Swimming pools are meant to be wet, slippery places – it’s an inherent part of their function and appeal. Yet thousands of people each year suffer painful and costly injuries from slipping and falling around pools and pool areas. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pool-related slip and fall accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim. This article will provide an overview of proving negligence in pool slip and fall cases.
Where Pool Falls are Most Likely to Happen
Slips or falls resulting in injuries most often occur in these pool-related areas:
Pool Decks – The concrete or tile surfaces surrounding swimming pools get very slick when splashed or sprayed with water. Poor drainage, a lack of railings or barriers around the perimeter, dim lighting at night, or simple failure to display “slippery when wet” signage can demonstrate negligence on the property owner’s part when deck falls cause harm.
Pool Ladders/Steps – Algae growth, chipped surfaces, lack of grip handlebars, or missing anti-slip tread on the hard surfaces of pool steps or ladders can lead to dangerous slips. Building code violations around swimming pool components can help strengthen a victim’s case.
Showers/Locker Rooms – Improperly sloped floors, missing bathmats, leakages, standing puddles from poor drainage, or other maintenance issues in pool shower and locker facilities that lack safety measures for wet areas leave the property owners liable for any resultant slippery surface injuries.
What Factors Can Strengthen Negligence Claims in Pool Slip & Falls?
While each pool-related slip and fall hinges greatly on its unique details, certain factors bolster a victim’s case:
Building or Safety Code Violations
Local ordinances and broader regulations like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) codes specify required safety measures in wet public areas. Evidence that these were violated where your accident occurred demonstrates negligence. Codes cover specifics like requiring slip-resistant surfaces, ample lighting for hazard visibility, compliant railings, warning signage, and regular professional cleaning/inspections.
Missing Safety Components
Lifeguards, signs clearly marking slippery areas, properly secured mats and handles in showers, and adequate barriers/railings preventing dangerous access near water edges represent just some of the safety components pool owners must proactively provide. Yet oversights here persist. Evidence that something necessary was omitted through human error or neglect supports negligence claims.
Previously Reported Incidents
If substantiated written complaints were submitted alerting management of slipping hazards in particular areas prior to your incident, it powerfully shows they knew measures were inadequate or disregarded imminent dangers. Evidence vindicates victims.
Poorly illuminated pool surroundings, particularly at night, or lack of light sources to visibility highlight depth changes and transition areas create negligence liability when people thereafter trip or fall with harm in darkened areas.
Infrequent/Substandard Inspection & Maintenance
Pool facilities in climates prone to algae overgrowth require vigilant cleaning not just of water but surrounding platforms, showers and transitions prone to slick buildup from contamination. Pool walls/floors grow abrasions over years while deck paint or tile grout erode, making once slip-resistant surfaces hazardous without proper refinishing. Records of shoddy upkeep help support claims.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Your Pool Injury Claim
As the plaintiff (victim) in a personal injury lawsuit, the burden of proof falls entirely onto you. Merely suffering a slip and subsequent injury from a wet surface in a swimming pool facility does not guarantee you will recover damages or compensation. Even given pools carry an inherent slipping hazard, you must conclusively prove:
- Actual property defects, building safety code violations, or other dangerous conditions unambiguously caused the accident.
- The property owner, facilities manager or others tasked with safety measures acted negligently by allowing known hazards to persist unchecked.
- As a direct and sole result of the accident attributable to negligence, you suffered physical injuries, lasting disabilities potentially affecting your employment capacity, sizable medical expenses now and into the future for treatment/rehab, loss of regular income streams, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and more.
Photographic evidence can compellingly depict the type of conditions or factors that directly led to the fall. Wherever applicable, obtain photos showing the following:
- The actual slippery surface before remedial measures are taken
- Any proof of poor drainage, holes/cracks or leakages
- Any suspected building code violations (for example the lack of required hand rails by steps)
- Insufficient lighting at area that caused an inability to see a hazard
- Missing safety signage, mats, or other precautions
Any documentation of complaints submitted to the property owner/manager about slipping hazards prior to your incident will underscore their negligence in allowing imminent dangers to stay unchecked. Similarly, records of previous similar incidents, safety citations, violations or fines levied before against the premises for noncompliance with state/local regulations can establish negligence patterns.
Additionally, your attorney can petition to obtain maintenance work orders, inspection checklists, safety manuals and more documentation to support your claim by highlighting remediable risks left unaddressed. Security camera footage preserved before standard deletion may visually depict conditions or actual circumstances causing the fall. Witness statements will also prove invaluable supplements to physical evidence.
Why Hire an Attorney After a Pool Area Slip and Fall?
Million-dollar civil settlements have been won by victims of paralyzing pool-related falls caused by negligent maintenance issues. Yet the majority of premises liability claims get dismissed without ever awarding the victim compensation for their damages, lost income, and pain/suffering.
Navigating the legal process following a serious pool injury presents many complex hurdles between you and rightful compensation. An attorney’s specialized skills substantially improve your odds of success. For professional guidance tailored to the unique circumstances of your pool accident case, we encourage you to reach out. Our firm has helped numerous pool slip and fall victims prevail and recover costs they justly deserve. Please don’t hesitate to arrange an initial consultation.
You can visit our office at 10208 101st Ave Ozone Park, NY 11416 or call now for a free consultation on (718) 441-5050.