Pool accidents are widespread, and they are even more common when there are kids around. But who takes liability when pool accidents happen? Some specific laws and regulations determine who should be held accountable when a pool accident happens and whose responsibility is to compensate the victim. We explain this in detail, mentioning a few examples of who should be held liable when accidents happen at swimming pools. Keep reading to find out.
Premises Liability Laws
When it comes to public or personal property, individual laws are applied to ensure that property’s safety and supervision. Such laws are called premises liability laws. They are designed to ensure that property owners are carrying out their legal duties and maintaining the overall safety of their premises. These laws are applied to public swimming pools as well. These rules grant duty of care from the owners toward three entrants using owned swimming pools, invitees, licensees, and trespassers. The term ‘invitees’ refers to those using public pools.
In this case, property owners are obligated to run the needed maintenance to keep their pools as safe as possible to use invitees. On the other hand, Licensees are those using pools on private properties as guests of the owners. The owners here are under the legal duty to warn their guests about their property’s potential hazards. Trespassers are people who use a swimming pool without the permission of its owners. In their case, the property owner only owes a duty of not harming the trespasser intentionally.
Who is Held Liable?
Property owners hold liability when it comes to pool injuries happening on their property. For property owners, the same premises liability laws apply. Premises liability laws ensure that private pool owners commit to their property legal obligations and keep their guests safe while using their pools.
The obligations placed on property owners are different based on the injured victims or who the owner is. For example, different states have different legal duties for property owners. If you live in Peoria and get injured in a private swimming pool accident, specific laws in place can contribute to your case’s legal consequences. You can consult your attorney from any personal injury law firm Peoria and find out who will hold liability for your injury and how you can be compensated. Pool owners can potentially hold liability, but they aren’t automatically liable if they’re due to a person’s negligence.
If there are potential hazards that guests should know about, for instance, if it’s under construction or out of order and fail to let their guests know, they can be held liable. Further, they may be held accountable if they fail to provide proper supervision to the pool. For example, a hotel pool must appoint a lifeguard, or else they would be the party at fault if any incidents occur.
However, in some cases, injuries can occur due to a fault with the pool itself. In this case, the manufacturer would be the party at fault. If an accident is not caused due to inadequate supervision or lack of safety awareness, the property owners would not be held liable. The accountability would go to faulty or flawed equipment or products instead.
Responsibilities and Exceptions
As previously mentioned, the property owners are not automatically held liable, which means that many exceptions would render them exempt from such a case while they do have some responsibilities. Property owners are bound to basic safety duties to keep their allowed visitors safe from injuries and death. For example, these safety regulations state that private swimming pools must have entry gates of at least 60 inches from the pool.
The gates should be locked with padlocks that are placed at least 60 inches above ground level. When a swimming pool is open for public use, operators must maintain the pool facilities and provide the needed signs, floors, doors, lockers, showers, and water treatment systems. In their case, a lifeguard should be assigned to supervise the pool activities and prevent potential injuries. Lifeguards need to be dressed in the most transparent way representing them as lifeguards for the pool users.
However, these rules and obligations apply only to the property owners if they are welcoming or expecting guests using their pool. The same laws don’t apply in trespassing and using the pool without the owner’s permission, even though some exceptions can be made when the trespassers are children who used the pool because it was accessible and had no gates or fences.
It is also important to know that liability laws will not apply if the victim intentionally or intentionally caused the accident or as a result of personal negligence. Other than that, property owners are almost always responsible for sharing the potential risks of using their swimming pool and allowing their guests to access emergency and safety equipment like life jackets. Parents always need to make sure their children are supervised while using the pool to prevent accidents and comply with kids’ safety regulations using swimming pools.