Summer is on the horizon in Massachusetts, and you can feel the excitement as many people head to the coasts for water activities. The water is a fun place to beat the heat and stay cool in the summer. Pools, lakes, oceans, and their activities are usually thought of as a fun and relaxing experience. What we don’t typically think of is the high level of risk involved in water accidents personal injury cases, with dangers such as chemical hazards and the possibility of being seriously injured, as life-threatening and fatal accidents are not uncommon. In order to keep having fun in these experiences, it’s important to understand the potential dangers and how to keep safe in preventing them.
Pools have a high liability, and many chose to forgo owning a pool due to this level of responsibility. Because pool owners and managers are liable by law to ensure that the pool area is safe for swimmers, many of these injuries or deaths are the result of negligence. Pool owners are required by law to have a fence around their pool, as well as other safety measures. On December 19, 2007, the Pool and Spa Safety Act was enacted by Congress and signed by President Bush. Under the law, all pools and spas are required to have compliant drain covers and safety vacuum release systems (SVRS), which can detect a blockage in the drain and immediately shut it off. If you sustain a pool injury, determine if the owner followed the legal requirements for pools in Massachusetts. Below are additional factors to be aware of to prevent life-threatening accidents.
- Unsupervised kids
- For the times when you are not using your pool, you must install a type of fence or gate that latches and locks, a pool cover that can be latched or secured, and an alarm that alerts the owners when there is movement near or in the pool.
- Not enough lifeguards for the number of people in the pool
- Pool accidents can occur in private homes, public pools, and private clubs; however, one thing remains constant
- If an injury results due to the negligence of the owner or management of a pool, the injured party may have a right to pursue a claim or lawsuit for the recovery of damages.
- Spinal Cord Injuries from Diving Accidents
- Head Injuries from Diving Accidents
- Brain Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Drain Cover Entrapments
- Slips and Falls
- Injuries from Defective Pool Equipment
Jet skis are capable of extreme speed, and inexperienced riders typically have access to them after watching an introductory training video at the rental office. There are so many horror stories associated with this water sport, you should exercise extreme caution when operating them. Take the below precautions to ensure you protect yourself:
- Wear a vest. Make sure the skier understands basic safety techniques while boating and skiing is an important place to start.
- Always wear the engine cutoff lanyard (kill cord). If you fall off the jet ski, the lanyard will automatically cut off the engine so the jet ski doesn’t ride into you
- Falling at High Rates of Speed
- Colliding with Objects like Poles, Docks, Buoys, Sand Bars or Debris.
- Collisions with Other Jet-Skis or Boats, Swimmers, Scuba Divers
- Accidents due to Inadequate Instructions
- Accidents due to Equipment Failure
- Concussion and head injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Broken wrists
Typically when renting water skis, an individual signs a waiver release that protects the company when a renter gets injured. Still, you have the opportunity to sue the company, particularly for negligence, or by suing jet ski rental company or manufacturer (must be defective, machine malfunction, the company did not adhere to state jet ski laws).
The legal term ‘assumption of risk’ may be raised as a defense, since you as the skier are voluntarily participating in a risky activity, under this the defense will try to tell you are not entitled to compensation in the activity and this could be covered in the liability waiver. Jet-ski defects, machinery malfunctions or the negligent operation of another jet-ski which caused the injury would in no way be covered by the “assumption of the risk” defense. This is why having an experienced attorney is crucial in your case.
Water tubing is a sport where people ride on an inner tube, which is pulled by a boat. The rising popularity of this sport is showing in the number of water-tubing accidents, which is concerning. Two decades ago, tubing accidents accounted for roughly 2,068 serious injuries. As of 2013, an annual 8,000 tubers are injured as a result of tubing accidents. According to a Nationwide Children’s Hospital study, tubing-related traumas have risen by 250 percent over the past twenty years.
Children and teens are more vulnerable, and accidents are often due to the boat operating companies’ failure to follow the basic safety guidelines relating to the number of riders allowed per tube, caution while operating the boat and providing personal floatation devices to riders. Other factors such as incorrect positioning, lack of directional control and velocity also contribute to such accidents. Learn more about how deadly this sport can be here and ways to prevent accidents.
As a rider, there is not much protection while you are riding at high speeds, and so there are many risk factors involved:
- If the tube collides with underwater plant life, jetsam or debris, or even a large wave crest, the tube can fling itself, and its passengers, high into the air.
- If you’re not properly secured within the tube, you risk falling out and painfully skipping across the water’s surface.
- High speeds
- Flimsy inflatable tubes
- Boat malfunctions and accidents
Injuries that can result:
- Head trauma
- 27% of all injuries are brain and head trauma-related, caused by water or physical object impact
- Joint and bone trauma
- Upper body trauma
- Soft tissue trauma
To prevent these types of incidents, know and respect your limits, being safe leads to more fun while avoiding tragedies.
Getting legal help
Establishing negligence can get complicated, this is when you’ll need the support of an experienced attorney to navigate your case to ensure you are substantially compensated.
If you’ve suffered serious tubing or water skiing injuries in Massachusetts, Tramontozzi Law Offices can help you recover the costs of your medical care and damages caused by someone else’s negligence.
By combining our resources, knowledge, and trial experience, we are able to provide you with the strongest chance of receiving the compensation you need for medical expenses, lost wages, and long-term care. If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool, jet ski, tubing or diving board accidents, and need help evaluating your case call us for your free consultation today.
At Tramontozzi Law, we have extensive experience in personal injury cases like this and would be happy to provide you with legal counsel.