Using A Swimming Pool? Know About Personal Injury Liability Situations

Posted on: 27 February 2017

Once the summer weather hits, you'll find that the local swimming pool starts getting a lot more use. Personal swimming pools make your home a risk for injury because of the slippery surfaces, but they can also occur at public pools as well. When that happens, someone will need to be liable for any damages that were sustained, so it is important to know about how that liability is determined. 

Premise Personal Injury Liability

Since a swimming pool is a structure that is built on someone's property, there are rules that apply about premise liability if an injury were to happen. People that use the pool will be considered a trespasser, invitee, or licensee.

For public swimming pools that are paying or free, everyone is considered to be an invitee to the pool. The owner of the pool must ensure that the pool is regularly maintained and repaired in ways that prevent personal injuries from occurring.

If you go to a friend or neighbor's pool, you're a licensee. The owner does not need to be as strict when it comes to repairs or maintenance, but needs to let everyone be aware of issues that aren't obvious. For instance, this could include notifying everyone about a diving board that is broken and shouldn't be used.

Those that illegally enter a swimming pool, either on private or public property, are trespassers. An adult is responsible for any injuries they sustain while they are trespassing, but a child is not always treated the same. The pool owner should take the necessary steps in order to prevent a child from trespassing, such as installing a fence with a locking gate, since kids are not always aware of how a pool can be dangerous.

When Owners Are Liable

Swimming pools have known risks, such as slipping on wet surfaces or diving into really shallow water. In these situations, owners aren't responsible for injuries. As long as proper safety warnings are made, such as marking areas as being too shallow for diving, owners are free of the liability that comes from users making obvious mistakes. 

Owners must have the necessary safety equipment on hand and operational, such as life preservers. For public pools, lifeguards should be on duty and have proper training. These are things out of the user's control, and need to be done by the owner.

When Users Are Liable

Whenever somebody is acting in a way that the owner cannot control, liability will fall on the user. This will include roughhousing in the swimming pool, or holding another person under water.

If an injury happened to you at a swimming pool and you feel like you were not liable, consider working with a lawyer like Hoffman, Hamer & Associates, PLLC that can get you compensated for your injury.