Accidental Drownings in Pools: Who Is Responsible?
Swimming pools are a popular summertime destination for many Georgia families, being a place where children can burn off excess energy and get relief from the ever-present heat. Though a common family activity, swimming can be dangerous without proper supervision and support—something many people don’t consider deeply until they are affected by a pool owner’s negligence.
Accidental drowning can happen to someone of any age, in any body of water, but children under 14 account for a tragic 20% of drowning victims. Additionally, for every fatality, 5 more children need emergency treatment and may end up with lasting injuries. Child or adult, if you or someone you loved was involved in a drowning accident, talk to our attorneys to learn if you could be able to file a claim for damages. Negligence by a pool owner/operator or defective equipment that contributed to an accident may open another party up for liability.
The Responsibilities of Pool Owners
Anyone who opens their pool must first take precautions to ensure visitors are safe. This involves a variety of measures, such as:
- Providing warnings regarding common dangers
- Maintaining drain covers and other protective devices
- Providing a lifeguard OR a warning that minors may not be unattended and a working locking mechanism to keep children out of the pool area
- Making sure lifeguards are properly and consistently trained and certified
- Keeping pool decks free of slipping, tripping, and other hazards
- Properly treating water to avoid illness or infections
Pool areas that include hot tubs should also warn parents about children’s risk for overheating if they spend too long in high-temperature water.
Negligence and Liability
Whether a pool is owned by the city or a commercial operator, you may be able to hold the poor operator responsible if your child is injured by negligent actions such as the above. Monge & Associates can review your case for free and let you know what your legal options.
If the pool is owned by a hotel, water park, or other for-profit business, you will likely be able to make a straightforward liability claim. All you have to do in this instance is to prove the owner’s negligence led to your child’s or loved one’s accident.
In some cases, the owner of the pool is not responsible when something goes wrong. Examples of third parties that may hold fault in an accident include:
- A private lifeguard company that is contracting with the pool owner
- The maintenance company responsible for keeping the pool functional and safe
- An equipment manufacturer that sold defective goods to the pool owner
Third-party liability can be difficult to identify, but we can investigate your claim to see whether another company’s negligence was a key cause of the accident.
Immunity: City-Owned and/or Free Pools
Due to sovereign immunity and the Georgia Recreational Property Act, you may not be able to make a claim for damages if the pool owner is:
- the City
- someone who invites others to use their pool for recreational purposes, free of charge
However, there are always caveats to the law, and sometimes liability is more complex than it seems at the time. There may still be a way for you to receive compensation in one of these situations. For instance, City-owned pools that carry insurance can be held liable—but you must know this fact to file a claim.
We’re Here to Help After a Drowning Accident
After your child or loved one has been injured or suffered a fatal drowning accident, we know you are likely heartbroken, angry, and possibly unsure of what to do next. While you are facing the challenges of this moment, our attorneys do not want you to be alone.
Bringing a claim against a negligent pool owner can help you find justice. However, these cases aren’t always easy to file. If you are looking to pursue legal action, our dedicated and caring team of High Powered attorneys are here to provide the assistance you need.
Call Monge & Associates any time at (800) 860-8021 or reach out to us onlinewith your questions. We offer free consultations.