Proving Liability in Swimming Pool Accidents
When injuries occur at swimming pools, the owner of the pool — whether it is at a public park or a private residence — could be liable for the injuries. However, this liability is not automatic. So when is the pool owner liable for an accident?
In most cases, your local premises liability laws will apply in any lawsuit centered on a swimming pool injury. This means that there are three different types of entrants on the property, and the owner of the pool has a different duty of care to each:
- Invitees typically include people who are patrons of pools open to the general public. Owners of these pools have the highest duty of care to their attendees to make sure that the pool is reasonably maintained and repaired so that everyone in attendance is safe.
- Licensees usually include those who are social guests at a private pool. These owners have a duty to warn all of their guests about potential dangers involved with using the pool area that might not be obvious to the average person.
- Trespassers are people that do not have the permission of the pool owner to use the property. In this case, the owner of the pool does not owe the trespasser any duty of care.
There is one exception to this trespasser rule, however. Young children who do not necessarily understand the dangers of pool areas and the potential for drowning could wander into a pool area. In this case, they are not technically considered trespassers. Owners are therefore expected to take reasonable steps to prevent small children from accessing their pools, such as putting a fence around the pool area.
If you or a loved one has been injured at a swimming pool, it’s important to understand which category you fall into and the liability of the owner before you begin your case. For more information, consult the experienced premises liability attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, P.C. Call us today at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online. We serve clients in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.