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There's nothing quite like taking a dip in a Swimming pool or Jacuzzi especially when you are on your vacation destination. While swimming pools provide hours of family fun, we disregard the thousands of devastating drowning that occur every year. A majority of swimming pool accidents can occur from poorly designed or maintained pools or negligent behavior of property owners. Due to this fact, a swimming pool injury can result in physical, financial and emotional burdens that may be difficult for a family to bear.

Swimming pool accidents and drowning are usually based on the legal principle of premises liability; in which the owner or operator of the swimming pool will be held liable for injuries in and around the pool.  Pools can be separated between public (or community pools) and private swimming pools including, hotel swimming pools, casino pool party incidents, school swimming pools, country clubs, fitness centers, health clubs, spas, and apartment building and condo swimming pools and private residence swimming pools. If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident contact our offices to schedule a free consultation with a Swimming Pool Drowning Attorney at 1-424-256-9055.

Statistic of Pool Drowning

Accordingly to a statistics conducted in 2016 by United States Consumer Product Safety Commission it records 205 children younger than age 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports. Of the 205 reports, 140 of the victims -- nearly 70 percent -- were children younger than age five.

Factors That Influence Drowning Risk

Premises liability is usually based upon inadequacies in the property owner’s maintenance of the pool and surrounding area, or supervision of pool users.  Some of these inadequacies in a drowning case could include the following:


  • Lack of fencing. According to the CPSC, in-ground pools without complete fencing are 60 percent more likely to involve a swimming pool drowning than fenced pools.  A property owner may be liable after a swimming pool drowning if it can be shown that a reasonably prudent pool owner would have installed safety features such as fencing and locked gates.

  • Warning signs. A property owner may also be liable for a swimming pool drowning if he or she failed to post warning signs.  An owner must warn swimmers of possible dangers, such as posting signs indicating the depth of the water or a “swim at your own risk” signs in the absence of a lifeguard.  However, if a drowning occurs and warning signs are hidden or unreadable, the property owner may be liable.  Some dangers are “open and obvious” and a court may not find liability because a reasonable person would have common knowledge of the dangers of swimming without a lifeguard on duty or that shallow depths are not for diving.

  • Lack of Supervision: It almost goes without saying: Children are more likely to drown or suffer a swimming-related injury when they are in a pool unsupervised. But a swimming-related death or injury can also happen when there is supervision. According to statistics, 77 percent of those involved in a home drowning accident had been missing for no more than five minutes when they were found in the swimming pool—and 70 percent weren't expected to be in or near the pool at that time.

  • Negligent supervision. The owner of a private residence can be liable for a drowning for failing to supervise guests, especially if they represented that they would be watching a child.  A private commercial landowner that has a pool open to the public as part of their business has a greater degree of duty to protect swimmers, and may face liability if no lifeguard is provided, or if warning signs are lacking, despite some dangers being open and obvious.  If a lifeguard is negligent in his or her supervision, the employer and/or property owner can be held liable for drownings.

  • Lack of maintenance. Property owners can be liable if they failed to maintain the pool or safety equipment in a reasonably safe condition.  For example a swimming pool that is only partially filled may give rise to liability if someone strikes their head on the bottom and is injured or drowns.  If water becomes murky and the bottom slippery from debris, a property owner could be liable for a drowning if someone under the water could not be seen, or if a victim could not get out of a pool due to slippery sides and bottom.

  • Subpar Swim Skills: Research indicates that children who receive swimming instruction are less likely to drown or suffer a swimming-related injury.

  • Barriers: Four-sided fencing around swimming pools reduces the risk of drowning by about 80 percent compared to swimming pools secured by three-sided fencing.

  • Alcohol Use: There's a reason you see those "alcohol prohibited" signed outside both residential and public swimming pools: Statistically, alcohol is attributed as a factor in as many as 70 percent of all water recreation injuries and deaths.

  • Seizure Disorder: For people affected by seizure disorder, drowning is the most common cause of injury or death.


California Swimming Pool Safety Laws & Regulations

The owner of property has a legal duty to use reasonable care to keep his property safe from dangerous conditions.  A Home owner’s liability is usually covered by home owners insurance.  California Swimming Pool liability laws can be more complex if the property owners do not have homeowners insurance or is not the individual residing in the home.

Recently the States of California institutes the California Private and Public Swimming Pool Laws and Regulations and the Swimming pool safety act so as to increase the safety of swimming pools in the state.  These laws also covered public spas, hot tubs, and Jacuzzi's as well as private pools.  For example land owners with exposes pools and hot tubs, whirlpools are required by California Law to the surrounding area and to place child proof gates blocking children from access to the facilities.

Who Is Responsible For A Swimming Pool Drowning?

The question of liability in a swimming pool drowning depends upon the nature of the accident itself.  There are three legal theories that could be involved:


  1. Premises Liability. Premises liability basically says that a property owner is liable for injuries caused from a dangerous or hazardous condition on the property that the owner knew about or should have known about.  In the case of a swimming pool drowning, the property owner has a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to make sure that his or her pool is safe for users, or anyone else on the property.  In California, the landowner must take steps to protect anyone entering the property (even a trespasser). The owner is negligent if he or she fails to take reasonable precautions to prevent a drowning.  Premises liability applies to the following:

  • Owners of private, residential swimming pools.

  • Owners of property with private or commercial pools used for the benefit of guests, members or tenants (such as motels, campgrounds, health clubs, or apartment complexes).

  • Owners of government property (discussed below), such as municipal swimming pools open to the community or school swimming pools.

  1. Possessors or operators of the property. For example, someone who rents the property could also be liable for damages in a drowning where he or she failed to take reasonable precautions to protect guests from injury.

  2. Negligence. Under the negligence basis for a drowning claim, a person is liable if they were negligent in causing the accident.  Negligence is the failure to do what a normal person would do under the circumstances.  As we have seen under premises liability, a property owner’s negligence in failing to make the property safe establishes his or her liability.  Other parties may also be liable if their negligence leads to a drowning.  For example, if pool equipment was improperly installed, resulting in a drowning, there might be a cause of action in negligence against the installers.  An employer might be liable if a lifeguard is hired that was unqualified, or if the lifeguard’s negligent supervision leads to a drowning.Another form of negligence is called negligence per se, or strict liability.  Under this theory of recovery a party is liable if they have violated a law.  California and many of its cities and towns have passed laws or ordinances that impose restrictions and requirements on the construction and maintenance of residential swimming pools in order to prevent accidents.  These laws may require special pool covers, locked gates and fencing that completely surrounds a swimming pool.  Failure to follow such ordinances will result in the property owner’s liability in the event of a death.

  3. Products Liability. Products liability is a strict liability claim and is not dependent upon someone’s negligence.  Under this basis for recovery a manufacturer or seller of a defective swimming pool or related equipment is responsible for releasing a defective product.  When a faulty swimming pool or equipment is the cause of a drowning, many people could be responsible:

  • The pool manufacturer (or the manufacturer of a component part),

  • The wholesaler,

  • The retail store that sold the pool to the customer, and

  • The assemblers or installers

Additionally, there are three types of defects:

  • Design defects that are present in the design of the product before it is made,

  • Manufacturing defects that occur in the manufacturing process, and

  • Marketing defects, such as inadequate safety warnings.


As an example, suppose a child comes in contact with an underwater pool drain and the suction from the pump is so strong that the child either cannot pull free, or is entrapped when a foot or hand becomes stuck in the drain grate.  If the child is injured or drowns, a product liability action could be filed against the pool manufacturer, who may be liable for a design defect.  Sometimes, the design of the entire pool itself may be faulty.  For example, a dangerous condition might exist where the shallow and deep areas are not clearly marked or if it is difficult to see where the pool is deep enough for diving.

Products used in or around the pool can also be defective and extremely dangerous.  Water slides could have weak spots from a manufacturing defect that results in falls.  Flotation devices for children could be defective because of a lack of adequate instructions for safe use, clearly indicating a marketing defect.


Governmental Entities & Statue of Limitation

Drownings often occur on property owned by a federal, state, or local entity.  There are thousands of municipal pools in cities across the country, as well as pools in public schools and federal, state, and county parks and recreation centers.  The same legal theories of premises liability and negligence that apply to private property owners also apply to governmental entities.  Governments have the same duty to maintain their swimming pools in a safe condition to ensure that their employees are not careless in their maintenance of facilities and supervision of swimmers.  However different rules apply if you sue a governmental entity for liability after a drowning or accident.  There are very specific requirements for giving notice and filing a claim for a drowning.  If these rules are not followed you can automatically lose your right to receive compensation from the government.  The complexity of filing a claim against the government makes it imperative to get the assistance of an attorney experienced in these types of lawsuits.


The Statue of limitation for filing claim against government agency must be within 6 months (for some cases, 1 year) of the incident.


What Should You Do After A Swimming Pool Drowning Or Accident?

  • Preserve Evidence.  If possible, write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of all potential witnesses.  Take photographs of the accident scene from different angles – the inside and the outside of the pool, the surrounding conditions, the signs, the fences and gates and the specific location where the accident occurred.  Take photographs of any related pool equipment that contributed (i.e., a faulty diving board, a defective drain grate, a ladder in disrepair, etc.).  Make sure that any defective products are not disposed of and are kept in a secure place.  If the product is in the possession of someone else, seek a lawyer’s help (your lawyer may be able to file for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to avoid destruction of the product).

  • Document The Events And Your Injuries. As soon as it is practical after a swimming pool drowning, you should:

    1. Document all events surrounding the accident;

    2. Obtain police reports concerning the incident and records from the hospital emergency room;

    3. Keep notes of all conversations with police, witnesses, emergency medical personnel, and hospital doctors.

  • In the case of a near-drowning you should:

    1. Keep every record that relates to your doctor’s appointments, medical treatment, prescriptions, lost work time, pain and suffering, restriction of activities and the expenses you’ve had because of the accident;

    2. Keep medical records, and write down notes about conversations that you’ve had with your doctors and the medical staff; and

    3. If applicable, take photographs of any external injuries.

  • Contact An Experienced California Swimming Pool Accident Attorney. In the aftermath of a tragic accident, hiring an attorney may not seem like a top priority.  Obtaining medical attention for yourself or an injured loved one is your main concern.  However, complex legal and safety issues may be involved and it is essential to consult a California swimming pool drowning attorney as soon as you can.  In the event of a drowning, it is difficult for a grieving family to think about legal issues.  An experienced lawyer will be able to protect your legal rights during such a traumatic and emotional time

  • Do Not Talk To An Insurance Company Without Your Attorney Present. Soon after a drowning any negligent parties will have contacted their insurance company.  Every insurance company has a team of adjusters, investigators, and lawyers whose primary responsibility is to limit liability and minimize the pay out on a claim.  Often, victims or their families are bombarded with paperwork and questions.  In the case of a near-drowning, once you’ve agreed to settle your case, you cannot ask for additional compensation.  Many times a person or their loved one injured in a swimming pool accident will discover later that injuries were more extensive than first realized, which could mean more expenses than you first expected, like medical bills, and can extend the length of your disability.  Do not discuss the accident or your injuries without first consulting a swimming pool accident lawyer.


Injuries Ensured with Pool Drowning Accidents

Swimming pool accidents can take a variety of different forms, including pool drowning and head trauma broke limbs and separated shoulders. Some of the most common swimming pool injuries are as follows:

  • Slip and Fall accident: leading to fractures bones

  • Fractures skulls

  • Lacerations to the body or face from jagged edges on swimming pools

  • Broken noses

  • Spinal Cord Damage:  Severe forms of spinal cord injuries leading to paraplegia and quadriplegia

  • Neck and back injuries

  • Separate shoulders

  • Brain Hemorrhage

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries and other forms of brain damage from the loss of oxygen

  • Drowning: leading to a wrongful death claim


Defective Product Claims for Swimming Pool Accidents

In numerous cases serious swimming pool injuries are caused by defects in Swimming Pool Pumps and Drainage Systems. Children are at most risk of suction entrapment, where a person in a swimming pool or a Jacuzzi is stuck to the pool drain and unable to release himself. Under these circumstances the bather is unable to swim away from the drainage system and drowns.  A successful product liability case usually involves one of three causes of actions

(1) Defect in the design of the product

(2) Defect in the manufacturing process

(3) Labeling Defect: Failure to Warn of all known dangers associated with the use of the product.

Common causes of swimming pool drowning and poolside accidents are as follows:

  • Improper security and safety staff at pool parties

  • Improper maintenance of swimming pools

  • Un-gated pools and Jacuzzi's, hot tubs

  • Negligent supervision of children

  • Overcrowding of public and private pools

  • Improper installation of diving boards

  • Lack of safety warning signs and safety equipment

  • Slippery surfaces around pools leading to slip and fall accidents.


We Fight To Recover Your Remedies

Based on the specifications of your case - the details of the accident, how severe your injury was, it is ultimately going to determine what you could be entitled to sustain based on your case. However, what you can be compensated for if your case prevails can often be put into several different categories.

The categories of compensation can include:

Medical bills: Should you win your case, you could be awarded compensation for medical bills you’ve had to pay as a result of your injury. This includes both past and future bills stemming from the injury, and can potentially cover expenses such as transport or in-home rehabilitation services.

Lost wages: Lost wages can be awarded if your injury has caused significant missed time at work, or has made you unable to perform your job. You could be entitled to even more lost wages if the injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to find consistent work.

Pain and suffering: In some cases, the damages endured from physical pain and emotional suffering can be compensated to pay for therapy treatments.

Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded in more extreme cases, wherein the injury was caused by someone’s recklessness. They are awarded to try and dissuade the defendant and others from acting with that level of recklessness again.

You Don’t Pay Until You Win.

Contact a Los Angeles Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles to schedule a free, no obligation initial case evaluation at 1-424-256-9055. Our Swimming Pool Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles will help protect your rights. And remember, You Don’t Pay until You Win, or You Don’t Pay At All!


Lawyer Referral Service Los Angeles

If you are in a need a Los Angeles Jacuzzi Accident Lawyer to help you get appropriate compensation and medical care you deserve, you should contact an Swimming Pool accident lawyer in Los Angeles today. Our experienced Swimming Pool Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles will help you overcome your Swimming Pool Accident injury or damage.


If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact Legal Leaf. Legal Leaf is a Lawyer Referral that can provide you with a Swimming Pool Injury Attorney or law firm. If you do have any questions about a texting attorney in Los Angeles area please contacts us for a free Lawyer Referral to a Los Angeles Lawyer.


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