No running, no diving, wait 15 minutes after you eat. If you’ve ever spent time at a public pool, you know the rules. The rules are usually posted somewhere in the pool grounds in an effort to keep patrons safe. At the same time, most pools are managed and run by kids; lifeguards are often teens with summer jobs, and the people in charge might not be much older. When you are injured at a public swimming pool, or if your kids get hurt because of negligence at a pool, you might have a case against the pool. An Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer like Ken Kieklak might be able to take your case and get you compensation for your injuries.
Types of Pool Injuries
Pools and the area surrounding the pool are usually filled with kids, teens, and adults trying to have some fun, get some exercise, and keep cool during the summer months. If the lifeguards, supervisors, other workers, or owners are inattentive, things can go badly very quickly.
One obvious risk at a pool is the risk of drowning. Lifeguards are there to protect people, and help them. It is up to the pool’s staff to act responsibly, and make certain that swimmers are okay. Reading while on duty, talking to friends, or sleeping is a complete breach of their duties, and if they allow someone to slip under the water, they may be allowing them to suffer serious injuries or wrongful death. When the body starts drowning, the lack of oxygen to the brain can cause severe consequences. Even if the drowning victim is saved, the effects of hypoxia might have already set in.
Most pools typically prohibit diving in certain areas. In other parts of the pool, though, they may have diving boards, water slides, and diving zones. The typical “no diving” sign shows a person hitting the bottom of the pool and hurting their head and neck. This is because these kinds of injuries are expected when people dive into water that is too shallow. From above the surface of the water, it may be difficult to judge the water’s depth. This means it is up to the pool management to warn people when the water is too shallow for diving. Without these kinds of warnings, pool patrons risk striking their head against the bottom of the pool and suffering brain injuries or neck injuries. Of course, falling unconscious under water could also lead to drowning.
Though people often go to the pool for swimming, many pools have grass, cement, and other surfaces surrounding the pool. There might be basketball courts, volleyball courts, and other areas for kids to play. These grounds must also be kept safe for patrons. That means keeping grass at a reasonable length so it does not hide dangers. This also means cleaning up broken glass or other dangers, especially where people will be walking barefoot. Stepping on broken glass that should have been cleaned up can lead to deep lacerations, capable of permanently severing and damaging tendons and muscles in the foot.
Sanitation is also one of Arkansas’ big concerns regarding outdoor pools. This means bathing facilities and toilets must be clean and sanitary. If not, guests may become ill. These illnesses could also lead to liability.
Holding Pools Responsible for Injury
Whenever you are harmed on someone else’s property, you might have a personal injury case against the property owner, management, and employees. These kinds of cases are called “premises liability” cases, and include slip and fall cases. These cases aim to get victims compensation for their injuries. If the property owner fails to keep the premises safe by performing regular maintenance, cleaning up spills and debris, and warning of hidden dangers, a court can hold them liable for injuries.
A pool may try to limit liability by posting signs that say things like “swim at your own risk.” These sings may not be legally binding, and certainly do not limit liability for injuries unrelated to swimming. Further, simple violation of a rule (like “no running,”) might be excused for especially young children. Instead, injuries may still be the liability of the pool management, even with warning signs. Alternatively, if a victim is partly responsible for their own injuries, they still might be entitled to partial compensation.
Lastly, since many public pools are run by local governments and not by private owners, victims may not be able to sue in open court. Because of a doctrine called “governmental immunity,” codified under Arkansas Code § 21-9-301, you may not be able to sue a part of the government directly, and may need to seek compensation for injuries another way. Hiring a lawyers can help you ensure you take the best path to recovery.
Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer
If you, your child, or another loved one was injured at a public swimming pool, you may have a case against the employees and owners of the pool. Personal injury attorney Ken Kieklak may be able to take your case and help you collect the compensation you deserve. Call (479) 316-0438 today for a free consultation.
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