Injured in a Public Pool
The last thing you expect if you or your family goes to a public pool is that an injury will occur. However, there are times when injuries happen due to the careless or negligent actions of a property owner or manager. When this occurs at a public pool, the property owner is typically a local government entity. Here, we want to discuss what you can do after you are a loved one sustain an injury at a public pool.
Common Types of Pool Injuries
Injuries that occur in and around a pool can happen in a wide variety of ways. First, the most common types of injuries around a pool or in a pool are physically traumatic in nature. This means that it is not uncommon for individuals to experience:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Lacerations or fractures
- Bruises or scrapes
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (often from diving into a shallow pool)
However, near-drownings and drownings do occur, and these incidents often lead to fatalities or long-term disabilities for those involved. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can see that have more children aged one to four die from drowning than any other cause of death aside from birth defects. For all children aged 1 to 14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death.
These types of injuries or drowning incidents can occur in any type of pool, including public pools operated by government entities in North Carolina.
Injured in a Public Pool – Can You Recover Compensation?
Recovering compensation after an injury at a public pool can be challenging. These are not like typical personal injury claims made against private individuals or companies. Filing a claim against a government entity in North Carolina involves an entirely different process established through the North Carolina Tort Claims Act (NCTCA).
Under this Act, the state of North Carolina waives its sovereign immunity, which means it allows itself to face a lawsuit if an employee or agent negligently causes harm during the course of its duties. This can include injuries caused at public swimming pools. The Act also allows for claims against county or local municipal governments.
When filing a claim against the state government, county government, or local municipal government, it must be done within three years from the date the injury occurred. If the incident resulted in a fatality, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years from the date of death. All claims must be filed with the state Industrial Commission.
It is important to point out that North Carolina follows a contributory negligence rule, which means that if an individual played any role in causing their injury, they will be unable to recover any compensation from the at-fault party, even if the other party is up to 99% responsible.
We strongly encourage any person injured at a public pool to work with a skilled premises liability lawyer knowledgeable in handling claims against government entities in this state. If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering damages, property damage expenses, lost wages, and more.
Call us today to speak with a Raleigh personal injury lawyer.