Swimming pools and sliding boards sound like a lot of fun, until someone has an accident that leaves them with a residual lifelong physical or mental deficit due to a traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can occur when a swimmer hits their head, but they may not even appear to be injured at that time. The Centers for Disease Control defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults. If someone hits their head in a pool accident, all precautions to have them checked out must be taken.
Under a premise’s liability claim, homeowners who have pools can be liable for damages when someone has been invited to their home and suffers an injury. No matter where the swimming pool is located, a homeowner, or the owner or manager of the pool assumes responsibility for guests who use the pool. For example, a property owner or pool operator can be found liable for failing to provide a safe environment for people at the pool or failing to monitor the swimmers. When it comes to public pools in particular, federal law requires that public pools meet minimum safety standards, including maintaining safe drains and drainage systems in order to prevent drain entrapment and drowning. Additionally, homeowners are advised on conditions that should be maintained for optimal pool safety, and if they are breached by owner failure, the owner may be liable.
Manufacturers of pools and pool equipment including diving boards and slides; installers of pool equipment; and/or pool repair companies can also be found liable for injuries if the pool materials or equipment were defective, poorly-designed, or improperly installed.
Personal Injury Civil Suit Requirements in Indiana.
The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Indiana is 2 years and starts from the date of the injury. This is the time span a person has to initiate a legal claim for an injury.
Indiana is a modified comparative fault state meaning that you must be 50% or less at fault. If you are more than 50% at fault, you will not be able to make a personal injury claim in Indiana.
Liability and negligence will have to be proven by the injured party. The following types of damages can be pursued in a traumatic brain injury claim: 1) medical expenses, 2) loss of earning capacity, 3) pain and suffering, 4) emotional distress, 5) loss of enjoyment of life, and 6) loss of consortium. In some cases punitive damages can be awarded if the actions that led to the injury were extremely careless.
Burden of Proof.
In order to prove liability there has to be: 1) a duty of care, 2) a breach of that duty, 3) causation whereby breach of duty caused injury, and 4) damages resulting from the accident. Proving that the defendant was liable for your injuries may be enough to get your medical bills reimbursed, but it is not enough to prove a case for punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded in Indiana when the defendant has been malicious, reckless, and/or negligent in his behavior.
Hire an Attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident, a knowledgeable lawyer at Marshall P. Whalley & Associates can review your case and address the laws that support your concerns regarding compensation for medical treatment, rehabilitation; lost wages from work and out-of-pocket expenses incurred after the swimming pool injury; and damages for pain and suffering due to any negative impact and forced lifestyle changes.
Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC
51 W. 112th Avenue, Crown Point, IN 46307
Phone: 855-442-7211/219-769-2900 Fax: 219-769-2995
Email: [email protected]