Pool and Swimming Accidents in Texas

As the weather starts warming up in Texas, it is getting closer to the opening of most swimming pools.  Vacations and trips to beaches, hotels, water parks, and public pools will become more frequent.  An unfortunate result of this is an increase in drowning and near drownings.  Swimming accidents can occur at any place where water activities take place.  For instance, hotel pools, the beach, water parks, public pools, private pools, apartment complex pools, lakes, and more.  Pool safety is paramount, especially for young children. 

What is Drowning?

“Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid. Drowning is not always fatal.”

Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Drowning Facts (2022), available at https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html

Key facts about swimming accidents and drownings:

  • A leading cause of death for young children is drowning.
  • Even near drowning accidents can cause serious health issues (including brain damage) and result in long stays in the hospital, with approximately 40% of ER visits for drowning leading to hospitalization or transfer for further medical care.
  • In the United States, there are approximately 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings every year.  There are also around 8,000 nonfatal drownings every year.
  • Among children ages 1-4, most drownings happen in home swimming pools. About 30% of drownings for children ages 5-13 happen in pools.

Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Drowning Facts (2022), available at https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html

safety lifeguard at public swimming pool

Common Causes of Pool and Swimming Accidents:

  • Slip and Falls
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Inadequate fencing/barriers
  • Absent, untrained, or negligent lifeguards
  • Lack of proper pool maintenance
  • Lack of or damaged safety equipment
  • Broken or absent pool ladders 
  • Lack of warnings
  • Poor pool lighting

Common Injuries in Pool and Swimming Accidents:  

Who is liable for an injury at a swimming pool?

In Texas, public pool owners have a duty of care to ensure the pool is safe for its patrons.  Therefore, public pool owners can be held liable if they fail to provide or maintain proper safety equipment, fail to provide proper pool maintenance, fail to warn of potential dangers (ex. water too shallow for diving), or hire untrained/negligent lifeguards.  They also have a responsibility to provide fencing or barriers to the pool to prevent unauthorized access to the pool. An unlatched pool gate, damaged fence, or lack of any fencing around the pool could make an owner liable for an accident or injury.

Examples of public pools: 

  • Hotels
  • Recreation Centers
  • Gyms
  • Waterparks
  • Apartment Buildings

Private pool owners also have a duty of care to those invited to use their swimming pool.  They must provide warnings of hidden dangers, ensure supervision of those using the pool, and ensure the pool is adequately fenced.

Legal Options For Swimming Injuries in Texas

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at a pool or in a swimming accident, you should contact our personal injury attorney today at 214-575-6060.  All case consultations are free and we can help you determine your next steps to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.