Given the beautiful weather in the Sunshine State, it is no surprise that swimming pools are common across Florida. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 1.1 million swimming pools in Florida. While the majority of property owners include the necessary safety features when putting in a swimming pool. Swimming pools still present a significant hazard, especially to children.
Because swimming pools are so popular, there are a correspondingly high number of Florida personal injury and wrongful death claims based on Florida swimming pool accidents. Realizing that drowning is the leading cause of death among Florida children, lawmakers passed the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (RSPSA).
The RSPSA acknowledges that the most effective way to avoid a drowning death is supervision by a responsible adult. Of course, many Florida swimming pool accidents occur without an adult being present. This often occurs when a child is able to make their way to the pool unbeknownst to adults. Thus, the RSPSA requires that all Florida swimming pools contain at least one of the following safety features:
- A fence that is at least four feet tall and not easily opened or climbed over;
- Exit alarms on all doors and windows;
- An approved safety cover; or
- Latches at 54 inches or higher on all exterior doors that lead directly to the swimming pool.
While the RSPSA applies only to swimming pools that were built after 2000, all residential swimming pools should be equipped with at least one of these safety features.
If a pool owner is found in violation of the RSPSA, they can be charged with a criminal offense. In the event that someone is seriously injured or dies as a result of a property owner’s failure to meet the safety requirements above, the pool owner’s failure to comply with the requirements of the RSPSA can be the basis of a Florida personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, a pool owner’s failure to comply with the RSPSA is considered negligence per se.
It is important to note, however, that a parent who fails to supervise their own child may also be considered partially at fault. Under Florida’s comparative negligence scheme, a partially at-fault plaintiff may still be able to recover for their injuries, however, their recovery amount will be reduced by their own percentage of fault.
Anyone who has a child who has been injured in a Florida swimming pool accident should consult with a dedicated South Florida injury attorney. There are many other rules and regulations regarding the safe use of swimming pools that may be the basis for a Florida swimming pool accident case.
Has Your Child Been Injured in a Florida Swimming Pool Accident?
If you have a child or elderly loved one who has drowned in a Florida swimming pool accident, contact the dedicated South Florida injury lawyers at Friedman Rodman & Frank. At Friedman Rodman & Frank, we represent families who have lost loved ones in Florida swimming pool accidents. We have extensive experience handling these cases, and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation today.