Along with all the fun days at the pool, picnics and trips to the park, each summer comes with a host of preventable tragedies as well.

The Arizona premises liability lawyers at Wattel & York urge everyone to stay safe this summer, especially at the pool where injuries are common to occur. When accidents do happen, it’s also important to know your legal rights.


According to the CDC, 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day – with two of the 10 under 14 years of age. Among those ages 1-14, accidental drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, next to motor vehicle crashes.

Causes of accidents include:

  • Lack of appropriate barriers:A four-sided barrier fence reduces drowning risk by 83%, compared to a three-sided fence.
    • Lack of appropriate supervision: Of drowning victims ages 4 and under, 70% are in the care of at least one parent at the time, and 75% are “missing” from sight for less than five minutes.
    • Premises liability: About 5% of wrongful death claims can be traced back to premises liability, where the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining a safe environment.


After a terrible accident, those close to the victims typically replay the events over in their mind many times trying to determine what could have been done differently to prevent the incident from ever occurring. Nothing is worse than knowing a tragedy could have been prevented.

Sometimes investigators find property owners liable for injuries. Filing a lawsuit can never bring back a loved one or undo the injuries that have occurred, families and victims may be entitled to compensation if negligence was a factor in the accident.

In the case of swimming pool accidents specifically, Wattel & York point out some of the hallmarks of a strong claim:

  • Non-slip surfaces are not provided and guests are not warned of possible unsafe conditions.
  • There is lack of security around the pool, including fences, gates or lifeguards.
  • A designated caregiver was not watching the children at the time of the accident.
  • Faulty or poorly-maintained equipment contributed to the accident.
  • The pool did not meet state and local codes for safety standards.
  • Pool depth was not clearly marked.
  • Safety information was not posted.
  • The pool was open at night, but poorly lit.


When an accident occurs, the first concern should always be getting prompt medical care for the injured person. Avoid heated arguments and finger-pointing occur at the scene. Before giving a statement to insurance companies, victims might consider seeking legal advice. At Wattel & York, consulting an attorney is free of charge and ensures that your rights are not infringed upon. Generally speaking, you have up to two years from the time of the incident to file a swimming pool accident lawsuit in Phoenix.

As the medical bills begin to come in and doctors offer their assessments of the injuries sustained, it’s important to keep an organized record of all that has happened. We can assist you in the process of gathering evidence and testimony, work with insurance companies and third parties on your behalf, and seek the compensation you deserve through the court system.

Our attorneys have served Tucson, Glendale, Phoenix AZ and the surrounding area for over 45 years. Call 1-877-333-9545 for a free case evaluation.

CDC – Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts – Premises Liability


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