Articles Posted in Swimming Pool Accident


Celebrating the Fourth of July is one of the best ways to welcome summer. This national holiday in the United States is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. There are numerous ways to have fun on the Fourth of July, including outdoor events like pool parties, backyard BBQs, and fireworks displays. If safety is not prioritized at these events, the holiday can also bring about catastrophe.

These Fourth of July safety recommendations from our personal injury attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you enjoy Independence Day safely.

The Most Dangerous US Holiday

Over the Fourth of July weekend, the National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that over 619 people will pass away on the road and over 70,600 will have nonfatal injuries for which they will seek medical attention. The Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday of the year in the United States, and it is not only because of traffic accidents. When everyone is in the mood to party with explosives and safety is put on the back burner, unintended injuries and mishaps can happen in a matter of seconds.

Additionally, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year is the one before the holiday. Accident risk is multiplied as a result of increased traffic and airport passenger flow. Add alcohol and/or drugs to this and you have a recipe for disaster.

Untitled-design-44-200x300Fireworks Safety: Know the Laws

On the Fourth of July, Roman candles, airborne fireworks, fountains, and other novelty firecrackers are allowed to be set off in Florida. On all other days of the year, all loud or projectile fireworks are strictly forbidden.

You can read more about fireworks safety here.

Grill and Burn Injuries

On July Fourth, careless use of pyrotechnics is the primary cause of most burn injuries. Over the holiday, improper grilling can also result in life-threatening burn injuries. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that from 2017 to 2021, there were 22,155 emergency room visits annually as a result of grill-related injuries.

Here are a few grill safety tips that can keep you and your guests safe this Fourth of July holiday:

  • Never leave a grill unattended. Always make sure an adult is watching any open flames—preferably someone who is sober.
  • Place the grill outside in a well-ventilated location at least 10 feet away from buildings, trees, or anything else that can easily catch fire.
  • Do not light coals that are already on fire with lighter fluid.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.


If you or someone you love suffers a burn injury as a result of someone else’s careless behavior, make sure to you make getting medical care your number one priority and then contact our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton.

Pool Safety

A backyard pool party can increase the excitement of a Fourth of July party and keep everyone cool from the heat of the summer. However, if the necessary precautions to ensure safety are not taken, swimming pool mishaps can happen.

Make sure all younger swimmers are well watched while in the water, and forbid any rough play. When planning a pool party, consider the level of experience of each swimmer. Any games and pool gadgets that pose serious safety dangers should be banned. Additionally, make sure there are enough of life jackets and other flotation devices that are Coast Guard approved are available in case of emergency.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when having people over for a pool party:

  • Never allow someone to swim alone. It is always better to have another person nearby who can assist in case there is a drowning incident.
  • Never run near the pool. This is one of the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents.
  • Never dive. Most backyard swimming pools are not deep enough for safe head-first diving.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to what is going on around you so you can help, if needed, or take the right precautions to prevent any injuries.
  • Have a CPR-trained adult present in the case of emergency.
  • Try to keep people away from the pool who are obviously drunk.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett lost his 2-year-old daughter in a drowning accident at their home swimming pool Sunday, according to investigators.

Officers arrived at the family’s swimming pool in the Beach Park district of south Tampa shortly before 9:30 a.m. after receiving a call about a toddler who had fallen into a pool.

Barrett’s youngest child was rushed to the hospital, but ultimately died.

According to the police report, the inquiry is still ongoing. It is believed that this was an accidental, tragic incident.

Barrett, 30, and his wife also have three more kids.

Barrett, who missed the second half of last season due to a damaged Achilles tendon, is entering his fifth year with Tampa Bay after completing his first four seasons with the Denver Broncos.

Untitled-design-27-200x300The most frequent type of injury that results from swimming pool mishaps is drowning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional injury death in children between the ages of one and fourteen. Most of these drownings take place in family swimming pools.

Florida had the highest rate of unintentional drowning deaths among children aged 1 to 4 in the United States from 2018 to 2020, according to the Florida Department of Public Health. Here is the breakdown of the number of children under the age of 5 in Florida who drowned in the past few years:

  • 2019 – 50 children
  • 2020 – 60 children
  • 2021 – 75 children

Premises liability is a subset of personal injury law that covers accidents that happen on either public or private property and includes swimming pool mishaps. In circumstances involving premises liability, you may bring a lawsuit against the property owner if their carelessness contributed to or caused your damage.

Who Is Responsible for a Drowning Disaster in a Swimming Pool?

Whether the pool is public or private, the property owner is typically responsible. A municipality may be held responsible in the case of a public pool.

The owner of a private swimming pool is liable when a drowning accident occurs on their property. Typically, an insurance claim would be made against the homeowner’s insurance policy.

Depending on the accident’s cause, other responsible parties may also include a pool maintenance firm or a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a defective product.

Our Florida Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton assist victims and their families in holding negligent pool owners responsible. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your suffering, including:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of ability to enjoy life
  • Punitive damages
  • Other wrongful death damages

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July Fourth weekend is upon us and there may be no better way to spend the summer holiday than surrounded by your family and friends taking in fireworks, grilling, swimming, or even boating in one of Florida’s abundant waterways. As most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, this year’s Fourth of July festivities will be in full swing. As you and your family/friends prepare for a fun-filled weekend, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to also think about your safety and plan accordingly. Here are some tips for staying safe this holiday weekend: 

#1: Fireworks Should Be Left to Professionals

Sparklers and other common fireworks can be quite dangerous when used incorrectly. Sparklers are usually thought to be harmless, but did you know that these handheld fireworks can reach smoldering temps of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit? Such high temps can easily lead to severe burn injuries, especially for children handling these without supervision. We want you and your loved ones to remain safe this Fourth of July, so please take in a professional fireworks show instead of attempting to light your own fireworks. 


The parents of a 2-year-old boy who drowned in a Baker County retention pond in April are suing the owner of the property, claiming he failed to install fencing that might have protected their son.

The toddler was found in the pond April 23 after he wandered away from the apartment where he was being watched by his 18-year-old sister while their parents were at work. A neighbor tried to revive the little boy with CPR, but he died at Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital in Macclenny.

The boy died days before his 3rd birthday.

According to court documents, the property owner did not have proper fencing as required by building permits.

The property owner applied Jan. 13, 2016, to the St. Johns River Water Management District for a permit for construction of the retention pond to be used for stormwater treatment, court documents show.

The plans for the retention pond were part of a nearly four-acre storage facility.

Plans submitted to the district detailed the construction of a 6-foot fence with a self-latching gate. A permit for construction was issued two weeks later on Jan. 27, 2016.

The man subsequently built the retention pond, which was completed in March 2017. However, the property owner did not install the fence as detailed in the construction plans, according to reports.

Children are attracted to water placing them at a greater risk of being involved in a drowning or near-drowning incident. Due to this, the law recognizes additional duties that owners of ponds, pools, hot tubs, and other bodies of water must take to protect children. Private property owners as well as public entities that do not take these precautions can be liable for a child’s injuries or death that occur on the property.

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A 2-year-old boy drowned Saturday afternoon after he wandered into the pool at his Westside home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The boy’s father and stepmother were with him at the home.

The boy’s father went to check on the boy Saturday afternoon, thinking the toddler was asleep in his room. When he wasn’t there, the father looked for him and found the boy in the backyard pool, quickly pulling him out and beginning CPR.

When firefighters arrived, they continued CPR and took the boy to Orange Park Medical Center, where he died.

Police said the in-ground pool was gated and there were several obstacles to the child getting to the pool, but they were ones the toddler could get through, like a screen door.

There have been 43 reported drownings over the last six years reported to the Department of Children and Families since 2012 in Jacksonville.

Police are investigating the incident, but no foul play is suspected. The Department of Children and Families will be notified.

There are approximately 3,300 drowning deaths per year, according to a report by the CDC. That means there are an alarming 10 deaths per day nationwide. One in five of these drowning deaths involve a child. Tragically, almost all drowning deaths in swimming pools are the result of negligence and are entirely preventable.

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The 4th of July is officially upon us! Most people are focused on planning barbecues, fireworks, pool parties and drinking right about now. While there is nothing wrong with a good party, Independence Day festivities can sometimes lead to severe injuries. What you may not even know is that the 4th of July is one of the deadliest holidays. However, most of the injuries suffered on this holiday are entirely preventable.  

Being aware of the most common injuries can help you avoid them. When you know what to look out for, you can take extra safety precautions and be prepared. The following is a breakdown of the injuries seen on the 4th of July holiday:  

Car Accidents

The National Safety Council estimated that 466 people were killed and 53,600 more suffered serious injuries in auto accidents during the three-day 4th of July holiday period last year. Sadly, this was an all-time record.

Drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents. If you plan to drink this 4th of July, please make alternative plans for getting home safe. There are too many outlets nowadays (Uber, Lyft, taxis, DDs, etc.) for you to not be able to avoid driving drunk. If you cannot find a ride, then stay put! Don’t jeopardize your life or anyone else’s because you had too much to drink.  

Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks are fun, but also quite dangerous! If you want our advice: leave the fireworks to the professionals!

If you’re planning a holiday fireworks show, you  should be aware that not all fireworks are legal in Florida. Even if you see it at a store or roadside stand, this does not mean that it is legal to buy or use it.

The only fireworks legal for use by consumers who don’t possess a special permit are sparklers. If you’re unsure of what fireworks are legal, the Florida Fire Marshall publishes a full list of legal sparklers each year, and you can view the list here.

Please keep in mind that in Florida, possession or use of illegal fireworks is classified as a misdemeanor. Violating this law can result in fines up to $1,000 and up to one year behind bars.

Heat Stroke

It is hot! If you stay outside too long in the hot sun, you could be at risk for dehydration and heat stroke. If you feel weak, faint, confused, dizzy, or have a headache, this is a sign to get to a shaded area and drink some water.  

Swimming Injuries

Swimming and alcohol do not mix. When people become drunk and are near large bodies of water or a swimming pool, they can make poor judgement calls that can result in serious injuries, or even death.

Make sure all children are supervised by an adult when swimming. Drowning accidents and other tragedies can occur in the blink of an eye.

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Police say a 5-year-old boy drowned in a backyard swimming pool at a Jacksonville home.

Neighbors called the homeowner Wednesday afternoon after a child went missing. The homeowner was working nearby so he checked his backyard surveillance video on his cellphone and saw a child in the pool. He called 911 and rushed home.

According to reports, the man pulled the boy from the pool and rescue workers rushed him to the hospital.

The child lived around the corner from the home with the pool. The homeowner said the yard is fully fenced in but because of rescuers coming and going it was difficult to tell whether the gate had been secured.

Swimming pools are intended to be areas for play, parties and a summer of outdoor fun. Sadly, swimming pools can also be the reason behind a family’s greatest tragedy. It takes just a few seconds for a near-drowning and drowning accident to change a person’s life and a family’s future.

If you have a pool on your property there are several ways you can keep the area safe for children. The most important thing is to install several types of protective equipment.  A pool fence that is the correct height to prevent children from climbing over them, and a pool cover is essential. When installing a pool fence,  it needs to be four sided and it must lock and latch correctly.  A pool cover should be installed so that even if a child gets in, the cover can prevent them from falling into the water. The cover should be able to withstand the pressure of a falling child so that it does not buckle beneath them.

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Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to wish everyone a very happy Fourth of July! The Fourth of July holiday is usually centered around fun, and many of us celebrate the long weekend with friends and family, but like many other holidays, risks of accidents and injuries tend to increase during this time.

To help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe this weekend, we would like for everyone to review the below safety tips:

Firework Safety

Many people around the state of Florida want to light of a few fireworks of their own, regardless of the fact that Florida law prohibits any fireworks that fly through the air or explode — such as Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars — for recreational use. If you plan to light off your own, remember these important tips:

  • Always follow instructions and never provide fireworks to small children.
  • Use fireworks in a safe area and never throw or point fireworks toward people, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
  • Do not light multiple fireworks at once and never attempt to relight a “dud” firework that did not go off the first time.

Drunk Driving

Sadly, drunk driving accidents, injuries, and deaths are consistently high during Fourth of July weekend. If you plan on celebrating ‘Merica’s Birthday with a few cocktails, make sure to drink responsibly or plan a safe ride home. Designate a sober driver, or call a cab or transportation service like Uber or Lyft. Remember, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for drunk and/or drugged motorists.

Grilling Safety

Barbecues are always a Fourth of July staple. Did you know that numerous people suffer injuries when barbecuing on charcoal and gas grills? Make sure to never grill indoors,  refrain from adding lighter fluid when charcoal has already been ignited, and always follow instructions.

Water Safety

It’s hot in Florida! Most Floridians and visitors to our state will be by the beach, lake, or enjoying the water at backyard pool parties this weekend. When having fun near or in the water, safety should be your top priority. Adults should always supervise children and you should drink responsibly, as well as have an emergency action plan in case something goes awry.

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A 3-year-old boy drowned Tuesday night at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, according to deputies.

The call came in around 8 p.m. to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies claim the boy got separated from his parents and drowned in the pool. He was transported to Celebration Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The family was visiting from New York.

6989405560_761828d79f_zFlorida, especially the Orlando and central Florida area, is home to a great number of water parks. Children of all ages love water parks, and they are an ideal destination for many families who enjoy the wave pools, slides and fun. However, if waterparks are not properly operated or staffed, they can be quite dangerous, especially for young or inexperienced swimmers. Children can easily get trapped by drains that are missing their covers or they can hit their heads while on a slide other ride and become incapacitated in the water.

Waterpark operators have a legal responsibility to take adequate steps to ensure the water park is free from any hazards. This may include making sure the rides are built, maintained and inspected properly. Additionally, this also includes ensuring that drains are working properly and safety equipment is in working condition. Water parks must also ensure they are staffed accordingly. They must have enough lifeguards, and these lifeguards must be properly trained to perform their duties.

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When a serious injury or wrongful death happens due to an amusement park accident, a thorough investigation needs to be conducted. While amusement parks, including waterparks, have plenty of insurance and plenty of lawyers to protect them when accidents arise to keep the blame away from them, having your own personal injury lawyer can be essential to the outcome of your case. Having good legal counsel in your corner can help you you recover the rightful compensation you need.

Kentucky Kingdom’s Hurricane Bay is currently the subject of two lawsuits alleging that staff allowed customers to use the wrong inner tube for a certain water slide. Two patrons have come forward and filed suits against Kentucky Kingdom for injuries that occurred after falling out of the slide.

3742344019_02fc3b4182_zThe lawsuit claims that improperly sized inner tubes were the culprit in these two cases. Both allege they were given “the wrong size inner tubes,” which resulted in them tipping over and becoming injured.

It’s not entirely clear which ride the pair were on when they were injured, but the lawsuit clearly states that they blame Kentucky Kingdom and its staff for their injuries. One of the injury victims suffered a shoulder injury after the fall while the other suffered a head injury “which causes her seizures,” according to reports.

If it can be demonstrated that the Hurricane Bay ride’s operators were in fact negligent in giving the two individuals the wrong-sized inner tubes, Hurricane Bay could be found liable for the injuries that resulted. Negligent operation of rides as well as the improper maintenance of a ride are quite common ways for theme parks to be found liable in these types of cases.

If you or a loved one was injured at an amusement park or water park, a Florida Amusement Park Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help. Our team of attorneys work with experts to determine exactly how the accident happened. Additionally, we enlist the help of medical and financial experts to document the full scope of injuries, the long-term consequences and the full financial costs associated with an amusement park accident.

Amusement park rides and water slides must be designed properly, regularly inspected for maintenance and stay under close supervision in order to prevent accidents. When something goes wrong on these rides, the resulting injuries can be life changing.

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