The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that about 150 children under age 15 drown in swimming pools from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year across the United States. This doesn’t include adult drownings, or incidents which resulted in injury instead of a tragic death.
Going for a dip the pool on a hot summer’s day is enjoyable for kids and adults alike, but swimming pools are dangerous. In fact, the CDC reports more than 60 percent of fatal drownings for those under age four occur in swimming pools. Many of these accidents are preventable, and result from the negligence of those who manage or own a pool.
If you were injured, or your child was injured or drowned in a swimming pool, you may have the right to seek significant compensation as damages. Contact the skilled legal team at Robert Pahlke Law Group at (308) 633-4444 to take legal action before Nebraska’s statute of limitations runs out. During a free consultation, one of our premises liability attorneys will evaluate your case and to help you choose the best course of action for you and your family.
Robert Pahlke Law Group’s Results in Swimming Pool Accident Cases
The experienced attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group have represented clients in a wide variety of personal injury cases, including those involving swimming pool or drowning accidents. Each case is different in terms of circumstances and severity of injury, but our legal team has helped clients recover millions of dollars in damages to compensate them for injury and loss. It’s impossible to guarantee results in any case, but the skilled lawyers at Robert Pahlke Law Group always aggressively pursue the best outcome for our clients after a swimming pool accident.
Causes of Swimming Pool and Drowning Accidents in Nebraska
Swimming pool accidents and drowning accidents can occur at private pools and at public pools found in backyards, hotels, water parks, apartment communities, and a variety of other places. Drownings and near-drownings are often a result of negligence. Specific causes of swimming pool accidents and drowning include:
- Poor pool maintenance, including the failure to inspect diving boards, slides, ladders, steps, drains, pumps, and filters
- Failure to build a fence or barrier around a pool to keep small children away
- Lack of safety gear such as ring buoys and other flotation devices
- Cracked and/or slippery tiles and concrete around the pool
- Overcrowding, especially in public pools
- Lack of supervision which can be lifeguards or other adults depending on the situation
Recovering Damages After a Swimming Pool Accident or Drowning
If you or a loved one have been harmed while swimming at a public or private pool, Nebraska law entitles you to seek compensation for damages in civil court if your injury was a result of negligence or intentionally harmful conduct. You might recover the following damages in a settlement or if the court rules in your favor:
- Medical expenses including ambulance and emergency services, hospital stay, surgery, radiology, follow-up care, and medication
- Future medical costs in cases where the accident caused permanent disability requiring lifelong care
- Lost wages for missing work from an injury or for tending to an injured child
- Lost future wages when a severe injury prevents a return to work
- Rehabilitation costs including physical therapy, assistive devices, and assistive technology
- Non-economic damages associated with accident or injury such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium
If your child drowned in a swimming pool accident, contact an attorney to discuss filing a wrongful death claim. As the surviving parent of a minor child, you might recover many of the damages listed above, as well as funeral costs, burial costs, and non-economic damages related to losing your child.
Nebraska’s Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
Many accidents and drownings near or in swimming pools involve children. When trespassers sustain injuries on another party’s property, the landowner usually isn’t liable unless he intentionally harmed or trapped the trespasser. This rule does not apply to children, however, because of the legal principle of attractive nuisance. Anything on a landowner’s property which is reasonably likely to attract children and to cause them harm falls under the umbrella of an attractive nuisance. Swimming pools are most often used as examples, but trampolines, large piles of dirt or sand, and construction sites are other examples.
Young children have no concept of property ownership and will wander towards a “nuisance.” Sp, property owners have a legal obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent young children from accessing that nuisance, such as by fencing in, removing, or locking up an attractive nuisance.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Nebraska Swimming Pool Accidents
For teenagers and adults who sustain injuries while at or in a pool, the court will assess the extent to which the plaintiff caused his or her own injuries by applying the legal doctrine of comparative negligence to a case. Comparative negligence, sometimes referred to as comparative fault, is the idea of shared liability. Once the court determines a defendant was negligent, it assigns a percentage portion of fault to each party named in a lawsuit. The court reduces the plaintiff’s award by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
For example, you sue for $1,000,000 after you slip and fall on a poorly maintained area of concrete at a public pool. You had a few cocktails or beers while sitting by the pool, so the defense argues you were impaired. The court finds you were 15 percent responsible for your own injuries. In this example, you cannot collect more than $850,000 or 85 percent of the damages. Nebraska follows a “modified” version of comparative negligence with a 51 percent “threshold.” This means plaintiffs who are 51 percent or more at fault for their own injuries cannot collect any damages.
Get the Legal Help You Need from a Nebraska Swimming Pool Accident Attorney
Swimming pool accidents and drownings change lives and devastate families. During this difficult time, let an experienced personal injury attorney handle the details of your case while you cope with your recovery or loss. Contact the compassionate and experienced attorneys at the Robert Pahlke Law Group at (308) 633-4444 or online today for a free consultation.