A dip in the pool is one of the best ways to beat the heat in Las Vegas. Swimming in the pool is great exercise and fun, but unfortunately, it can result in accidents and injuries. At Cogburn Law, every Las Vegas injury attorney has experience successfully representing clients who have been injured in a swimming pool accident.
Nevada Swimming Pool Accident Resources:
- Who is liable for swimming pool accidents?
- What is my swimming pool accident case worth?
- Who is liable for private and public swimming pool accident?
- Who is liable in a hotel swimming pool accident?
- Nevada Swimming Pool Regulations and Laws
- What are the most common causes of swimming pool accidents?
- What are the most common causes of swimming pool injuries?
- Drowning Prevention Tips
- Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
- When should I contact a Las Vegas swimming pool accident lawyer?
Who Is Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents and Injuries?
Under state law, business owners and homeowners are often liable for swimming pool accidents that occur on their property. Under Nevada premises liability laws, unsecured swimming pools are considered an “attractive nuisance” to children, which means that the homeowners or business owners can be held legally responsible for accidents, even if they did not give the child permission to be in the pool.
If a swimming pool accident occurred at a public place, such as a hotel, there may be multiple potentially liable parties. These may include the hotel, the swimming pool operator, the lifeguard company, and various insurance companies.
Compensation For Swimming Pool Accidents
Depending on the injuries sustained in a swimming pool accident, the victim could potentially secure several types of compensation. If the victim died from drowning, his or her family or a personal representative of his or her estate may have the ability to file a wrongful death claim in lieu of a personal injury claim. Functionally, a wrongful death claim is the same as a personal injury claim filed on behalf of a victim who did not survive his or her injuries. However, state laws dictate who may file wrongful death claims, the time limits for filing such claims, and the damages available from wrongful death claims.
In a personal injury case for a swimming pool accident, the plaintiff may secure compensation for his or her medical expenses for all immediate and future medical costs resulting from the incident in question. For example, if the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury due to inadequate safety markers, poor lighting, or a slip and fall, the defendant would be liable for the victim’s immediate medical costs like hospital bills and ambulance fees as well as future medical costs for physical therapy, occupational rehabilitation, or any costs for necessary ongoing medical care.
Other damages available to plaintiffs in swimming pool accident lawsuits can include lost income for time at work the victim had to miss due to his or her injury. If the plaintiff could not work for an extended time, he or she can claim compensation for the income he or she would have earned during that time. In the event a swimming pool accident causes a permanent disability that prevents the victim from working in the future or returning to the same job, the victim may receive compensation for lost future earnings.
Nevada law also allows plaintiffs to recover compensation for their non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. A near-death experience such as a drowning injury can be traumatizing, and other injuries like brain injuries and bone fractures can be excruciatingly painful. Nevada law allows plaintiffs to claim compensation for their physical pain and mental distress resulting from a defendant’s negligence and does not enforce caps or limits for the amount the plaintiff may receive. A Las Vegas premises liability attorney like those at Cogburn Law can help an injured plaintiff secure compensation for his or her various damages to help maximize recovery.
Premises Liability For Public and Private Pools
A pool owner is not automatically liable for the resulting damages when an individual suffers a swimming-related injury in his or her pool. Regardless of whether the injury in question took place in a privately-owned pool or a pool that is open to the public, the standards of premises liability law still apply.
If a private pool owner invites guests to use his or her pool, the guests expect that the pool owner has made the pool reasonably safe for use and free of foreseeable hazards. The pool owner must also warn invitees or licensees on the property of any known hazards if those individuals are likely to encounter those hazards during their time on the property. People who visit pools open to the public, whether for free or after paying a fee, qualify as invitees. This means the pool owner must take reasonable steps to ensure the pool is fit for use and poses no extraordinary risks to patrons.
Pool owners must also be aware of the risk of injuries to child trespassers. A property owner normally owes no duty of care to a trespasser since the trespasser does not have the owner’s express or implied permission to enter the property. However, if a nearby child could possibly wander onto the property to use the pool, an expectation exists for the pool owner to account for this risk.
For example, a homeowner has an unfenced yard with a swimming pool, and neighborhood children often sneak into the pool while the owner is away. This owner should acknowledge this as a foreseeable risk of injury and install a fence or other security measure to reasonably prevent injuries since children do not possess the same judgment as adults and may not acknowledge the risks of swimming unsupervised.
Premises Liability For Hotel Pool Accidents
Hotels typically have a higher duty of care to their patrons than a private property owner owes to his or her invitees and licensees. Since many hotels offer pool access as an amenity to their guests, hotel owners and managers must ensure their pools are fit for use and pose no extraordinary risks to patrons. If an unsafe condition exists that could foreseeably cause an injury to a guest, the hotel has a duty to correct the issue as quickly as possible. A hotel could incur liability for a hotel pool accident in many ways.
- The hotel failed to adhere to Nevada building codes for the pool.
- There was a structural defect of some kind in the pool.
- Cracks, holes, or structural weakness existed in the deck surrounding the pool.
- Unreasonably wet or slippery walking surfaces posed a slip and fall risk.
- Hotel staff failed to adequately clean the pool or used an inappropriate mixture of cleaning agents that caused chemical irritations or injuries to swimmers.
- The hotel failed to install adequate warnings for the pool, such as appropriate diving areas or depth markers.
- The hotel failed to have a lifeguard on duty as required by state law.
Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and virtually every hotel and motel in the Las Vegas area has a pool of some kind. It is essential for these property owners to take proper care of their pools and address known safety hazards as soon as they become aware of their existence. Failure to do so could lead to an injury to a hotel guest and the hotel would face liability for the guest’s damages.
Nevada Swimming Pool Regulations and Laws
Las Vegas is in Clark County, Nevada, and Clark County has a specific Swimming Pool Code that strives to limit the number of swimming pool-related injuries in the County. The Southern Nevada Pool Code sets forth the minimum requirements and standards for construction, installation, repair, and maintenance of swimming pools in Clark County. The guidelines for pool owners in Clark County are quite extensive and cover everything from required safety features to proper chemical treatment. These rules also dictate environmental concerns, the construction of pools near potential electrical hazards, plumbing requirements, filtration systems, wastewater treatment, and more.
Specific laws are in place regarding appropriate barriers, personal flotation devices, rescue tools, and pool supervision. Any hotel found to have violated the Southern Nevada Pool Code will likely face significant legal and financial penalties from the state as well as liability for civil claims from any injured swimmers.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents
Pool owners and operators have a responsibility to ensure that the pool and pool area are free of hazards that could cause injuries. Common causes of swimming pool injuries include:
- Inadequate lighting
- Missing safety equipment
- Slippery surfaces
- Loose tiles
- Cracked pavement
- Open or broken gates
- Sharp edges inside the pool
- Dirty, muddy or murky water
- Overcrowding beyond capacity
- Lack of adequate supervision
- Untrained lifeguards
Types of Swimming Pool Accident Injuries
Different types of injuries can occur in or around a swimming pool, many of which can be attributed to negligence on the part of the pool owner or maintenance staff. Common pool accident injuries include:
- Diving board injuries: These injuries are most often caused by inadequate supervision or poorly maintained diving boards.
- Slip and fall accidents: This occurs frequently when materials that are used around the pool become slippery when wet.
- Suction entrapment: When a swimmer is trapped by suction forces created by water flowing out of the drain at the bottom of the pool, it can cause serious injuries to various parts of the body, or even drowning.
- Submersion injuries: Drowning can result in death or in brain, pulmonary, or neurological damage.
Drowning and Brain Injury
Not all instances of drowning result in death. When drowning occurs, the brain is deprived of oxygen. When it does not result in death, drowning can lead to brain damage. Depending on the severity, brain damage caused by drowning could result in the need for life-long care. In such a case, it is more important than ever to seek full and fair compensation for swimming pool accidents caused by negligence.
Drowning and Wrongful Death
If you have lost a loved one to drowning in a swimming pool accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our Las Vegas wrongful death lawyers at Cogburn Law can help you seek compensation and justice for your loved one. We will treat you as though you were our only client and passionately pursue a successful outcome for you and your family.
Drowning Prevention Steps
Many swimming pool accidents can be prevented with proper pool design and maintenance and certain safety precautions. To help prevent drowning accidents:
- Put up barriers around the pool
- Allow children to swim only with adult supervision
- Take swimming lessons and CPR classes
- Use personal flotation devices, life jackets, and rescue tools
Nevada Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
- Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children in Clark County, and drowning deaths are entirely preventable with appropriate supervision and safety measures.
- The most common victims of drowning deaths in Clark County are children under the age of four.
- A child can suffer permanent brain damage or die from drowning after only a few minutes.
- Clark County officials recently acknowledged a spike in drowning-related deaths in the area, receiving more than 55 calls for drowning-related incidents between May 1 and June 20 of 2018.
- Investigators report that the leading cause of drowning deaths among children in Clark County is lack of supervision.