Activities involving water are often fun and enjoyable, but water activities require extra precautions, especially when children are involved. Pools, water parks and watercrafts, such as boats and jet skis, are fun summer activities, but accidents due to inefficient safety warnings, human negligence, and faulty equipment can lead to severe injury or worse. Unfortunately, more children die every year in water-related injuries than any other traumatic injury. For this reason, every preventative precaution must be taken when comes to water activities.
Who is held accountable if you or your child has been injured in a water-related event due to negligence? Depending on the circumstances of the injury, different people could be liable for harm. Some of these include:
- Owner of the Property
- Aquatic Equipment Manufacturer
- Operator of Aquatic Recreation Facility
- Operator of Watercraft
- Those Responsible for Supervision
Safety precautions, reliable safety equipment, proper supervision and adherence to facility rules can result in an enjoyable time for those participating in aquatic-related activities. Not all water-related injuries are preventable, since someone else’s negligence may be at fault. Neither you nor your child should be injured due to the negligence of a facility owner, watercraft operator, equipment manufacturer or anyone else. Contact us today if you believe you have suffered injury due to negligence.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Private and public pools are also places where many water-related accidents occur. Nothing compares to an attentive adult supervising a pool, but to further prevent swimming pool accidents, listed below are 8 helpful safety tips to ensure a fun and safe day at the pool.
- Non-swimmers should always wear a life vest or a certified flotation device in a pool
- NO diving should take place off the edge of the pool. Depth markers are not always accurate to the transition slope of the pool.
- A certified lifeguard, trained in emergency response, should always be on duty and attentive at community pools, especially if children are swimming.
- Never go, or let your children go, down a waterslide headfirst. This is equivalent to diving off the edge of the pool but with less control.
- Residential pools should not have diving boards. Often residential pools are not deep enough and offer less supervision than a community pool. The same goes for waterslides.
- There should be no running or horseplay on the sides of pools. Slipping on the slick sides of pools can result in significant injury.
- Make sure life-saving equipment such as life rings and reaching poles are available.
- Make sure safety rules are predominately posted for both residential and community pools.
Specific rules that apply to operating a watercraft must be strictly adhered to, such as the number of life preservers for occupants. Incidents caused by an inexperienced or negligent operator can result in boating accidents, severe injuries, and drowning. Boating law requires safe and licensed operation. A reckless or negligent watercraft operator is in breach of boating law and can be held liable for injury.
Below is a safety checklist before leaving the dock. (Safety equipment required varies based on the size of the boat.)
- Check the boat capacity to make sure you do not overload the boat.
- Make sure you have a personal flotation device for every person on board
- Fire extinguisher
- Sound producing device (bell or whistle).
- Navigation lights
- Visual distress signal (ex. flares)
- Basic tool box and spares (ex. Fuel filter, light bulbs)
- At least one anchor and anchor line (2 or 3 extra dock lines in case of unusual conditions)
- Documentation (boat’s papers, fishing license etc.)
Jet Ski Accidents
“Jet Ski’s” and “Wave Runners” are considered personal watercrafts (PWC) and are subject to the same regulations as boats. A lanyard must be worn connected to the start/stop switch so the engine will stop if the operator falls off.
North Carolina PWC Regulations
- No person under the age of 14 can operate a PWC. There are additional restrictions for individuals under the age of 16
- Personal flotation devices have to be worn at all times while operating the PWC.
- Towing skiers requires and observer on the water craft or a rear view mirror.
- Operation that endangers others or property is considered reckless operation.
- Operation cannot take place between sunset and sunrise.
If you are searching for a boating or jet ski accident attorney the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood is a great resource for litigation information. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.