With the warm weather of summer in full effect, many people jump in a pool to have fun. Unfortunately, pools are prone to personal injuries due to slippery surfaces. It might be a public swimming pool or one in a neighbor's backyard if an injury occurs someone will be held liable for the damages sustained. If an injury happens to you, know the following information to understand who is liable.
A pool is essentially a structure built on a piece of property, so rules about premise liability will apply to any injury related to pool. Anybody that uses the pool is considered an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
People that use public pools, either for free or a paying customer, are considered an invitee. The pool's owner must make sure the pool has been maintained and make repairs that help prevent injuries from happening.
Attending a neighbor or friend's pool makes you a licensee user. The pool's owner doesn't have to be strict about performing maintenance or repairs, but should make those using the pool aware of problems that may not be obvious to them.
If you have illegally entered a pool located on either public or private property, you're a trespasser. Adults are held responsible for injuries that happen to them while trespassing, but children are treated differently. Pool owners must take steps to prevent children from getting into a pool, which can be as simple as adding fencing with a gate that locks. Children might not understand the dangers of a pool, and leaving the pool unsecured is considered an attractive nuisance.
When Owners Become Liable
There will be known risks for using a swimming pool, which includes running on a wet surface or diving head first into shallow water. The owner of a pool cannot be responsible if this type of injury happens. That said, pool owners need to let users know if an area is not safe for diving, or if there is a shallow obstruction that a user cannot see.
Safety equipment must be readily available, which includes life preservers. Equipment like a diving board should be working properly, and public pools should have adequate lifeguards. If the owner has not done these things, they could be held liable for an injury.
When Users Become Liable
When the action that led to the injury is out of the owner's control, the user becomes liable. This includes jumping onto another person in the pool, holding someone under water, or not being able to swim while jumping into the deep end.
If you were injured and feel like the owner meets the requirements for being liable, work with a personal injury lawyer (click here to continue reading more about this) to help get you the compensation you deserve.