Since the early ages, swimming has been a prime recreational activity. Today, the majority of swimming takes place in pools, but swimming pools are not safe just by virtue of their controlled environment. In the United States, 188 children were injured or died while swimming in 2014, and the number rose to 202 in 2015. After any injury at a swimming pool, there will always be questions about who should be held responsible for these accidents.
Premises liability rules often apply when people are injured in someone's pool. The pool owner may be held liable, which would entitle the injured person to receive compensation from the owner. The law states that the temporary or permanent owner of the swimming pool may be deemed responsible for the injuries and deaths that occur on the premises.
As a pool owner, it is prudent to ensure that it is safe for those who will swim in it. Slips and falls are the main accidents that occur in swimming pools. To prevent these, it is recommended to provide safety measures, like a non-slip surfaces on the deck of the pool. By failing to provide a safe environment, the properly owner may be found negligent should any injuries (even fatal injuries) occur as a result.
The owner should also try to prevent unauthorized people from getting into the pool by having a billboard that prohibits uninvited access and use. A swimming pool is considered an attractive nuisance, which carries unique legal responsibilities. Specifically, the owner can still be held liable for injuries to children even if they were trespassing if the injuries were caused by the pool, (this could mean poor pool maintenance, or safety concerns).
Most importantly, it is the owner's responsibility to put up an effective barrier around the pool, such as a concrete wall or fence. With this in place, children will be physically prevented from accessing the swimming pool. However, these rules may not apply if the injuries result from the injured person's carelessness or dangerous behavior.
How an attorney can help
Pool owners have a great role in making sure their pools are well maintained to ensure the safety of swimmers and visitors at all times. Most importantly, they should come up with standard strategies to prevent access by unauthorized individuals. If you or your child were hurt in a swimming pool, the property owner may be responsible for your injuries. Contact an experienced attorney at McDonald & MacGregor, LLC. We can discuss what occurred, explain your rights and help you hold the responsible person accountable for your injuries.