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Who is liable for swimming pool accidents?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2016 | Premises Liability

While backyard swimming pools are fun, they are also a leading cause of injuries. Owning a pool comes with considerable responsibility, too, as the owner can be held responsible for any deaths or injuries that take place in and around the pool, even if the victims were trespassers. In 2015 alone, 202 children drowned in swimming pools in the United States. If you or your child has been injured in a neighbor’s swimming pool, then the owner may face liability for the harm you or your child suffered.

Premises liability laws protect people who have been injured while using someone else’s swimming pool. In most states, the laws stipulate that when a property owner or renter leads others to come into their property, that property owner is legally liable for the injuries caused by any failure to exercise care in keeping the pool safe.

Among the requirements for property owners to keep their swimming pools safe is the need to erect a barrier or fence to keep unsupervised people at bay. These fences and barriers prevent curious children from accessing to the pool unsupervised.

Due to the high risk of slip-and-fall accidents around swimming pools, a homeowner must take reasonable care and provide non-slip surfaces to prevent accidents on the pool deck. You will have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the pool owner created the puddle in a negligent way, or negligently failed to remedy it even after noticing that it was there.

However, premises liability rules will not apply if the lawsuit is based on an injury caused by someone’s negligent or intentional behavior while using the swimming pool. For instance, if someone holds your head underwater, you could sue that person for battery. On the same note, if a person jumps into the pool without looking and lands on you, you could sue for negligence. Standard negligence rules would apply, as would comparative and contributory negligence.

Typically, a homeowner or renter has no liability for injuries or deaths suffered by trespassers on their property. However, attractive nuisance is a legal loophole that holds the homeowner responsible for injuries to a young trespasser. Playground equipment and pools are some of the examples of attractive nuisance, and they need to be appropriately maintained so that children can’t hurt themselves even if uninvited.

Property owners are responsible for keeping their pools safe at all times. If an individual is injured in a pool and the owner did not take the necessary measures to prevent unsupervised individuals from gaining access to the pool, he or she may be held liable for injuries suffered. If you or your child were injured and have questions about your rights, contact a personal injury attorney at Smith Magram Michaud Colonna, P.C. to discuss what occurred and the legal options available.