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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Premises Liability > Be Safe, No Matter Where You Swim

Be Safe, No Matter Where You Swim


If you know how to swim, you have already substantially lowered your risk of accidental death.  In South Carolina, you are never very far from a source of water, whether it is a river, a lake, or the Atlantic Ocean.  Swimming pools and public beaches are the safest place to swim, but some people prefer “wild swimming” in a lake or near their boat in the open water.  If you had to pay to swim somewhere, then the company that profits from swimmers paying admission has a legal duty to protect those swimmers from preventable hazards.  If the swimming accident occurred out in the wild, such as during a camping trip or a swimming intermezzo during a boat ride, then there are fewer legal protections, but the details of every case matter.  If you have been injured in an accident while swimming, contact a Columbia premises liability lawyer.

How to Tell Whether a “Wild Swimming” Location Is Safe

Swimming in rivers and lakes can be a fun place to enjoy nature.  Choose your wild swimming locations carefully, though.  If the water is murky or has tall grass, alligators could be lurking, and if any alligators are so close that you can see them, you definitely should not swim there.  Avoid water that has a bad smell or is coated in green film; these could be signs of an algae bloom that can cause serious illness.  If you see a pipe, do not swim; this means that waste is draining into the area, so you are literally swimming in a garbage dump.  Even if the water looks clean, all bodies of freshwater carry a risk of N. fowleri infection.  N. fowleri is an amoeba that is abundant in the soil, including the bottoms of rivers and lakes.  It is usually harmless, but if it enters the nostrils, it causes a type of encephalitis that is usually fatal.

You are in dangerous legal territory if you get injured while swimming in a natural body of water that people commonly use for swimming, boating, or fishing.  If you don’t pay admission, then premises liability laws do not apply, because the landowner is protected by the Recreational Use Statute.

What Could Go Wrong in a Swimming Pool?

Because of the chlorine, there are far fewer germs in a swimming pool than in a sandy-bottomed lake, whether natural or human-made.  You should only swim in large pools when there is a lifeguard on duty.  If it is a small, shallow pool without a lifeguard, you should not let children swim unattended, even if you know that they can swim well.  Premises liability laws protect people who get injured in swimming pools, whether or not a lifeguard was on duty at the time of the accident.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you got injured while swimming in a lake or swimming pool.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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