Swimming pool accidents happen every year in Augusta. They can happen in seconds, and often lead to horrifying results—everything from broken bones or a chipped tooth to serious injuries, paralysis or even death. If you’ve been affected by a swimming pool accident, it’s easy to think it happened by chance—or even to blame yourself. But most accidents happen because someone was negligent. You may have a right to a financial recovery. You need to talk to an Augusta swimming pool accident and drowning lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we know how to help. We have devoted our careers to helping the victims of accidents and injuries. We have a 20+ year history of representing swimming pool accident victims, beating insurance companies, and getting results. Let us give you a free consultation to answer your questions and help you make the right legal decisions. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
Why are swimming pool accidents so common?
Water is surprisingly dangerous. And many people, including many pool owners, property managers and fellow swimmers, don’t respect how important it is to follow basic safety precautions. The result is that swimming pool accidents are shockingly common.
- No fence. Many pool owners do not fence their pools, or leave gates unlocked—even though most parts of Georgia require at least a 4-foot fence. This makes it easy for small children to get in unattended.
- No supervision. Some pool owners take a risky, hands-off approach to guests and children using their pool. They may assume that neighbor kids understand pool safety just because their own kids do. Without supervision, children can easily run into trouble in the water.
- Lack of basic safety measures. Surfaces around pools can get slippery. And jumping into shallow water can be disastrous. But many pools lack warning signs, high-traction surfaces, or even an indication of which end is the shallow end.
- Equipment in poor condition. Anything from a diving board to a drain system can be dangerous if not properly installed and maintained.
These factors are more than just common causes of injury—they’re also examples of liability. When someone is careless with the safety of others, that person is held legally liable for the results.
My child was harmed in a swimming pool accident. What should I do?
This is one of the hardest things you can go through as a parent. We’ve worked with many families who have suffered the loss of a child, or a severe injury to a child at a swimming pool. There are no easy answers, but it’s important to understand your rights and how to enforce them.
Children are the most common victims of drowning and pool accidents. Statistically, the most likely victims fall into two age groups:
- Children Ages 1-4. This is the age when a child is old enough to move around, but not yet old enough to understand the dangers of water. Many children of this age cannot swim.
- Teens age 15+. This is the age when children are more likely to think they can swim unattended, or to explore a swimming pool without telling anyone where they’re going. Teens of this age are also likely to be involved in more adventurous swimming activities, such as water parks, wave pools, or a high school diving team.
Unfortunately, children (or their parents) often get blamed for their own swimming pool accidents. That’s not only cruel, it’s also not how the law works. Legally, swimming pool owners have a number of legal duties. For example, they are supposed to secure their pool so that small children cannot wander in. And they’re supposed to supervise guests when they have them, even the friends of their teenage children. Public pools and water parks are supposed to have vigilant lifeguard staff on duty at all times and must keep all equipment in safe condition.
When a child is harmed at a pool, it usually means an adult was not doing their job. And that means they or their company are liable.
As the parent, you have a right to:
- Enforce your child’s legal rights on their behalf
- Recover all costs related to the accident
- Recover all non-economic damages, such as the emotional trauma your child has gone through
- If you lost your child, you can file a wrongful death claim
This kind of legal action doesn’t just cover your costs. It also serves to prevent the same kind of injury from happening again, and to create legal pressure for pool owners to keep their premises safe.
How does a swimming pool accident claim work?
Although every claim is different, all swimming pool claims in Augusta-Richmond County follow the same basic process:
- We file a claim with the insurance company of the liable party. It’s rare to make the claim against an individual, since pools are almost always covered by property insurance or a general liability policy.
- We investigate and build a case. Our investigative team can go to the scene, gather evidence, and follow up on possible witnesses. We can also pull records about past safety violations. All of this makes your case stronger.
- We negotiate with the insurance company. Many insurers will make an early offer, but it’s rarely the full amount you have a right to. We understand how to negotiate with insurers and what form of leverage gets the best results.
- In most cases, we will reach a settlement agreement without a lawsuit. The right evidence and the right tactics can make even a tough insurance company give in.
- In some cases we’ll take your case to court. If the insurer won’t offer you a fair amount, the local courtsare the best recourse. We are experienced litigators with a reputation for courtroom successes.
Our lawyers make this process as stress-free as possible. We don’t believe you should have to deal with a complicated legal process on top of your accident.
Talk to an Augusta Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer for Free
One swimming pool accident can leave an individual or a family with a lifetime of consequences. Let us be your ally. John Foy offers some of the most respected injury lawyers in the state—and a proven history of winning cases. Come get started with a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your free consultation today.