It is rare to find a house in Florida that does not have a swimming pool in its backyard. In places like Miami where the weather is warm year-round, swimming pools are used for sport, recreation, and as a way to cool off under the hot Florida sun. The saying goes that drowning is a silent killer. Pool owners must maintain their swimming pools in a safe manner and monitor them closely especially when children are around. Unfortunately, it only takes one time to forget to close a gate or to leave a child unsupervised for a couple of minutes, and very quickly, tragedy can ensue.
Drowning injuries tend to be very severe because human beings can only be deprived of oxygen for a small window of time before suffering brain damage or death. Retaining the counsel of a Miami drowning accident lawyer is a crucial step for drowning victims and families to seek compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured in a drowning accident, do not wait any longer to contact a personal injury attorney at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA so that you can recover the damages you are entitled to.
Common Causes of Drowning Accidents in Miami, FL
It is a misconception that drowning accidents only occur when children are left unattended at a pool. While this is certainly one of the most common causes of drowning injuries and deaths, there are also other factors that can contribute to this type of accident. Some of the most common causes of drowning accidents are:
- Alcohol use
- Illegal substances
- Prescription drugs
- Failure to wear life jackets
- Lack of swimming ability
- Failure to put up a fence
- Broken or missing emergency equipment
- Overcrowded pool area
- Defective equipment or design
- Lack of water clarity
- Failure to lock a gate or latch
When a person is submerged under water for an extended period of time, one of the most common effects of the submersion is brain damage. Some other injuries associated with drowning are:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Head trauma
Adults and children who suffer damages due to drowning accidents can experience a spectrum of brain injuries from mild to very severe. The amount of time that the individual lacks oxygen is one of the contributing factors to the severity of the injury. Brain damage sustained from drowning may cause memory loss, lack of motor skills, and/or cognitive disability. In the most catastrophic cases, a person will become impaired to the extent that he or she is in a permanent vegetative state.
Liability for Drowning Accidents in Private Swimming Pools
Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act states that in order for a residential swimming pool to pass final inspection, it must have one of the following safety features:
- Approved safety cover
- Every door and window that provides access to the pool must have an exit alarm
- Surface motion sensors that sound upon unauthorized entry into the pool
- Pool is isolated from house by enclosure that meets pool barrier requirements
- Every door that provides access to the pool must have a self-latching and self-closing device with a release mechanism that is a minimum of 54 inches to the floor
Commercial swimming pool owners are held to a higher standard of care than residential owners. Commercial pool owners must have a permit in addition to all of the following safety features:
- Decks and walkways that are at least four feet wide and slip-resistant
- There must be a ladder, swim-out, or step for every 75 feet of the pool’s perimeter
- Anti-entrapment system
- Self-closing and self-latching fences that are at least 4 feet high
- Chemicals must be stored in a room that cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons
Private swimming pools are classified as attractive nuisances under Florida law. An attractive nuisance is an object that is characterized as something that would entice children to enter the property of another without authorization. Property owners have a special responsibility to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of harm that the nuisance could cause, or else they may be held liable for injuries suffered by children who wander onto their property.
Victims of drowning accident and their families can bring personal injury suits against negligent pool owners based on premises liability. The theory of premises liability holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their property as a result of their own negligence. In order for a victim to prove that a property owner was negligent, each of the following elements must be met:
- The property owner owed a legal duty of care to the victim;
- The property owner breached the legal duty of care; and
- As a result of the breach, the victim suffered damages
Miami Drowning Accident Lawyer Prosper Shaked Can Help You Today
If you or someone you love have been injured in a drowning accident due to the negligence of a property owner, you could be entitled to damages for your injuries. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Miami drowning accident lawyer who will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.