Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima


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If my child or someone I know is injured or drowns at a pool, who is legally liable?

by | Jul 20, 2022 | Personal Injury

Summertime means cold drinks and popsicles for a refreshment, and if you’re lucky, swimming and relaxing by a pool. Time at the pool with friends or family can be some of the best memories created for many people. That is what we hope for at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima for everyone. Unfortunately, for some, the pool can be associated with injury and drowning.

The most likely victims of drowning in a pool are children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old. According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children in that age range, next to motor vehicle crashes. Yet, anyone is susceptible to drowning. The average yearly number of fatal unintentional drownings in the U.S. is 3,960 while the average number of yearly non-fatal drownings is 8,080. Fatal drownings are obviously catastrophic, but even non-fatal drownings can have long-term health effects like brain damage and long-term disability.

Whom may be liable for pool injuries and whether there is a personal injury case against a public pool or privately owned pool depends on various factors. There are different liability rules if the pool is privately owned or if it is a public pool. For example, with private pools there is an Attractive Nuisance Doctrine which requires owners to takes special precautions against accidents occurring with a pool, or other eye-catching attraction, on their property. The law doesn’t expect children to understand the inherent danger of wandering into a yard with a pool, so the responsibility is on the pool-owner to take extra precautions (such as building a fence) when there is something attractive, like a pool, to a child.

Navigating potential injury claims resulting from pool drownings requires a knowledgeable lawyer with experience litigating drowning cases.  At Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima we have extensive experience litigation drowning cases on behalf of our clients and their families. For example, in the last year, we settled a non-fatal drowning case for $3 million. On another occasion, we were able to achieve a policy limits settlement of $300,000 for a young man who injured his neck diving into a pool.  If you or someone you know has suffered a pool-related injury, contact us immediately for a free, no obligation, consultation.