There is something very enticing about the idea of walking into your own backyard and enjoying the leisurely experience of a private swimming pool. Pools are a wonderful idea if you want to throw some great barbeque parties and give your children a cool summer hangout, but owning a swimming pool can amount to a one of the most significant financial and legal risks with regards to personal property.
What are the Dangers Associated with Swimming Pools?
Owning a swimming pool poses a serious risk for injury or death even when there is no misuse of the pool or swimmers are not intoxicated, but in fact most accidents occur when the pool is not in active use and is not being supervised. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.1 Pools and spas account for almost 400 drowning deaths and 5,000 drowning-related injuries each year.2
Swimming Pool Accident Liability
The owner of a swimming pool has a responsibility to maintain and provide a safe environment for all children and adults who utilize the pool as well as those individuals who live within close proximity to the pool. This pool is considered to be property which makes liability for injuries or deaths covered under premises liability rules; these rules establish who is responsible for injuries sustained because of the condition or use of a premises.3 The obviousness of the dangers coincides with the duties and liabilities of pool owners. For instance, failing to post notifications of shallow water or hidden obstacles can create liability.4 Pool owners can also be held liable under a theory of negligence. If a pool was improperly installed or a homeowner hired a lifeguard that was not screened for training, certification, ability, or experience, resulting injuries or deaths could be compensated for under a cause of action for negligence.5 There are steps pool owners can take to secure private pools: use gates and fences surrounding the pool at appropriate heights to ward of trespassers, use self-closing gates with locks above a child’s reach, install pool covers that are regularly used, adults living in the home should learn CPR, never allow unsupervised swimming, and post warning signs and provide flotation devices, but do not rely on either to prevent accidents.6 These preventative safety steps will aid in reducing the legal and financial risk associating with pool ownership.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Pool owners have a legal duty to maintain safe pools for users and take adequate steps towards ensuring that uninvited and unsupervised individuals do not gain access to a personal pool, otherwise the owner may be held liable for all resulting injuries and deaths. If these steps have not been taken and you were injured or a loved one drowned in a swimming pool it is important to discuss the circumstances of your accident with a swimming pool injury attorneys who can help to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.