Drowning is one of the worst things that can happen at a hotel pool. While not all drowning incidents lead to death, those who survive can suffer severe brain injuries that cause long-term disabilities.
If you or a loved one drowns at a hotel pool, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In Texas, you have only two years from the injury date to file a wrongful death or personal injury case.
Common Causes of Drowning at a Hotel Pool
In the United States, some statistics show that nearly 10 people die every day from drowning. Families on vacation are the most common victims of drowning accidents at hotels—with young children most often the victims of drowning in pools or hot tubs.
People can drown at hotels for several reasons, including the following:
- Lack of lifeguards or supervision
- Broken or missing pool gate or fence
- Inability to swim
- Defective pool ladders
- Poolside bars that serve guests to the point of intoxication
- Slippery tiles
- Broken steps
- Defective pool drains
- Broken diving boards
- Defective pool ladders
- Lack of proper signage
- Poor maintenance
Holding the Hotel Liable
As private entities, hotels owe a level of protection to individuals both inside and outside the property—including the pool area. Many hotels get complaints about their pool areas, but they often do nothing to fix the problems that guests report. The hotel can be held liable for a drowning accident if it could have done something to prevent it from happening.
If you or a loved one were hurt after a drowning accident, you may be able to file a premises liability claim. In Texas, the plaintiff (the injured person) must be able to establish the following:
- The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff.
- There was a breach of that legal duty.
- The damages happened because the defendant breached that legal duty.
You will need evidence to prove your case. This can include:
- Photos from the scene of the accident, including pictures of any hazards that existed
- Eyewitness statements from other hotel guests and family members who might have seen what happened
- The police report, if they were called to the scene
- Proof that you were staying at the hotel, such as receipts, purchase details, or bank statements
You should file an incident report with the hotel, but only after you have gathered evidence to support your case. The hotel might try to hide hazards that contributed to or caused the accident in an attempt to escape liability. Gather your evidence, and then contact a skilled attorney who can help with your personal injury or wrongful death case.
Damages to Which You May Be Entitled
Your claim against the hotel could include the following damages:
- Medical and hospital bills for the injured party
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering of the victim, or for the family members if the victim is deceased
- Applicable funeral and burial expenses
Not working with an attorney can negatively impact the amount of damages you might recover. The hotel’s insurance company will likely fight the claim by saying that the hotel was not liable or negligent. If they do agree to a settlement, they will try to pay as little as possible. An experienced attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you and your family deserve.
Contact The Button Law Firm
If you or a loved one were involved in a hotel pool drowning, The Button Law Firm can help. Don’t let the two-year statute of limitations run out before you make a claim against the hotel. If you are not yet ready to speak to an attorney but you have questions about personal injury cases, please download our FREE book, The Essential Guide for Your Texas Injury Case. If you’d like to schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office today.