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Swimming pools are a great way of getting exercise and staying cool. But, often times, they can be death traps. Tragic accidents can occur in backyard pools, hotels, schools, country clubs or water parks. Whenever young swimmers are not properly supervised, there is the risk of a tragic swimming pool accident. Submersion or near-drowning could also result in catastrophic or irreversible brain damage.

Getting the Support You Need

Swimming is not a summer activity in Orange County. The year-round good weather we have here makes it a year-round activity. If your child has been injured in a swimming pool accident on someone else's property or on someone else's watch, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options. The experienced Orange County swimming pool accident lawyers at BISNAR | CHASE are here to provide you with the counsel and guidance you need to make an informed decision.

Please contact us at 1-949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.

What Makes Pools So Dangerous?

Drowning occurs whenever someone is unable to breathe because he or she is submerged in water. Fatal drowning accidents can happen suddenly, quietly and without much warning. Our brains need oxygen and being unable to breathe for even a short period of time can have severe consequences. Near-drowning victims who survive their injuries often struggle for the rest of their lives with permanent disabilities. It is even possible for a near drowning victim to survive for a few days after the incident only to succumb to the injuries later.

The Signs of Drowning

One of the reasons why drowning incidents are so hard to prevent is that the signs of drowning can be undetectable. Someone who is about to drown is not always loud and distressed. Sometimes, a victim may simply have his or her head low in the water. Many drowning accidents occur when a swimmer is simply no longer able to keep his or her mouth above water. So, drowning may look like it does on television with the victim calling for help before going underwater, or it may simply look like someone slowly sinking without much struggle.

Other swimming pool accidents occur when someone has tripped and fallen into a pool. This is why pool owners must keep walkways around pools clear of debris to prevent such accidents from occurring. Individuals who strike their head on the ground before falling into a pool are particularly in danger of drowning if they are not immediately pulled from the water because they may have lost consciousness and be unable to pull themselves up.

Swimming Pool Accident Prevention in Orange County

There are steps that swimmers and pool owners can take to prevent swimming pool accidents. For example, it is advisable for everyone to take swimming lessons. Many adults and children who drown each year never received formal swimming lessons. Of course, even skilled and experienced swimmers should be supervised at all times. Drowning can happen suddenly without warning. Having a friend, parent or lifeguard nearby will greatly reduce the chances of the accident resulting in fatal injuries.

Pool owners in Orange County are legally required to post a sign that indicates whether or not there is a lifeguard on duty. They must also have a life ring with a line long enough to span the width of the pool, an artificial respiration demonstration sign and a sign with emergency telephone numbers listed on it. Furthermore, pools in Orange County must be enclosed by a fence that is at least 5 feet high. Openings in the fence may not exceed four inches and gates must be self-latching.

It is also advisable for Orange County homeowners with pools to install warning alarms on their doors. A warning alarm will notify an adult when a child escapes into the backyard to look at the pool. Curious children often do not realize how dangerous it is to walk or crawl by a pool without supervision. Children are also extremely resourceful. Adults often tend to underestimate simply how resourceful and determined young children can be and what they can do in order to accomplish a task such as getting to the swimming pool.

When Accidents Happen

Swimming pool accidents can and do happen often in Orange County. It is important that the victims or swimming pool accidents and their families are offered fair compensation for their losses. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis to determine who was responsible for the accident and how it could have been prevented.

Pool owners are legally obligated to provide reasonably safe conditions, but they are not automatically financially accountable for the injuries that occur on their property. When filing a claim against a pool owner, it is necessary to review how the accident could have been prevented. If the pool owner failed to install proper fencing or to provide adequate supervision, then, he or she may be held accountable for the accident.

Financial Support for Drowning Victims in California

Surviving victims of swimming pool accidents and the families of fatally injured swimmers may seek support for their losses. A premises liability claim can be filed to hold a pool owner accountable for medical bills, the cost of hospitalization, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages. The family of a drowning victim can also file a wrongful death claim seek support for funeral expenses, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.

How Common Are Drowning Accidents in Orange County?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drowning incidents that were not boat-related every year between 2005 and 2009. That means that about 10 people drown in the United States every day. About one fifth of the fatally injured victims are children below the age of 15 and for every child who dies from drowning, another five require emergency care. According to statistics compiled by the Orange County Fire Authority, officials got 74 drowning calls in 2013. Of those calls, 35 resulted in fatalities and many other cases, victims suffered irreversible brain damage.


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Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case.

Bisnar | Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in other states through our associations with local law firms. Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice, meaning "for this particular occasion." When in our client's interest, we employ the local law firm (at no additional cost to our client) to assist us with routine court appearances and discovery proceedings to more efficiently pursue our client's cause.

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