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Swimming pool accidents can detrimentally impact a victim’s life. Swimming pool accident victims may suffer from debilitating injuries or even death as a result of the incident.
New Mexico swimming pool accidents invoke a broad range of laws that may vary depending on the specifics of the accident itself. Fortunately, many swimming pool accidents can be prevented if reasonable safety measures are taken beforehand.
What is a Swimming Pool Accident?
A swimming pool accident is any accident that occurs around or in a residential or commercial swimming pool. Although many people enjoy taking a dip in their local swimming pool, doing so without knowing the risks can be deadly.
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths in the world, with 320,000 drowning deaths reported annually. Even though that number does include accidents across the entire world, the United States’ numbers are equally shocking. The Center for Disease Control reports that, on average, 3,536 people die from drowning in the United States every year, which is equal to approximately 10 drownings per day. Despite limited data, some studies indicate that 45% of drowning deaths occur among the most economically active segment of the population. Experts estimate that drowning accidents consume nearly $273 million every year in direct and indirect costs.
Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents can result in death or permanent injury. In 2019, drowning accidents caused the majority of deaths in children below the age of 14 years old. Notably, a child can drown in as little as two inches of water. Thus, parents and guardians should be aware of the risks associated with even small bodies of water when venturing outdoors. Additionally, many survivors of swimming pool accidents are left burdened with severe, long-term emotional and physical hardship.
Who Is Most at Risk of Becoming a Victim of a Swimming Pool Accident?
Even though every swimmer is at risk of falling victim to a swimming pool accident, there are some demographics that may increase your probability. The Global Report on Drowning indicates that age is one of the major risk factors contributing to a drowning accident. Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1 to 4 years, followed by children 5 to 9. Unfortunately, many of these drownings are a result of poor supervision.
Males are also especially at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of females. Many experts claim that these higher rates among males are due to riskier and more dangerous behavior around bodies of water. Increased access to a swimming pool, like those in residential back yards, also raise a person’s likelihood of drowning.
In 1997, New Mexico had the 26th highest rate of drowning deaths among all fifty states. Unfortunately, the state’s numbers have continued to rise as more Americans flock to the state for its growing economy. As more people install swimming pools in their backyards, the risks of injury or death are sure to follow. Thus, it is imperative that individuals and families know the risks associated with swimming pools and take the appropriate safety measures. Even through the proper safety protocols, preventing all swimming pool accident deaths is likely impossible. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, you should contact a New Mexico swimming pool accident attorney to help you assess the facts and merits of your case.
Why Do Swimming Pool Accidents Happen?
These statistics show that thousands of unintentional drownings occur every year in the United States. However, many of these swimming pool accidents are preventable. Although every accident is different, there are some common causes of swimming pool accidents. These common causes include the following:
1. Poor Supervision
It takes less than five minutes for an individual, young or old, to drown. Negligent supervision can lead a child to drown in a swimming pool, especially if they cannot swim. These accidents usually happen quickly and quietly. Thus, it is imperative that those tasked with supervising swimming pools and events take their jobs seriously to avoid any undesirable consequences.
2. Defective Equipment
Defective equipment is one of the leading causes of swimming pool accidents because of the importance of technology in the modern world. In swimming pools, defective equipment can result in suction entrapment, where a victim is pulled in by a pool drain and held underwater by the sudden suction. Faulty flotation devices can also result in serious bodily injury, especially if the defect is not noticed before using the product.
3. Drinking and Drug Usage
According to a recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70% of water recreation deaths involve alcohol. The consumption of alcohol or drugs generally influences a person’s cognitive abilities, which greatly increases the risk of injury. These influential substances affect a swimmer’s balance, coordination, and judgment. Since those specific abilities are extremely important when swimming, individuals should avoid consumption whilst in or around a swimming pool.
4. Lack of Swimming Ability
Many adults and children report an ability to swim. Research indicates that participating in formal swimming lessons, regardless of age, greatly lessens the risk of drowning, especially among children aged 1 to 4 years. If you are unable to swim, you may be invertedly putting yourself in even more danger than necessary. Learning proper swimming skills may help you reduce your risk of drowning and becoming the victim of a swimming pool accident.
5. Reckless Behavior
Although swimming pools are meant to be enjoyed, reckless behavior causes swimming pool accidents every year in the United States. When swimmers fail to follow appropriate safety procedures and instead engage in dangerous behavior, they put themselves and others at risk. Swimmers with wet feet may suffer from slip and fall injuries around pools because they are running or moving too quickly on a pool’s slippery floor. Others may suffer injuries from diving into unsafe or shallow waters. Children and adults alike should follow swimming safety protocols to avoid harm and permanent injury.
While not all swimming pool accidents are foreseeable, many are preventable. By learning the common causes of swimming pool accidents in New Mexico, local parents can keep their children safe from drowning or injury. In the unfortunate instance of a swimming pool accident, victims should seek counsel to assess their legal options for compensation. If you have been the victim of a swimming pool accident, you should contact New Mexico swimming pool accident lawyers as soon as possible.
Do I Have a Claim If I Was Hurt in a New Mexico Swimming Pool Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a New Mexico swimming pool accident, you may be able to file a legal claim against the responsible party. Depending on the specifics of your claim, you may have multiple different avenues for redress. However, the most common legal theory in swimming pool accident claims is negligence.
To successfully assert a negligence claim, you must be able to prove four things:
- Defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff
- Defendant breached that duty
- Plaintiff suffered an injury
- Defendant’s breach caused the injury
Typically, courts will require you to present adequate evidence showing that all four of the aforementioned elements were met. Many courts specifically request additional evidence to satisfy the fourth or causation-based element. A plaintiff may assert a negligence suit against a pool owner, lifeguard company, parent, or any other individual that was tasked with supervising the pool or victim. Some swimming pool accident victims may also be able to assert a defective product claim if the broken product caused the injury. These defective product suits are most successful in cases involving flotation devices or swimming pool toys. In New Mexico, the state’s civil statute of limitations is three years for personal injury suits and four years for personal injury to personal property cases. Consequently, victims injured in a New Mexico swimming pool should be careful to file before the deadline. If a victim fails to file before the allotted time period runs out, they may lose the ability to file altogether.
Get Help from New Mexico Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers
Swimming pool accidents can lead to serious or permanent injuries. These accident suits can require extensive legal analysis to establish liability. If you or a family member has been involved in a New Mexico swimming pool accident, you should contact a New Mexico lawyer who handles personal injury cases as soon as possible. An experienced attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim’s merits, and negotiate a fair settlement.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your swimming pool accident. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may serve you.
If you or a loved one has sustained damages in a New Mexico swimming pool accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.