Dallas Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Swimming pool collisions can turn deadly in a matter of minutes. From 2005 to 2014, there was an average of about 10 deaths per day due to unintentional drowning in the United States. One in five people injured or killed in swimming pool collisions are children. Unsafe pool premises are a major cause of swimming pool injuries and fatalities.
Premises Liability Laws in Texas
Owners of properties with swimming pools, private and public, have certain responsibilities in Texas. A pool owner is not automatically liable for any injury that occurs in or around the pool. However, that person is responsible if premises liability laws apply. In Texas, premises liability laws assign different degrees of care to a pool owner depending on the visitors using the pool. If the pool is open to the public, such as for swimming lessons, the pool owner owes the highest standards of care to visitors (invitees). To make a pool safe for invitees, the owner must:
- Repair any known hazards. This includes unsafe chlorine levels, faulty pool lights, broken locks on pool gates, and holes in the safety fencing around a pool. Failure to repair a hazard, leading to an injury, is the definition of a premises liability collision.
- Warn of known hazards. A pool owner is also responsible for providing adequate warnings for known hazards that he or she has not yet fixed or that are inherent to the pool and pool area. If a pool is too shallow for safe diving, for example, it is the owner’s responsibility to post a sign with this information.
- Maintain the pool and routinely inspect for unknown hazards. A pool owner has a duty to seek out and repair unknown pool hazards to a reasonable extent. If a jagged railing that the property owner reasonably should have known about cuts a swimmer, the courts will find the owner responsible for the injury.
Residential owners of private pools in which the swimmers are friends and family members (known as “licensees”) must adhere to numbers one and two above, but they do not have to inspect for unknown hazards. Pool owners also owe a duty of care to trespassing children. This usually comes into play following swimming pool collisions. If a pool owner fails to secure a pool area from those who may happen upon it, children may fall in or swim unsupervised. If a trespassing child sustains an injury in this way, the pool owner is responsible.
Your Options After a Swimming Pool Collision
If you or your child has suffered an injury or death in a swimming pool collision, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Most swimming pool collisions are not collisions at all; they are 100% preventable with the proper safety precautions. When negligence causes or contributes to a swimming pool collision in Texas, the injured party can receive compensation. The recoveries that you are eligible to receive include:
- General damages. This includes the physical and emotional distress that you may have suffered because of the collision, lost quality of living, and lost earning capacity. The state of Texas caps these damages at $250,000.
- Special damages. Special damages ensure the pool owner pays you for your past, present, and future medical costs relating to the swimming pool collision injury. This includes any hospital visits, x-rays, surgeries, and rehabilitation therapies. Special damages also include any income that you lost due to the inability to work.
Drowning collisions can lead to severe brain damage, coma, and death. If you or someone you love has been involved in a harmful swimming pool collision, you deserve compensation. Call (214) 742-3293 to speak with the Law Office of Stephen W. Shoultz. Contacting us is your best chance of securing a settlement for swimming pool collisions in Dallas, TX.