Swimming pools at home are almost as common as alligators in Florida (1.2 million versus 1.33 million). Swimming pools can be dangerous. Over the past 20 years, Florida swimming pool deaths and injuries have outpaced those from alligator attacks. Drowning is actually the number one cause of death for children under 4. Children under 4 are the most likely to drown, and Florida has the highest number of drowning deaths in the country.
Our Tampa injury lawyers will explain that homeowners’ insurance policies usually DO cover injuries resulting from swimming pool accidents. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that claims will be straightforward or easy. A knowledgeable attorney can help you review the policy details. If serious injuries are involved you shouldn’t try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own. As we often tell our clients, insurance companies should always do the right thing. Insurance companies care more about their shareholders’ profits than they do about protecting policyholders who have suffered serious injuries on their properties.
Swimming pool injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. TBI is caused by blunt force trauma to the head. TBI is most commonly caused by falling in and around swimming pools. TBI can be caused by falling from heights, such as when you are misjudging a dive or running on wet tiles. Horseplay is another reason for falls.
- Water and electricity are dangerous, but you will find many electrical devices around Florida pools. Most modern devices are water-resistant and have very low chances of sustaining shocks from water contact. Pool lights, and other equipment, especially in older pools, have been linked to electrocution hazards in swimming pools. Swimming pool owners can be seriously injured if their wiring is defective or the lighting equipment fails.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. These injuries are most common in and around swimming pool areas. They can also occur in slip-and-fall incidents.
- Swimming pool drowning. Swimming pool drowning is one of the most serious and common accidents. Children younger than 5 years old are the most likely victims. However, adults can also drown. If pools aren’t sufficiently secure to stop children from swimming, drowning can happen. If there are electric currents in the water, strong swimmers can drown.
What Type Of Florida Swimming Pool Injuries Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover?
The specific language of your policy will determine if a swimming pool accident or death is covered by homeowners’ insurance. Pool injuries will likely be covered if there is insurance on the homeowner and the pool is present.
These policies may require homeowners to install or maintain safety features. New pools must meet certain safety and building codes. Even for older pools, it is common to expect that the pool will have a functional fence and a locking gate.
Florida swimming pools can be considered an “attractive nuisance” in Florida. This means that children under the age of 18 might be attracted to them, regardless of whether they have permission. Even though the child was trespassing, homeowners can still be held liable because property owners must keep tempting and dangerous features such as swimming pools out of reach of young children.
Are There Other Types Of Insurance Coverage?
A skilled injury lawyer can help you seek compensation from other types of insurance. An umbrella policy can offer additional coverage, for example. Although umbrella policies usually provide additional liability protection of $1 million, we will need to carefully review the terms.
If the loss exceeds the amount of all policies, the homeowner may be held personally responsible if he/she is negligent and has sufficient personal assets to justify the case.
This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann is an St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney She focuses on personal injury, car accidents, and bicyclist injury. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation.
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