With summer fast approaching and school coming to a close for the year, many California children will be eagerly awaiting the chance to jump into the nearest swimming pool. Swimming pools can be a great source of enjoyment for the entire family; however they can also be a huge danger to small children, according to attorney Emery Ledger of The Ledger Law Firm.According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 350 children under the age of five drown each year in swimming pools with an additional 2,500 children are brought into emergency rooms as a result of near-drownings. Sadly, just last month, two brothers died in a Bakersfield pool accident while their mother was at work and two roommates were in charge of watching the boys. If only this were a rare incident. In an effort to protect children from the dangers of pools, California enacted the Swimming Pool Safety Act back in 1998. The Act requires all new swimming pools that are constructed at a private, family home to be equipped with one of a number of listed safety features.
If a child drowns as a result of lack of supervision or lack of proper safety precautions, then the adult responsible for watching the child or the owner of the pool may be held liable for the injuries or the death. Under the laws of negligence, a caregiver can be held liable for damages if the following four elements have been met: duty of care: breach of duty; causation; damages. While these are very complicated legal terms that are very case specific, in general what that means is that is someone had the responsibility to care for your child and did not take due care with that responsibility then they can be held liable for any accident that happens as a result of their failure to exercise due care with your child. You, as a parent, can also be held criminally and civilly liable for any injuries that occur as a result of your lack of supervision of your children. The laws for public swimming pools are different than those for private pools; however in some instances a public pool can also be held responsible for accidents or deaths that occur at the pool. Wrongful death claims operate in much the same way. If someone else’s negligence or intentional act caused the death of your loved one, then you may have a wrongful death claim.
As we all gear up for summer, remember that while the neighbor’s pool may look cool and inviting, it may also hold a myriad of hidden dangers for your children. If you have a pool, make sure that your children are supervised at all times and that you have installed safety features to prevent your children, or neighborhood children from falling in. If the worst happens and you feel that you need additional advice from a California swimming pool accident attorney, please feel free to contact Emery Ledger of The Ledger Law Firm at 1-800-300-0001