If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a swimming pool accident, you have the right to take legal action against the pool owner or property owner. Here is how to file a swimming pool accident lawsuit in Georgia:
- Consult a swimming pool accident lawyer about your options.
- Collect enough evidence to prove the other party’s identity and the amount of compensation they owe you.
- Contact the other party’s insurer and ask them to pay what you need.
- File the appropriate paperwork with the court if you have to take your lawsuit to trial.
Let a Lawyer Assess Your Swimming Pool Accident
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself after sustaining any kind of injury. A personal injury lawyer can use their knowledge and prior experience to:
- Determine if you qualify to file a lawsuit
- Explain how to file a swimming pool lawsuit in Georgia
- Complete all of the other steps listed above, including searching for evidence and communicating with the liable party
- Advise you on how you should handle your case and help you make important decisions about your case’s future
- Protect you if and when the insurance company tries to undervalue your case or accuse you of causing the accident yourself
While you have the right to file your case without a lawyer’s help, doing so can be highly stressful, especially for someone who has just been through a traumatic accident. It would be easier to protect your rights and pursue compensation with professional representation.
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Building a Swimming Pool Accident Case
Finding evidence to build your case may be straightforward or more challenging, depending on whether the pool is public or private. For example, if your accident occurred in a public pool, evidence may be plentiful and include:
- Eyewitness accounts
- Surveillance camera footage
- Cell phone photos
By contrast, less evidence may be available if your child falls into an unsecured pool while you are visiting a friend’s house. You can then prove your case with material from:
- The police report
- Medical records
- Any photos you have or can find (e.g., on social media) of the unsecured pool
You can bring potential evidence with you to your first meeting with your lawyer. If you do not have any helpful material, you can still file a case. It is your attorney’s job to find evidence, not yours.
Your lawyer will use the evidence they collect to determine many things about your accident, including:
- Who the liable party is: Usually, the pool owner is to blame. In some cases, the pool manufacturer may be liable instead of or in addition to the owner.
- What specific negligent behavior led to the accident: Did the pool owner neglect to post warning signs or to have a lifeguard on duty?
- How severe your injuries are: Cases involving permanent or life-threatening injuries are typically worth the most.
- The monetary worth of your injuries: Your settlement will reflect the sum total of your lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and disabilities, among other potential damages.
All of this information is crucial to filing a swimming pool lawsuit and recovering a fair settlement or jury award.
Negotiating for Swimming Pool Accident Compensation
Once your attorney believes they have built the strongest possible case, they will send a demand letter to the other party and their representatives. This letter:
- Explains your version of how the accident happened, particularly how the other party’s negligence caused it
- Lays out the physical, financial, and psychological consequences of the accident
- States clearly what actions you want the other party’s insurer to take in response to the letter (usually, you would ask them to send an answer within a certain period of time and offer to pay a certain amount of money)
As a general rule, you must complete this step by the two-year anniversary of your accident, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Otherwise, you may lose your right to seek compensation. For this reason, you should seek out legal representation as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.
Sometimes, if you are lucky, the insurance company will agree to pay what you have asked for right away. That would signal the successful end of your case. If this does not happen, your case may continue on a little longer as your premises liability attorney works with them to negotiate a settlement that will meet your needs.
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When a Pool Accident Settlement Is Not Forthcoming
Settlements are the “easy way out” of a lawsuit for everyone involved: you would get your money sooner, and the insurer can move on from the case with minimal time and expense.
Unfortunately, not every case ends in a settlement. If you cannot get a fair settlement from the insurer for any reason, your lawyer can help you take the additional step of going to trial. This process typically involves:
- Filing your lawsuit with the court that has jurisdiction in your area
- Submitting evidence for the court’s consideration, as well as providing any other materials the judge asks for
- Selecting trial dates and jury members
- Preparing and delivering arguments
- Examining and cross-examining witnesses for the prosecution and the defense
Even after your lawyer starts preparing for trial, it may not be too late to get a settlement: some insurers see these preparations as a sign that you will not give up the case so easily, and they subsequently agree to pay a settlement.
No matter what direction your case ends up going in, your lawyer can be there at every step of the way, protecting and championing your right to compensation.
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We Can Help With Your Swimming Pool Lawsuit
Kaine Law would be glad to tell you more about how to file a swimming pool lawsuit in Georgia. Get in touch with us today. Our team is always standing by to take calls from personal injury survivors just like you. Furthermore, we charge no attorney’s fees until you win compensation. That is our no-fee guarantee.