Representing Clients Who Have Been Harmed by Unsafe Pool Conditions
Swimming in a pool or relaxing in a hot tub is fun for people of all ages. Yet there are numerous risks that come along with these activities. Unsafe conditions in pools or hot tubs can cause catastrophic injuries to swimmers that can sometimes be fatal. One such dangerous condition is the presence of drain covers that are not in compliance with safety laws. Tragically, many victims of these accidents are young children.
At the Chicago law firm of Abels & Annes, we are committed to helping injured victims and their families following a swimming pool accident caused by unsafe drain covers. We understand the law surrounding this issue and will protect your rights to the fullest extent. Call us today if you need assistance.
Drain Cover Safety and Risks
Considerable attention was given to the matter of drain cover safety after a young girl died when she became entrapped underwater by the suction of a hot tub drain. The federal law that followed in the wake of this accident is called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. In an attempt to prevent similar accidents, the act sets out strict safety guidelines for drain covers.
If the owner of a pool or hot tub fails to ensure that she has compliant drain covers, someone may accidentally become suctioned to the cover underwater. This can cause extremely serious injuries, such as organ evisceration, as well as death by drowning. Even if rescued, a victim will likely suffer severe brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. Needless to say, drain cover accidents are almost always tragic.
The Long-Term Consequences of Nonfatal Pool Drain Accidents
Individuals lucky enough to survive accidents caused by noncompliant or faulty pool drain covers often deal with significant medical issues for the rest of their lives. In many cases, these complications result in millions of dollars in medical expenses, force victims to live with around-the-clock medical care, and cause significant physical and cognitive limitations.
Faulty pool drains often create powerful suction that can trap a swimmer at the bottom of the pool if she gets too close to the drain. Serious and irreversible brain damage can occur within just five to 10 minutes of oxygen deprivation, so even those swimmers stuck underwater for a short period of time can experience life-altering injuries. Many people who sustain brain injuries due to lack of oxygen are unable to return to the life they had prior to their accident, and some may not be able to care for themselves.
Here are some of the more serious effects of brain injuries that are the result of oxygen deprivation:
- Weakness in the limbs, problems with balance, issues with coordination, and disturbances in movement. In addition, people who suffer anoxic brain injuries often experience spasticity, rigidity, tremor, and involuntary movements.
- The parts of the brain responsible for vision are particularly sensitive to a lack of oxygen, so many people injured in pool drain accidents end up with vision problems.
- Problems with executive function, such as the ability to understand complex information, make decisions, and reason. In general, people who have issues with executive function experience difficulty planning for the future and functioning in social or work environments.
- In some cases, a lack of oxygen can result in damage to structures in the brain that are responsible for the regulation of hormones. When this occurs, it can result in issues such as dry skin, weight gain, hypotension (low blood pressure), lowered sex drive, body temperature irregularities, tiredness, and headaches.
Because these issues can last for a lifetime and have a substantial impact on daily life, victims are often entitled to receive significant compensation. For this reason, anyone who has been hurt in an accident involving a pool drain cover should retain an attorney as soon as possible.
Pool Drain Cover Accidents Can Be Caused by Negligent Pool Owners
As is the case with any type of personal injury accident, in order for victims to recover, they must be able to determine whose negligence was the cause of their accident. Here are some of the ways that a pool drain cover accident can be the result of a pool owner’s negligence:
- The owner of the pool knowingly used a noncompliant drain cover
- The owner of the pool was aware of drain cover defect and used it anyway
- The owner of the pool did not perform regular maintenance that would have revealed damage to a drain cover
- The owner of the pool used a drain cover that was the wrong size or type for the pool or drain
These are just a few of the ways that a drain cover accident could be attributable to the negligence of a pool owner. Victims should always have the circumstances of their accident reviewed by a lawyer, even if it seems like the accident was unavoidable or the result of the victim’s own error.
Defective Pool Drain Covers and Product Liability
In some cases, a pool drain cover accident is the result of the negligence of the company that designed, manufactured, or marketed the product. When this occurs, victims can often recover for their losses by filing a products liability claim against the company whose negligence resulted in the defective product that caused the victims’ injuries. Some examples of product defects that could result in a serious drain cover accident include the following:
- The use of substandard materials
- An inherently dangerous design
- Mislabeling on the drain cover’s packaging
- Defective installation, use, or maintenance instructions
- Helping You Recover for Your Devastating Losses
If a drain cover accident victim survives, he may have devastating losses including medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent impairments, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Our attorneys can help victims seek compensation for these losses by filing a personal injury claim on their behalf and handling the entire legal process.
If a victim tragically passed away because of a drain cover accident, our Chicago wrongful death lawyers will represent the surviving family members in a wrongful death case. We can help the victim’s family receive the maximum amount of recovery it deserves from the parties responsible for this horrible event.
Call Our Chicago Drain Cover Injury Lawyers for Help
The swimming pool accident attorneys at Abels & Annes in Chicago understand the stress that can come from dealing with the consequences of a catastrophic drain cover accident. We are here to help, so please do not wait to call us for a free consultation at 312-924-7575.