Many Georgia residents take refuge from the heat or unwind from a busy day by going for a swim. But swimming poses certain risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people in the United States drown each day. Atlanta premises liability lawyer Terrence R. Bethune can help if you or a member of your family was hurt in a swimming pool accident.
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HOLD GEORGIA PROPERTY OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR NEGLIGENCE
Owners of property have special responsibilities. The level of care an owner must exercise depends on the status of who is on the premises. For people invited there for a business purpose, also called invitees, property owners must exercise reasonable care to keep the property and its approaches safe. A hotel guest, store customer, or restaurant patron is an example of someone in this category.
For social guests, also called licensees, property owners are charged with a slightly lesser duty. They must avoid exposing social guests to hidden or non-obvious dangers about which the owner knows or should know. A person invited to a party at a neighbor’s house is a social guest.
A swimmer who is in either of these categories can seek compensation for any injuries caused by a pool accident. To prevail in such a case, the victim must prove several essential elements.
First, the victim must prove his or her status as an invitee or licensee, which will, in turn, determine the pool owner’s duty of care. The next task consists of showing that the property owner breached the required level of care. A burned-out safety light or a missing pool filter cap may constitute a breach of the duty that a pool owner owes a guest.
Even if property owners do not know about the hazardous condition, they may still be held liable. People in control of premises such as a swimming pool must make a reasonable inspection of their property to keep guests safe. If the injured swimmer was a social guest, the pool owner might have breached his duty if he or she knew that there was a hazardous condition on the property but failed to warn the guests. An example could be a pool owner who fails to clean up broken glass that he or she noticed in the pool.
Finally, the victim must show that the hazardous condition caused his or her injuries. This means that the accident would not have happened if not for the property owner’s careless conduct and that it was a reasonably foreseeable result of that carelessness. Any damages that arose from those injuries may be assigned to a defendant found liable in a premises liability lawsuit. These can include missed wages, hospital bills, and treatment costs as well as more subjective forms of damages such as pain and suffering.
Certain family members of someone drowned in a swimming pool may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their loved one’s behalf. This process can be more complex, so you should consult a knowledgeable attorney to explore your options if you are in this position.
SEEK GUIDANCE FROM AN ATLANTA INJURY LAWYER
Along with the privileges of property, ownership comes significant responsibilities. Pool owners who negligently cause a guest’s injury can be held accountable for their actions. If you fell victim to a swimming pool accident near Atlanta, the tireless personal injury attorney Terrence R. Bethune can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call 1-800-INJURED or visit our contact page to schedule a free case evaluation.