Miami Swimming, Drowning & Diving Accident Attorney
Premises liability can arise in a variety of scenarios, such as one in which a property owner fails to take proper or preventative measures that would reduce the risk of a swimming, drowning or diving accident. Failure to adhere to reasonable practices may result in the owner being liable under the theory of negligence. These types of accidents, which typically occur in pools, are usually the result of one of the following dangerous conditions:
Lack of Supervision
While the majority of hotels and other accommodations or establishments with a pool for visitors include signs such as “No Life Guard On Duty” or “Swim at Your Own Risk”, it does not necessarily mean that an owner has disclaimed their duty of reasonable care. If the owner of the establishment—public or private—could have reasonably adopted safety measures that could have prevented the accident, then they may still be liable. Furthermore, in the event that the property owner warned swimmers of the dangers associated with swimming in the pool, the adequacy of the warning could be a basis of contention in the lawsuit. Thus, if you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of an owner’s negligent maintenance of a pool area, you should seek legal advice from a Miami accident attorney before assuming you may not have a valid claim.
Faulty or Noncompliant Gates
Unfortunately, many children drown in swimming pools as a result of inadequate gates or enclosures around the pool. Specifically, Section 515.29 of the Florida Statutes pertains to “[r]esidential swimming pool barrier requirements” and lists the characteristics that a pool barrier must have. Some of these requirements include but are not limited to: (1) a barrier that is at least 4 feet high on the outside; (2) a barrier that does not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or structural components that could allow a young child to crawl under, squeeze through, or climb over the barrier; (3) the barrier must be places sufficiently away from the water’s edge to prevent a young child or medically frail elderly person who may have managed to penetrate the barrier from immediately falling in the water.
Failure to Warn
These cases concern a property owner’s failure to warn of dangerous or unsafe conditions associated with the swimming or diving area. Even if the owner includes a sign that warns of the aforementioned dangers, this warning can still fail to pass what is required by law. Examples of failure to warn cases can be seen when the property owner fails to warn that there is no lifeguard on duty or that no diving is permitted in the pool. Lack of adequate signs, or warnings altogether, could result in drowning or severe injuries (i.e., head injuries as a result of diving in a pool).
Moreover, these types of cases may trigger the law as it relates to Florida’s “attractive nuisance doctrine.” Under this legal theory, a property owner may be held liable for the injuries of a trespassing child if he or she was lured onto the land by the dangerous condition. While a six feet deep pool in one’s backyard pool may not normally be considered “unsafe”—for a two-year-old child who cannot appreciate the risks involved and doesn’t know how to swim—a swimming pool could be deadly. Thus, landowners have a duty to reasonably safeguard their pools against trespassing children. The Miami and Ft. Lauderdale swimming, drowning & diving accident lawyers at Brais Law Firm also handle cases that may have occurred at sea. These unfortunate and preventable incidents can occur under a variety of circumstances, such as a cruise ship or boat owner’s failure to provide enough life jackets or life boats for guests, which may result in said guest’s drowning. Another scenario may involve a commercial owner providing diving services and their failure to adhere to reasonable practices, such as displaying a diving flag that places nearby or passerby vessels on notice.