Can Homeowners be Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents?
- Home / Personal Injury /
- Can Homeowners be Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents?
July 7, 2021
Having a swimming pool at one’s home is a huge responsibility. For example, homeowners must maintain pH levels so the chemicals in the water do not irritate swimmer’s eyes or damage the finish on the sides and bottom of the pool.
Homeowners also need to make sure the area around the pool is safe, particularly for children who may be using the pool. Negligent homeowners could face legal liability for accidents and the injuries that may result, including drownings and slip and fall accidents.
Liability for a pool accident can be complex, as there are detailed state laws and legal standards that must be considered. Victims should strongly consider meeting with a lawyer who is well-versed in these issues.
If you, your child or another loved one was injured in a pool accident at someone’s home, a Phoenix pool drowning lawyer from Phillips Law Group may be able to help you. Call to schedule a free consultation with one of our licensed attorneys so he or she can determine if you may have a case against the pool owner.
Guarding Against Child Trespassers
One of the main things homeowners with swimming pools need to guard against is child trespassers. If homeowners do not take adequate steps to prevent child trespassers from entering the property and using the pool, homeowners could face legal liability for the child’s injuries.
Why do Pool Owners Have a Responsibility to Trespassers?
Swimming pools are considered attractive nuisances as far as children are concerned. An attractive nuisance is a feature of a property that is attractive to children, such as a swimming pool, water slide, playground equipment or even an open shed.
Children do not have the cognitive ability to appreciate and understand the dangers posed by a swimming pool or other attractive nuisances. That means homeowners need to take reasonable steps to prevent children from using the attractive nuisance.
For example, keeping the fence around the pool locked could be considered a reasonable step to prevent children from making use of the pool.
Under state law, pool owners are required to have a five-foot wall, fence or other barrier around the pool. The statute also says:
- There can be no openings in the barrier through which a spherical object four inches in diameter can pass.
- The horizontal parts of the barrier must be spaced a minimum of 45 inches apart and must be on the inner part of the barrier.
- The gate must be self-closing and self-latching. The latch must be 54 inches above the ground or on the pool side of the gate.
- The release mechanism for the gate needs to be a minimum of five inches below the top of the gate.
- There cannot be an opening more than a half an inch within 24 inches of the release mechanism.
- The barrier must not have any openings, handholds or footholds that are accessible from the exterior side of the enclosure.
It is important to note the doctrine of attractive nuisances is vague. That means proving liability for an injury involving an attractive nuisance may be very difficult without help from an experienced attorney.
Injuries to Children Who are Invited onto the Property
Children and others who are invited to use a homeowner’s pool are considered licensees under the law. Homeowners have a duty to warn licensees of dangerous conditions that are unlikely to be discovered.
For example, homeowners should repair drain grates/covers that are not secured or warn pool users of the risk. However, even if homeowners warn children about the risk, if children are not supervised and an injury occurs, homeowners may face liability.
Slip and Fall Risks
Cracks or holes in the concrete around the pool may present a slip and fall risk when children are running around playing. These should be repaired or roped off to prevent children and others from walking over them and potentially falling.
Homeowners may think simply taking steps like this will protect them from liability. However, if children are not being supervised, they may bear partial fault for an injury.
There is a widely held assumption children do not understand the risks of their actions, and this makes them more likely to find a way to get injured. If a child suffers an injury while he or she was unsupervised, judges and juries are likely to pin some amount of fault on the homeowner.
It is a bad idea to assume other adults are watching children, because they often are not. Numerous accidents occur when there are multiple adults present who all assumed children were being watched.
Before children use the pool, homeowners should learn if they have had swimming lessons. If a child is an inexperienced swimmer, make sure he or she is always being supervised. This is particularly important for young children and toddlers, who may wander right into the water.
Unsure if an Attorney Can Assist You? Call to Learn More
One of the most common questions we are asked by potential clients is: Do I have a case?
This is a question you can discuss with an experienced attorney from Phillips Law Group in a free consultation. There are no upfront fees or obligations associated with this meeting. This is simply a chance to discuss what happened and learn how a lawyer from our firm may be able to assist you.
We have helped numerous injury victims secure compensation. Over nearly 30 years serving Arizona injury victims we have obtained more than $1 billion in compensation.
Give us a call today for assistance. Phone: 1-800-706-3000 .
Free Case Evaluation
Your message has been sent
Thank you for your message, we will get back to you soon.
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value As someone who is familiar with the inner workings of the auto insurance industry I can whole heartedly endorse Steven J. Jones and Phillips law group as someone I would want on my side should litigation take place. They handled my case professionally, honestly, and with satisfactory results which I would not have expected without enlisting their help.
Great experience! Took care of pretty much everything, and I always felt like I want in good hands. Caroline Fa. was also a great help with everything. She always returned my calls and I never felt unheard. Even after my case she would still help me with my insurance documents.
Phillips Law Group provides a collaborative environment in which both attorneys and staff work together to achieve the best outcome for clients. As an attorney here at PLG, I’m lucky to be surrounded by seasoned attorneys and knowledgeable staff that share my enthusiasm for helping accident victims. The team here at PLG treats clients with respect and empathy while fighting hard to get the results they deserve.
Many companies talk about teamwork but few practice it. Many companies talk about an employee friendly environment but few actually provide it. At Phillips Law Group the foundation of our success is making sure we work as a team and that we work in an environment that allows everyone to thrive and be at their best every day. Our firm understands that in order for the client to have a great experience the people responsible for that client’s case must be given all the necessary tools and encouragement to make that happen. That’s the Phillips Way. As a manager of this firm in charge of several employees as well as directly affecting the client’s experience I take tremendous pride in saying we live by these premises and we work hard to build on them and make them better every day. This is an amazing place because it has amazing people working here!
Juan Roque has been integral with my legal needs. Communication has been easy. He conveys information I can easily understand without a lot of "Legal Fluff" jargon. I will certainly do business with Phillips Legal team again and refer them to my friends and family.
Jon Jamieson was amazing to work with . He came through with all of his promises.
I just wanted to thank Phillips law Group and Vanessa Rodriguez for all the help that she did for my daughter’s case. She was involved in her first accident and she needed the help to deal with these adjusters. Thank you again.
Jeffrey Phillips is truly a brilliant attorney and businessman. I would not hesitate for a moment to contact him if I needed a personal injury attorney in Arizona, you would be fortunate to have him and his team. If you have a car accident, slip and fall in a store, or get punched in the face, call Phillips.
I want to thank attorneys Tim and Robert and the paralegal Bethany for all they had done on my case. They were all empathetic, knowledgeable and professional. All my questions were answered, emails returned in a timely matter, and promises fulfilled. I recommend Phillips Law Group if you need help with your injury case.
Phillips is the best!! Love all that they do to give back to the community and how much they help those who are experiencing homelessness. ❤️