Summer months mean vacation time and lazy days beating the heat beside
a swimming pool. But swimming pools do not come without a significant
increase in drowning danger and property liability due known as “attractive
nuisance.” An attractive nuisance is any feature of a property that
could cause injury or death to a child who does not recognize the inherent danger.
According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2014 over 3,500 people died from non-boating
related drowning accidents every year, nearly ten people per day. One
out of every five of those people were aged 14 or younger. The highest
drowning rate was amongst children ages 1-4, and drowning remains the
second-largest cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-14, only
behind motor vehicle crashes.
Tips for Preparation
So how can you avoid having your property’s swimming pool become
part of these statistics? Securing your pool to avoid any accidental drowning
deaths is not only important, but you have a legal responsibility to do
so as a property owner. The most important thing to do is install barriers
around your pool area that prevent young children from being able to access
the pool without supervision. This includes gates with latches that are
well out of the reach of young children, or locked. The CDC strongly advises
“four-sided” fencing that completely separates the pool area
from the rest of the yard.
When your pool is in use, particularly by young children, make sure you
never leave it unattended. Keep an eye on any younger children in the
pool and make sure you have lifesaving tools and devices available and
easily accessible should an emergency happen. Likewise, make sure you
have floatation devices like life jackets available for young children
and people who cannot swim. Remember, inflatable floatation devices are
not lifesaving devices.
If you have young children, enrolling them in formal swimming instruction
has been shown to dramatically reduce drowning deaths and injuries. On
that same note, you as a property owner should learn and be capable of
performing CPR on a moment’s notice. CPR has been shown to save
lives and significantly improve the chance of escaping a drowning incident
without any lasting injuries.
If Your Child has Been Hurt
If your child has been hurt in a drowning accident on someone else’s
property, it is important to make sure you retain legal advice in order
to determine what your rights are and what your claim options might be.
A skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you with your case by
analyzing all of the evidence available and developing a compelling case
to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
is an Atlanta personal injury firm that has helped numerous clients with
drowning cases, including both catastrophic injuries and deaths. Our firm
has recovered well over $200 million in verdicts, awards, and settlements,
and we hold the highest ratings in ethical standards. We are proud to
have received an AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®
and have been selected to Georgia’s list of Super Lawyers®.
If you need assistance with a drowning claim,
contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. online or call us 24/7 at (888) 425-6070 for
a case evaluation.