Hamilton Swimming Pool and Drowning Lawyers
A child drowning or near-drowning accident is a horribly traumatic and devastating time for a child’s family. More often than not, drownings and near drowning incidents are almost always preventable. Property owners have an affirmative duty to protect visitors against foreseeable dangers by inspecting and maintaining pool fences, gates and locks in good working order to prevent unauthorized or unsupervised use of hotel pools, residential pools and spas.
Children’s drowning accidents may be caused by several things, including the negligence of individuals entrusted with a child’s care or the negligence of owners of establishments in which bodies of waters are located, or defects in pools in which children swim.
People that own pools have a duty to protect children – their own and of others – by inspecting and maintaining pool fences, gates and locks in good working order to prevent unauthorized or unsupervised use of pools. This means not only locking doors and patio doors, gates and any access to a pool but also keeping them in a state of good and reasonable repair. Public pool operators also need to abide by the same standard. They must, in addition, inspect and properly maintain pool or hot tub drain covers, hire qualified life guards, post warning signs, as well as provide appropriate life saving equipment.
Legal Liability for Pool and Water Fatalities in Ontario
The Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act imposes duties on home owners and owners of pools and hot tubs and other bodies of water to take reasonable care to protect children (and all visitors) and ensure that precautions are taken to ensure that their visitors are reasonably safe and protected. The duty is an affirmative one, which, in drowning cases, will no doubt mean that a person in charge of a pool or other bodies of water should have procedural safeguards to protect their visitors (and unwanted visitors) from foreseeable harm. If a homeowner is negligent in keeping the pool area safe and inaccessible, or he fails to supervise children in his pool, then he could be liable for injuries suffered in or around the pool.
In addition, owners of swimming pools or hot tubs on private property, including apartment complexes and condominium associations are likewise required to protect against foreseeable risks by taking appropriate safety measures to prevent accidental child drownings and may be held liable for failing to do so by maintaining:
- Inadequate fencing
- Broken or unsecured gate latches
- Inadequate warning signs
- Inadequate supervision of children
- Proper repair of defective drains, pumps and other components
- Allowing people diving into shallow water
- Unmarked or poorly marked pool depth
- Failure to cover the swimming poo
- Improper safety warnings
- Diving board accidents
- Water slide accidents
Experienced Lawyers for Drowning Cases in Ontario
A child that suffers a non-fatal submersion injury that results in a brain injury may require lifelong critical care. It is imperative that a timely filing of a case follows the near-death accident to ensure that there will be available funds for the future recovery and rehabilitation of the pool accident victim. Fault and liability issues in swimming pool accident cases can be complex and challenging.
If you have lost a loved in in a pool drowning accident, our Hamilton Lawyers serving Ontario will carefully investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death to determine the level of negligence on the part of the property owner or another party caused the accident. Our Hamilton lawyers are dedicated to helping you obtain justice and compensation for the losses you have suffered. Please call us at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours. Consultations are free and we will never ask you for money upfront.