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Personal Injury Blog

Are You Liable if Someone Trespass To Use Your Pool and is Injured?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pools are a great thing to enjoy when it starts heating up out there. You can enjoy them privately or with your friends and family. However, owning a pool can make them an attractive target to other people, particularly children and teens. Some might find it a thrill to sneak onto your property while you are asleep or away and take a quick dip. Mostly this is harmless, if not just plain unnerving, but what happens if that trespasser is injured?

Many landowners in California would be surprised to discover that the state has very little distinction between people you invited over and people who were trespassing. The law used to state that children injured on the property for trespassing were to be covered in case of injury or death by those who owned pool or playground equipment under attractive nuisance. However, that was repealed and replaced with the current law that states landowners are responsible for trespasser injuries if their property is not kept in safe condition.

This means that if a trespasser using your pool slips and injures themselves, you could technically be held responsible. However, if you made the effort to fence off your pool area or put down flooring that is naturally non-slip, you may be able to argue against it.

The truth is that in terms of trespassing, property liability can be a very difficult area of the law to sort out on your own. This is why if a trespasser was injured on your property, you need to contact us right away. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman can help sort out the small distinctions and loopholes in your case so you don't have to cover the injuries of someone who was technically committing a crime.

Keeping Kids Safe Around the Water

Friday, July 07, 2017

When living in Los Angeles, chances are you will come in contact with a large body of water at some point during the summer. If you have kids, their safety is a priority--but what are the best methods of keeping your children safe? Don't depend on lifeguards. 

If you're in a public pool, chances are there's up to a hundred other people also in the pool. While the lifeguards are very well-trained, it's possible that they could miss a single child being in distress due to the other factors they have to focus on, from other parents asking questions to make sure that kids aren't running and diving. The best thing to do is to act as your child's personal lifeguard and accompany them. 

Make sure flotation devices are Coast Guard approved. 

While a pool noodle, kick board, or inner tube may seem like a suitable flotation device, they are not ideal. Life jackets and other devices that get buckled or tied around your child are better ways of making sure that in an emergency, they cannot escape the grip of the person in the water. This ensures that even if you step away from the pool for a minute, your child can't escape their water wings and risk drowning. 

Talk with your child about the rules of the pool. 

The best method of responding to poolside accidents is preventing them from ever occurring. Explaining the rules (don't go in the water alone, don't run on the pool deck, no diving, etc) and why they're rules is an excellent method of prevention. Explanations make it so your child understands the concept, instead of just feeling like you as the parent are laying down rules to strip away the fun from the activity. 

 If you or your child do experience a pool accident or drowning injury, contact us to set up a cost-free consultation to determine the legalities connected to the incident and what we can do for you. 

POOL ACCIDENTS AND DROWNING INJURIES: What to do if You've been Injured

Thursday, September 01, 2016

According to the CDC, each year hundreds of children die and thousands more are injured in swimming pool accidents; these happen in public pools, on private property and even water parks. Here in California, the summer months are particularly hazardous with school out, warm weather and plenty of children playing in and around water.

There are several ways you could be injured in a swimming pool accident. The most common and unfortunate form of swimming pool accident involves small children. If a pool has not been properly secured, or if the child has not been adequately supervised tragedy could result.

Pool Accidents and Drowning Injuries

if you are visiting a private home, staying in a hotel or anywhere that has a pool, then that pool needs to be properly secured. Children should not be allowed to access the swimming area without supervision. Drownings can happen in an instant. The owner of the pool needs to make sure that children can’t easily access the swimming area without supervision. In 2015 a child died at Disney World’s Art of Animation resort because he was able to access the swimming pool in the middle of the night. Disney is since put a fence around this pool and around every other resort pool on their property.

When a business doesn’t take proper precautions or homeowner fails to fence in their pool securely a child could drown or be catastrophically injured. Commercial and residential pool owners who fail to secure their swimming area could be held liable for the injuries and death that result from their lack of action.

What to do if You’ve Been Injured in a Pool Accident

Even in properly enclosed pool areas children and adults can be injured by unsafe conditions. The behavior of others in the pool area, the cleanliness of the pool itself and the maintenance of the surrounding area can all contribute to accidents in the pool.

Even those who have been able to be resuscitated or have avoided death can have significant brain injury after a pool accident. If you or your child has been injured in a pool accident seek out medical help immediately. Document the conditions of the pool and the incident; take photographs, interview witnesses have the commercial establishment file a report about the accident.

Seek out legal help. A personal injury attorney can help you get the help you need after a pool related injury or accident. Never accept a settlement or money from an insurance agency without speaking to an attorney first. The company that injured you or the party that injured you needs to be held responsible for that accident.

Contact us to learn more about protecting your rights after a swimming pool accident or injury. Whether you’ve been hurt yourself or your child has been a victim we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Keep Children Safe In Backyard Pools

Friday, May 20, 2016

Any homeowner with a pool should be concerned about the potential of a drowning. If you have children, or children live in the neighborhood, it important to take steps to prevent the chance of a pool accident or drowning injury. Implement the following tips to keep children safe in your backyard pool.

Limit Access and Desire

Install a fence that surrounds your pool completely. Keep the deck clear of toys, such as balls. Your goal is to make it impossible for a child to enter the pool area without the assistance of an adult. Therefore, a fence is necessary. You also want to dissuade anyone from attempting to retrieve a toy from inside the pool area. Kids may try to climb over the fence because they want to play with the ball. Keep toys out of sight so they don't entice children to enter the pool area unattended.

Understand Safety Devices

If your children, or the children in the neighborhood, have not had formal swimming lessons, they may not be safe in the water. Don't make the mistake of offering them a pool noodle or other inflatable device as a safety measure. Air-filled and foam toys are not safety devices, they are toys. Life jackets are the only thing designed to keep non-swimmers safe.

Provide Constant Supervision

An adult needs to supervise every minute a child is in the pool. This is true even if the child is wearing a life jacket. Adult supervision is mandatory to prevent a drowning or near-drowning. Life jackets help but don't always prevent a drowning since the face can still go in the water with the life jacket on. The adult providing the supervision should not be reading a book or talking on the phone or doing anything else. If the child is young, or can't swim, the adult should stay within reach at all times.

Monitor Weather Conditions

A homeowner is responsible for monitoring the weather conditions and acting accordingly. If thunder is heard or lightning observed, everyone must get out of the pool and stay out of the pool for 30 minutes. The timer restarts for each subsequent thunder or lightning until the storm has completely passed.

Take the above steps to reduce the risk of a pool accident or drowning injury this summer. For additional information, contact us.

Own a Pool? Follow These Steps to Protect Yourself Against Pool Injuries and Drowning Accidents on Your Property

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Enjoying your backyard swimming pool with friends and family members on a hot summer afternoon can be a welcome way to beat the heat, but nothing can make a pool owner's blood run cold like the thought of a serious pool injury or drowning accident occurring on his property. If you are a pool owner, there are important steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of a tragedy occurring in your own backyard oasis.

Check the Equipment

One of the best ways to prevent a swimming accident is to make sure all your equipment is in good working order. While the drain of a pool or spa may seem harmless enough, many drain cover of older pools and spas were designed in such a way that the entire flat cover could be completely blocked by a human torso. If completely blocked, the amount of suction could potentially be strong enough to hold a victim on the bottom of the pool. Newer anti-entrapment covers are required in public swimming pools. Unfortunately, many private pools still have not been retrofitted with a new, safer drain. If you have concerns about the safety of the drain in your pool or spa, contact a professional to have the drain checked and, if necessary, fitted with a new cover.

Additionally, keep lifesaving floatation devices and rescue poles in plain sight and easily accessible. If you do not own these important pieces of safety equipment, make it a priority to obtain them today.

Secure Your Pool

A fence is a basic deterrent. While it is likely that any determined person will be able to access your swimming area, a fence around your pool can send a powerful message for others to stay away, and the presence of a fence, or lack thereof, can affect your liability if a tragedy should occur on you property. Your fence should be at least four feet high, and gates should be both self-closing and self-latching. To prevent a determined child from pushing the gate open, gates should always swing out, away from the swimming area.

Educate Yourself And Others

Of course, one of the best ways to prevent a swimming injury or accidental drowning is to educate yourself and others regarding water safety. Post your poolside rules in a prominent place. Follow them, and insist that guests do the same. Educate yourself in the basics of CPR so you will be able to react quickly, calmly, and with confidence if an accident should occur.

Keeping your pool in good working order, and following proper safety procedures can help ensure that your pool remains an asset, and not a liability. If an accident has occurred on your property, and you are concerned with your legal rights, our staff is standing by to help. Don't hesitate to contact us today!



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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.