It is no surprise that residents of Fort Myers, just like the rest of the Sunshine State, lay claim to having one of the highest percentages of swimming pool ownership in the country. With the sweltering summer heat, families in the Fort Myers area love to cool off in the privacy of their own homes.
In fact, across Florida, there are an estimated 1.1 million legal and permitted residential pools, and this doesn’t even include the public pools, school pools, or above-ground structures that have become increasingly popular.
The combination of pools and sun has a darker side, however. With the year-round sunshine, Fort Myers sees a much higher rate of drowning deaths and accidents compared to many other states. It is that bad that Florida actually has more fatalities of children under the age of 14 than any other state in the nation. Worryingly, nearly 60% of these happen in a residential swimming pool.
It is so bad that every single year the state of Florida is estimated to see the deaths of three whole classrooms of pre-school children as a result of drowning, and many more than this will suffer life-changing injuries.
Here at The Law Place, our team of attorneys is well versed in premises liability and personal injury law. When tragedy strikes and you are left injured or dealing with the injury or wrongful death of a loved one, we know what a chaotic time it must be for you. That is where we can help.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means you can call us at any time. We can help guide you with unbiased and clear legal advice that will help take the weight off your shoulders, allowing you to recover or grieve. We will do the paperwork and the investigation, as well as liaise with any relevant parties necessary, meaning you will not have to re-live the accident over and over.
You can contact us on (941) 444-4444.
How Do Pool Accidents Happen?
There are a number of variables and factors that can contribute to a personal injury or wrongful death in or around a pool. Things such as a lack of safety signs and features or neglect to keep the pool in a safe order, such as leaving a pool half-filled without warnings. When the victim is a young child, aged five or under, the potential for serious injury as a result of the above conditions is huge.
The potential for injury is so serious that a trespassing child under that age of five, is still the responsibility of the property owner. This means that they can be held liable under the “attractive nuisance” ruling.
There are countless reasons why a pool accident can happen. The most common accidents that happen are as follows:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Here are some of the biggest causes of these accidents in Fort Myers.
Not Knowing How to Swim
There is a huge number of adults and children in Fort Myers that do not know how to swim. This doesn’t just endanger them either; every year, there are a number of deaths where people who know how to swim end up losing their lives to save those who do.
Lack of or Poor Supervision
A lack of adult supervision causes a huge number of swimming pool accidents every single year. This isn’t just parents watching their kids either. Badly trained lifeguards and pools that should be manned that are not also lead to a high number of deaths each year.
Lack of Security and Safety Signage
Swimming pools in Fort Myers should be fitted with signage and fencing that will keep people from entering or falling into the pool.
Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act
Fort Myers is governed by Florida’s laws that have been altered in the face of the rising number of small children and elderly people that die every year due to swimming pools. Florida Statute 512.21-37 lays out the following guidelines:
- Every pool must be isolated from access by fencing or barriers that are no less than four feet high. There should be no gaps or openings or anything that would allow a child to climb over either.
- The barrier has to be around the perimeter of the pool and must not be on the same boundary as any fence or wall unless that fence or wall is on the perimeter of the pool.
- If you own an above-the-ground swimming pool, then you must make sure that the means of entrance is locked or removed after use.
If you are a pool owner and you fail to install at least one safety feature to your pool, you could be found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor. In these cases, you are given 45 days to fix the problems as well as attending a drowning prevention course.
When pools don’t follow the correct safety procedures and personal injury accident or death of a loved one occurs, there is a strong case to suggest the owner was, in fact, negligent. This means they could be found liable for any damages caused as well as compensation to the victims.
In Fort Myers, we sometimes see product liability claims. These claims do not rely on the negligence of the pool owner. In fact, with product liability, the blame is targeted at the manufacturer of a product that has been found to have caused a personal injury after a swimming pool accident. When this is proven, the liability then falls to the manufacturer, and they have to pay for the damages and losses of the victim. The three types of product liability are:
- Design defects that were in the product before it has been made.
- Defects that occur during the manufacturing process.
- Defects such as inadequate safety warnings.
Perhaps the most common example of this happening in regards to swimming pool accidents is when an underwater drain is too strong and will not release a child from its suction.
What Should You Do After a Swimming Pool Accident in Fort Myers
The first thing you should do is ensure every one is as safe as you can possibly make them. You should move the injured party to a safe location if possible and call the emergency services.
Once you have done that, you should begin to collect evidence. Take a picture of the location, the pool, and anything that you may think contributed to the injury—for example, a broken pool ladder.
Next, you should write down and document the accident in your own words. Write down the time, what happened and why you think it happened. Also, note any names of witnesses and the badge numbers for any emergency services if they have been called.
Finally, in the aftermath of the accident, make sure you keep a note of any expenses that you have to pay. That includes transport bills and medical expenses as well as any time off work or time off to look after the injured party.
Contact an Experienced Fort Myers Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a swimming pool accident in the Fort Myers area, you should get in touch with a good swimming pool accident lawyer as soon as you possibly can. The aftermath following most swimming pool accidents can be chaotic and stressful for all those involved.
Florida law can be notoriously tricky to navigate and understand, and figuring out where the blame lies can be difficult, even for a team of skilled personal injury lawyers.
Here at The Law Place, we don’t want you to have to deal with this alone. We have dealt with swimming pool accidents and personal injury cases just like yours before. This means when you get in touch with us for a free consultation, we will know exactly how to advise you and will be able to provide unbiased clear-headed advice that could help you with your case.
We want you to be able to focus on your physical and mental health and will do all of the legwork for you. We will investigate and liaise with witnesses as well as the relevant insurance companies on your behalf.
Our phone lines are open every day of the week all around the clock, so give us a call today on (941) 444-4444.