Pool-related injuries in Florida are more common than other states.  Florida homeowners are responsible for the conditions on their property including pools. Access to pools, whether authorized or not, can relate to injuries and deaths.


 

Back injuries.

Back injuries can be considered catastrophic injuries if they result in spinal cord damage.  A lower back injury may adversely affect one or both lower extremities impeding muscle function revealing spinal cord involvement.  Spinal cord injuries can be extremely damaging, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills for surgery, medical devices, and rehabilitation.  The inability to work, drive or engage in normal activities of daily living can cause serious and negative lasting effects.

 
A back injury such as 1) a herniated disc, 2) a strain or sprain, or 3) fractured vertebrae can cause devastation to an injured person’s quality of life and financial stability, as well as their emotional stability, which is why a personal injury claim, due to negligence should be reviewed by a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

Claim of negligence.

Determining responsibility is a matter for experts who deal with slip and fall injuries.  In the case of a pool accident, it falls under premises liability law and is the legal responsibility of the property owners to make certain that there were no hazardous conditions causing your fall and subsequent back injury.  Since you were invited to swim at your neighbor’s pool you are considered a “licensee” and as such the homeowner owes you a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury.  Deciding if they were in breach of those duties is how negligence is determined and falls under premises liability laws.

What should I do after a back-injury accident in a pool?

  1. Immediately seek medical treatment so the injury is not worsened by your lack of knowledge on its severity.
  2. Document all information regarding treatment, hospitalizations, recommended procedures and surgeries.
  3. Record lost wages information, due to the inability to work.
  4. Record costs of special items necessary to attend to the changes the injury has caused.
  5. Seek legal representation to navigate the insurance claims necessary to cover your injury costs and related losses.

Florida Laws regarding compensation for a back injury caused by a fall.

In Florida, the courts award both punitive damages and/or compensatory damages.  Compensatory damages are those that will compensate a victim for a loss that can be measured or calculated; and punitive damages are some form of punishment to the person who caused the damage and are rare in personal injury situations unless the injury was a purposeful wanton act to cause the damage or injury.

Compensatory damages are classified as economic or non-economic.

Economic damages include: 1) medical expenses, 2) estimated costs of future medical expenses, 3) related household expenses for activities you have to hire someone to do now because you cannot, 4) costs related to life change of plans (e.g. paid for vacation you have to cancel), 5) lost income due to injury, 5) lost future earnings due to forced career change, or inability to work again, 6) loss of services or support (e.g. homemaker can no longer take care of family so someone will have to be hired at a cost), and funeral expenses related to loss of life due to the dangerous condition.
Non-economic damages include loss that is not financial in nature such as: 1) anxiety, 2) pain and suffering; 3) loss of capacity to enjoy life; and 4) inconvenience caused by the accident.

Hire a Lawyer.

Attorney Mario Trespalacios will be able to review your case and determine if the elements of negligence exist toward a personal injury claim.
Mario Trespalacios P.A.
9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173
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Phone: (305) 261-5800
[email protected]
 
Sources:
https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/Chapter768
https://www.mtpalegal.com/miami-back-injury-lawyer/