Swimming is an activity that can provide a great deal of fun, relaxation and family recreation, and it is therefore something in which countless Coloradans take great pleasure. However, it is also important to realize that each and every year, an unacceptable number of people sustain severe injuries and worse in or around public and private pools alike. Owning and operating a pool is an endeavor which brings with it a great deal of responsibility, and when a failure to correctly construct, maintain or oversee such a facility results in serious harm, legal liability may indeed attach. Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is committed to assisting swimming pool accident victims in their pursuit of fair compensation and accountability in the aftermath of tragedy.
Pool Accident Statistics
There can be no doubt about the very real risk of drowning and other injuries posed by swimming pools. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that each and every day ten individuals lose their lives due to incidents of this type. Making the situation all the more heartbreaking is the fact that roughly 1 of every 5 of those victims are under the age of 14. While the fatality numbers are certainly alarming, it is equally important to note that for each youngster who dies in a drowning event, another five receive emergency treatment for non-fatal, yet often debilitating injuries stemming from submersion or other related trauma. The risks of improperly maintained or supervised swimming pools are indisputable, and it is critical that those who suffer harm of this nature realize that they are not without legal recourse.
Injuries Commonly Suffered In and Around Pools
Clearly, death by drowning is the most immediate and obviously devastating harm that can result from a swimming pool accident, but it is important to note that many other catastrophic injuries in and around such facilities are sadly more common than many believe. Spinal cord injuries, some of which lead to permanent paralysis can occur due to diving mishaps, depth misjudgments and falls. Traumatic brain injuries can also be sustained either because of a forceful impact event or unintended submersion. The consequences of such circumstances can vary significantly, with some victims experiencing only temporary disability and others facing a lifetime of challenges. Typical effects of traumatic brain injury can include:
- loss of memory
- impaired coordination, motor skills and balance
- depression, anxiety and other mood disorders
- cognitive difficulties
- physical paralysis
Another less common but potentially calamitous swimming pool-related injury involves disembowelment or evisceration stemming from malfunctioning or improperly installed pool drains. No matter the direct cause of harm, those negatively affected by pool accidents are entitled to pursue compensation from negligent parties.
Principles of Premises Liability in Swimming Pool Cases
Broadly speaking, a pool accident will involve the area of law known as premises liability. As such, it will be necessary for a plaintiff to establish that the owner or operator of the pool at issue failed in his or her duty to properly maintain or supervise the site. In Colorado, claimants are generally required to show that the owner of the property knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, that there was an unreasonable risk of serious harm and that no corrective actions were taken. Scenarios which may give rise to actionable claims of this nature could encompass:
- failure to erect warning signs where necessary
- lack of appropriate lifeguard personnel
- failure to install necessary fencing
- faulty lighting
- malfunctioning electrical systems in the pool itself
- failure to monitor for safe chemical levels
Colorado Swimming Pool Safety Regulations
As is the case in many jurisdictions around the country, the legislature in Colorado has imposed a series of regulations with which the owners and operators of public and semi-public pools must comply in an effort to maintain the safety of those who use such facilities. For instance, pools of this type must be surrounded by a barrier that:
- is at least four feet in height
- if made of chain link, has openings of no greater than 1.75 x 1.25 inches
- if comprised of vertical planks, has openings of less than 4 inches
- incorporates an outward-swinging gate which is self-closing
Failure to meet these and other requirements can give rise to significant legal liability in the event that a swimmer sustains serious harm or even worse as a result. Under such circumstances, it is essential for victims and their families to seek the assistance of an experienced pool injury attorney who can advocate for their right to fair financial recovery.
Compensation Available to Swimming Pool Accident Victims
As suggested earlier, the potential of swimming pool accidents to produce profound and life-altering harm is very real, and depending on the circumstances of a given case, available compensation can be quite substantial indeed. It may be possible for victims to recover payment for a wide array of expenses and losses, including:
- past, present and future medical costs
- expenses related to ongoing therapy and rehabilitation services
- lost wages
- diminished future earning potential
- physical pain and discomfort
- emotional distress
- loss of marital and other relationships
- loss of financial support for surviving dependents
- funeral costs, where applicable
Aggressive Colorado Pool Injury Advocacy
Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal has dedicated his legal practice to championing the cause of injury victims across Colorado. With a strong belief that financial resources should never be a barrier to justice, he is proud to accept cases on a contingency fee basis, including those stemming from swimming pool accidents. This means that clients owe no fees unless and until they receive a monetary settlement or an award at trial.
If you or a loved one have experienced a serious injury or worse, and you suspect that another party’s negligence was to blame, now is the time to begin your quest for justice. To explore your legal options and learn more about how the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal can help, we invite you to contact us at 303.825.2223.