When a child dies from an injury, it is a huge loss for the family, a loss so big that words cannot begin to explain the depth of grief the parents feel. Therefore, as a mom with a young daughter and a Virginia personal injury lawyer, it touched me deeply when I heard that a 2-year old girl had drown in a Norfolk, Virginia (VA), swimming pool.
My colleague wrote an article about this exact scenario, a child drowning at a pool party, at the beginning of the summer. The young girl apparently wandered away while her parents were saying good bye to party goers. Someone spotted her in the pool, but it was too late. Drowning is a silent killer of children. There is no screaming or splashing and a pool is irresistible to a child's curiosity.
If your child goes missing the first thing to check is your pool, the neighbor's pool, and then the next door neighbor's pool. Although fences aren't required by law around private pools in Norfolk, they really are a lifesaver when it comes to keeping young children out of harms way.
Sec. 43-25. Fencing
(a) No person shall construct, maintain, use, possess or control any outdoor public swimming pool, without having completely around such pool a fence, as defined in section 43-1(b). Every gate in such fence shall be capable of being securely fastened at a height of not less than four (4) feet above ground level, and it shall be unlawful for any such gate to be allowed to remain unfastened while the pool is not in use. Such fence shall be constructed so as to come within two (2) inches of the ground at the bottom and shall be at least five (5) feet from the edge of the pool at any point.
If your child is injured or drowns in a neighbor's pool you may have grounds for a lawsuit to find recovery for that child. Some courts have used attractive nuisance or negligence to hold landowners liable for injuries to children in their swimming pool. Homeowners can be negligent for failing to restrict access to the pool by a fence or barricade, often in violation of a local ordinance or statute.
Our personal injury law firm has experience in handling injury and death cases involving careless and negligent conduct not only in Virginia, but throughout the Southeast, and we often must locate experts in whatever area of law is involved in each case, whether lifeguard training or duties, or any other area of expertise.