Belleville Pool Injury Lawyer
Hipskind & McAninch, LLC: Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys
Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.
Not only is drowning common, its effects are serious. More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care, compared with just 6% for all unintentional injuries. Even when drowning accidents are not fatal, they can still cause severe brain damage that can result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
While drowning is the most common pool injury, other injuries can occur in and around the pool as well: slip-and-falls, infections, and diving accidents. Hitting one’s head due to a shallow dive can cause traumatic brain injuries, in addition to spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
How Pool Injuries Occur
When thinking about the prevalence of swimming lessons and water safety rules in today’s culture, you may be asking yourself how the numbers could possibly be this high. Here are a few common causes of drowning that you may be missing (CDC):
- Lack of swimming ability – Not everyone has had formal swimming lessons. In fact, many adults and children report that they can’t swim, especially urban youth minorities.
- Lack of barriers – Specific pool barriers, such as pool fencing and pool covers, can prevent young children from gaining access to a pool unbeknownst to their caregivers. Pool fencing greatly reduces a child’s risk of drowning.
- Lack of supervision – Whether it’s a lack of lifeguard or adult supervision, pool accidents can happen quickly without someone watching closely.
Illinois Pool Safety Laws
In Illinois, swimming pool regulations apply to public pools and are outlined in Section 820 of the Illinois Administrative Code. The Code requires public pools to have a large number of signs designed to inform and protect visitors. These include maximum bather load signs, a “no lifeguard” sign if there is no lifeguard present, and rules and regulations related to disease control, weather, and diving.
Illinois public pools are also required to be completely enclosed by a protective enclosure that is at least four feet high, does not have a vertical clearance beneath the bottom of the barrier greater than four inches, and has no
openings larger than four inches.
Under the Private Swimming Enclosure Act, residential pools must also be entirely surrounded by a barrier that is at least three and a half feet high.
Pool Accident Liability
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pool accident, you want to know who to hold responsible. Pool accident liability falls under the concept of premises liability, which says that landowners, business owners, and property managers are responsible, or liable, for injuries suffered by people on their premises if certain conditions are met. Pool owners can sometimes be held responsible for an injury or death even if proper signs are posted and fencing precautions taken.
In certain circumstances, like if the injured party was trespassing on the property or a waiver was signed by the victim prior to swimming, the pool owner may be less likely to be found liable. However, the no-trespassing rule does not apply the same way for children, who aren’t expected to know the difference between right and wrong.
Public pool owners are held to an even higher standard than homeowners, and can be held liable for issues with lifeguards, water sanitation, chemicals, and more. Almost all public pools have insurance that covers property and liability exposures.
Contact a Belleville Pool Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a pool accident in the Metro East area, it is important to call a local, experienced Belleville premises liability lawyer. Whether the cause was a poorly maintained property, a negligent lifeguard, or lack of safety precautions, the attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, will work to get you just compensation.