Posts made in May, 2015

Reduce The Amount Of Liability Your Pool May Pose

As summer quickly rolls around, pool owners are getting ready to open their pools. While those coming to swim may be looking to have a good time with their family and friends, they may not realize the potential risk that their local pool poses. As a pool owner, you will never be able to completely reduce the amount of risk that your pool poses, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your liability. This may keep you from having to defend a personal injury lawsuit in the future.

How Much Liability Does Your Pool Pose?

Your pool not only provides hours of enjoyment, but it produces a high amount of risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that approximately ten people die every day from some type of non-boating drowning accident. This makes drowning the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States. As you may imagine, many of these accidents take place at a pool. 

Drowning is not the only liability that your pool poses. There are several other risks involved. They are:

  • Strangulation – swimmers can easily become entangled in your pool cleaner lines, hoses, or pool toys.
  • Electrocution – your pool lights, as well as your equipment, can pose a risk of electrocution.
  • Spinal and neck injuries – every year, numerous injuries are incurred by swimmers who improperly dive, or dive into water that is too shallow.
  • Scrapes, bruises, and broken bones – when you combine wet, slippery surfaces with people who are not always paying close attention to what they are doing, you will always have a risk of falls, and more. 

Unfortunately, these are just a few of the areas of liability that your pool poses. Although you will never be able to eliminate all of the dangers that your pool presents, there are steps you can take to make sure your pool is as safe as it can be.

Make Safety Your Priority

As a pool owner, the most important thing that you always need to keep in mind is that safety always has to be your first priority. Here are some areas to consider, which may help you to reduce the risks to you, your family, and friends.

Make sure your pool has some type of fencing. Many of the newer freeform, and naturalistic pools on the market are being created without traditional styles of fencing. As a pool owner, this offers you a cleaner sight line, as well as more room around your pool,

Unfortunately, not fencing your pool offers a high level of security risk for people and animals in the area. Check your local ordinances to see what is required in your area. Many states, as well as cities, have ordinances and laws in place that will dictate if this is a requirement, as well as the height, and even the type of fencing, you are required to use.

Make sure your pool has the proper signage. Did you know that one of the easiest ways to reduce your level of liability, as well as protect your swimmers, is to ensure that you have the proper signs posted around your pool. Required signage also varies from state to state, and even if certain signs may not be required, they can be a good idea. You can find the information pertaining to your state here

Always ensure your swimmers are supervised. It does not matter how well a swimmer can swim, accidents can still happen. No one should ever swim alone. There should always be one or more persons who would not only be available to offer help, but to also call for emergency assistance.

Check your pool equipment – Make sure you keep all of your pool equipment repaired and in good working order. Keep any type of electrical appliances, entertainment systems, and more, out of the reach of the water. This will help to reduce the chances of any of your swimmers experiencing any type of electrocution.

Install non-slip surfaces around your pool – This will help to reduce the potential for slip and fall accidents.

Speak up when you see someone exhibiting unsafe behaviors  – Don’t worry about being called a party pooper when squashing horseplay and other unsafe behaviors. By doing so, you may eliminate potential dangers around your pool.

Hopefully, no one using your pool will ever experience a serious accident. If they do, make sure you have adequate liability insurance that pays for the costs that could arise from such a situation. This alone may keep you from facing a lawsuit in the future.

For more information about avoiding a lawsuit or how to handle one if they do occur, you’ll want to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. You can click for more info here. 

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3 Seemingly Random Things That Can Affect The Outcome Of Your Personal Injury Case

If you’re headed to court, it’s important for you to know that the facts of your case aren’t the only thing that will influence the outcome of the case. That can seem unfair when you’re the victim of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing – shouldn’t the court be focused on what happened to you? But human nature being what it is, judges and juries notice a lot more than just the facts that they’re given by experts and witnesses, and lawyers investigate more than just medical reports and insurance claims. As a result, your case can be made or broken by things that may not seem to have any bearing on the facts of the case at all. Take a look at three surprising things that can impact your personal injury case in court.

Your Clothes

In the days before you and your lawyer are scheduled to appear in the courtroom, your lawyer will probably give you some detailed instructions about how you need to dress on the day your trial starts. It’s important to pay close attention and follow your attorney’s instruction. You may think that it shouldn’t matter what you look like, but it does. If the jury sees you as unkempt or inappropriately dressed, they will take you less seriously, and they may be inclined to disbelieve your version of events. Avoid T-shirts, jeans, clothes that show a lot of skin, and anything inappropriate for the whether.

On the other hand, you don’t want to go too far in the other direction. This is not the best time to break out your designer suit or haute couture dress, and you need to leave any obvious and showy jewelry at home. If the jury perceives you as being too well off, they may feel jealous, and that’s not good for you. The last thing you want is for a jury to decide that you have enough already and don’t need the compensation you’re looking for.

Your Social Media Accounts

The very best thing you can do for yourself during a lawsuit is take down your social media accounts, or at least make them private, and don’t share them with anyone new unless you’re sure that you know them. Just as it’s a common thing for employers to search for your public social media profiles before they hire you, it’s also a common thing for lawyers to search for your public social media profiles when you’re suing their clients.

Your words can be taken out of context and used by the defense to show that you’re not as injured as you claim, especially if you post about an activity that you attended or anything at all about your medical treatment. Photos of yourself can also be used against you. Not only do you need to be careful about your social media postings, your friends do as well – ask them not to tag you in photos or mention you in posts while the lawsuit is ongoing. Even an old photo can be construed as new – and evidence that your claims are false – in front of a jury. Social media posts can also anger a judge. One man lost an $80,000 settlement when the judge ruled that his daughter’s social media post proved that he’d broken the confidentiality agreement that was required for him to receive the settlement.

Your Group Membership

Studies have shown that people are significantly more likely to help strangers when they identify that stranger as being part of the same group that they’re in. For example, study subjects who were a fan of a particular soccer team were more likely to help an injured stranger when that stranger was wearing the T-shirt of their favored soccer team. And they were more likely to help an injured stranger when that stranger’s clothing identified them as a soccer fan, regardless of team affiliation, than when the stranger wore neutral clothing.

How does this translate to court? During jury selection, your lawyer may have the opportunity to find out a little bit about the people who are sitting on your jury. Your lawyer can then use that information to emphasize information about you that will resonate with your jury. It’s important that you understand why your lawyer might be choosing to highlight some seemingly insignificant part of your personal history or daily life. The fact that you’re a small business owner, for example, may be irrelevant to the facts of your car accident. But if the jury foreman is also a small business owner, it could be very relevant to the outcome of your case.

One thing that’s even more important than these factors is your attorney’s knowledge of these factors. Because your case can sometimes be influenced by such seemingly unrelated elements, it’s important that you choose an experienced trial lawyer who understands how to win in a courtroom, not just how to settle a case.

For more information, contact experienced personal injury attorneys in your area. 

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May 2015
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