cleaning Chemical Levels
Chemical cleaning injuries are usually not known risks. No one expects to get these kinds of injuries at a swimming pool.
Chlorine is one of the harshest chemicals known to science. If the chemical level is too high, swimmers may experience chemical burns. These burns usually require treatment in expensive burn centers. After emergency surgery and recovery, victims often face months of physical rehabilitation.
Other times, the chemical levels are too low, so bacteria grows, especially when the water is warm during the summer. Many people have poor immune systems and other pre-existing conditions. They are more susceptible to infection, and when they get sick, they become seriously ill.
In its gaseous form, chlorine burns the ears, nose, throat, and lungs. Additionally, chlorine gas combines with water in the lungs to form hydrochloric acid. Prolonged exposure causes fatal pulmonary edemas.
Sometimes, the pump malfunctions. Gas builds up and seeps into the air. Other times, pool maintenance workers put in too much chlorine. The system stops up, and the same thing happens.
Swimming pool injury victims may be entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Worth, contact Herreth Law. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.