A swimming pool electrocution can result in serious injury or death. An experienced lawyer can help victims and families recover the pain and suffering compensation or wrongful death damages they are entitled to under the law.
There are important safety steps that can swimmers, parents, homeowners, and pool owners can take to prevent these accidents from happening.
What is a swimming pool electrocution?
A swimming pool electrocution – which is also known as an electric shock drowning or an electrocution in water – occurs when someone in the pool comes into contact with electrified water or a source of electricity such as an appliance or pool equipment with faulty wiring.
The electrical current can cause death immediately or it can paralyze the person and cause him or her to drown.
Pain and suffering compensation
You may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation from any responsible party if you suffered an electric shock injury in a swimming pool electrocution.
Wrongful death damages
If you and your family have lost a loved one as a result of a swimming pool electrocution, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages from any responsible party for your loved one’s pain and suffering, for your family’s loss of society and companionship and for funeral expenses.
Compensation for a swimming pool electrocution
The compensation for pain and suffering or wrongful death that may be recovered after a swimming pool electrocution will depend on: (1) whether injuries or death resulted; (2) medical needs; (3) disability from working; (4) pre-electrocution income; and (5) your electrocution lawyer.
Your choice of lawyer is particularly important because it can have a significant influence on the amount of compensation you are able to recover.
Insurance companies for homeowners, hotels and businesses that maintain swimming pools keep tracks of what attorneys go to trial, which ones don’t, and especially which ones “settle cases short.”
The bottom line from a compensation perspective is that attorneys who are known for going to trial can settle cases for more money and often much faster.
Swimming pool electrocution statistics
According to the swimming pool electrocution statistics published by the The US. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 33 people lost their lives and 33 were injured due to pool electrocutions between 2002 and 2018. The Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association also reports that a teen died at a hotel in Texas in 2020.
How can you get electrocuted in a swimming pool?
You can get electrocuted in a swimming pool as a result of: (1) faulty electrical wiring to pool equipment such as underwater lights, pumps, filters and vacuums; (2) no GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters) protections for outlets and circuits; and (3) electrical appliances and extension cords entering the water.
Can you get electrocuted in a pool?
You can get electrocuted in a pool if: (1) electrical current is released into the water and you make contact with the electrified water; and/or (2) you touch an electrical appliance while you are in the pool.
Can you get electrocuted in an above ground pool?
You can get electrocuted in an above ground pool if you make contact with an electrical current while you are in the pool or while you are wet. The source of the electricity could be lighting, pumps, filters, vacuums or appliances such as radios, CD player or extension cords.
The warning signs include: (1) swimmers feeling a tingling sensation, muscle cramps and/or the inability to move; (2) swimmers are in a state of panic; (3) swimmers are quickly moving away from an area; and (4) pool lights or equipment is only intermittently functioning.
What to do
If you believe a swimming pool electrocution is occurring, here are the safety steps you can take to help:
- DO NOT ENTER THE WATER to help someone who is in distress
- Immediately turn off/cut off all electrical power to the area
- Extend a carbon fiber rod (such as a fiberglass Shepherd’s crook/rescue hook – which are not conductors of electricity) to the person in the water to grab onto or loop the person’s body and pull them (face up) to safety
- Position the victim on his or her back, check for breathing and administer CPR if needed
- Call 9-1-1
- If you are in the water and you feel a tingling sensation or difficulty moving, swim back in the direction from which you came and report your experience
- Exit the water but DO NOT USE A METAL LADDER OR ANYTHING THAT MAY CONDUCT ELECTRICITY
How to prevent pool electrocution?
Here are our safety tips to prevent pool electrocutions from happening:
- Keep everyone out of the water if any of the pool equipment such as the underwater lights are not working property or function only intermittently
- Use only battery-operated appliances in and around the swimming pool
- Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the swimming pool
- Know the location of all of the electrical switches and circuit breakers that affect the swimming pool and its equipment and be familiar with how to turn off the power in case of an emergency
- Use ground-fault circuit-interrupters (GFCIs) to protect lighting and electrical outlets
- Regularly have your swimming pool and all related electrical equipment inspected by a licensed, experienced and qualified electrician to make sure your swimming pool complies with the applicable local codes and the National Electrical Code (NEC)
Get help from an experienced lawyer
If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity, you can call and speak with Jeff Feldman, perhaps the nation’s most experienced electrocution attorney. Jeff has litigated cases involving low hanging power lines and against utility companies in states throughout the country. You can call toll free at (800) 548-0043 for a free consultation.
(Sources: Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association’s “Electric Shock Drowning Incident List” (updated November 2020); U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Don’t Swim with Shocks: Electrical Safety In and Around Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs”)