Understanding Liability in Swimming Pool Accidents
June 15, 2016
In children ages one to four, drowning is the number one cause of death in injury-related cases. Swimming pools pose the highest risk for submersion injuries among these children.
When accidents take place in a public, private, or personal swimming pool, the pool’s owner may be held liable; premises liability statutes dictate who may be held accountable for the incident and any damages caused.
In cases of an accident in a pool open to the public or operated by a private club, negligence may have played a role in the incident. If issues with the pool or its equipment contributed to the accident, product liability may be involved. Negligence could be a factor if someone’s actions contributed to the accident, such as a pool employee or the contractor who built the pool.
When premises liability applies to an accident, the law will consider the entrant who used the pool. There are three types of entrants:
- An invitee has paid to use the pool facility; patrons of public pools are typically invitees.
- A licensee is a guest at a private pool; someone who has been invited to use it.
- A trespasser is someone using the pool without permission. Premises liability laws don’t regularly apply to trespassers, though there are exceptions.
Pool owners have certain responsibilities to users. They should have adequate safety equipment on-hand, warning signs regarding hazards, and have maintained the pool properly. In some cases, they may be required to supervise the pool, or have lifeguards on duty. Failure to uphold these responsibilities could cause the pool owner to be held liable in the event of a swimming pool accident. Though state laws vary, residential pool owners may be held liable for accidents where children access the pool if proper barriers, such as fences or gates, were not in place.
Pool entrants could be held liable in the event of an accident. Incidents where pool owners would not be liable may include if an entrant is horsing around on the pool deck and falls, sustaining an injury, or if an entrant dives into the pool though diving was not permitted according to posted warnings.
Navigating premises liability in the event of a swimming pool accident can be complicated. If you or a loved one was injured in a swimming pool accident, the premises liability attorneys of Phillips Law Group will help you pursue your legal claim and determine if premises liability applies in your case. Our team will work hard to maximize compensation on your behalf.
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