Who is Responsible After a Swimming Pool Injury?
The long and lazy days of summer have finally arrived. That means beaches and barbeques, summer reading lists for the kids and memories being made for young and old alike. Though summer activities are inherently fun, many of them come with risks, and this is especially true of swimming pools. Before stepping foot into a pool, everybody needs to have the needed skills and understand essentials, including where the deep end is and not to dive into the shallow end, and parents of toddlers and small children need to pay extra close attention — according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 6,000 kids require emergency room care or die every year as a result of a swimming pool or spa injury. Behind all of these precautions, the people running the swimming pools — whether public or private — have an inherent duty of care to make sure that the environment is safe: if somebody suffers a swimming pool injury, there is a good chance that they will be held responsible.
Swimming pool injuries can take many forms, including slip and fall accidents and drowning. A few years ago, the news was filled with stories of children getting caught in pool filters and drains. Pool owners or managers need to keep their pools safe and well maintained, making sure that the water is clean, that the chemical mixture is safe, that the grounds are not hazardous and that the pool facility itself does not present a danger. They also need to control access to the pool, especially if they are private pool owners. Pools are known as an “attractive nuisance”, and that means that homeowners need to ensure that there is a locked fence that keeps trespassers – and especially children – away in order to avoid liability for injuries or drownings.
When it comes to public pools, there are regulations and laws that specify safety requirements. This includes rules about everything from water temperature and chemical concentrations to the ratio of supervision and capacity limits on the number of people in the pool at one time. Public pools and pools that are run by swim clubs, country clubs, hotels, and similar facilities also are responsible for the employees that they hire, making sure that they are properly trained.
Determining liability for a swimming pool injury can be complex. Every situation needs to be looked at individually, but in many cases, the owner or operator of the pool is responsible for any injury that is incurred. If someone you love has been injured in a swimming pool and you need legal guidance, contact us today to set up a free consultation.