Who is Liable for a Swimming Pool Slip and Fall Accident?
People tend to head toward water in hot weather, which means that pools will be filled in the summer months. With the increase in pool activity, there will be some people who will slip and fall around wet pool decking. Under premises liability, pool owners can be held responsible when a person is injured on their property.
Severe slip and fall injuries can happen in the pool area. One of the biggest dangers is drowning. Since pools are so attractive in the summer, it is expected that a pool owner, such as a swim club, yacht club, company, or a homeowner, takes adequate steps to protect the public from harm. Those who have been hurt in a pool should contact a lawyer.
What is Premises Liability?
Under premises liability, property owners must keep their premises safe, and they are responsible for hazardous conditions that cause injuries. However, premises liability no longer applies if the victim’s injuries are the result of an intentional act, which is different than not maintaining equipment up to code.
If a person is involved in a swimming pool accident, they should contact a lawyer. Every slip and fall accident case is different. Discussing the case with a lawyer can help those involved figure out the best course of action.
What are the Types of Visitors?
Premises liability means the owner of a pool needs to keep the area safe for users. There are different types of pool users, and each type can affect a slip and fall case. Some different types of pool visitors include:
- Trespassers: Uninvited guests who climb a fence to get into a pool are not owed the level of care that pool owners are expected to offer to guests. However, a case might change if the trespasser is a child.
- Patrons: Patrons are people that are at a pool that is open to the public, whether or not there is a fee for pool entry. Pool owners are expected to do a reasonable job maintaining and repairing the pool so it is safe for users.
- Guests on Private Property: Those invited to use a pool on private property should be warned of any dangers that are not obvious to the average person.
- Children Trespassers: Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, pool owners are under an obligation to keep the pool safe from young children who do not fully understand the danger of drowning. Some states do not have this doctrine regarding pool ownership liability, but New Jersey does. Since New Jersey follows this doctrine, pool owners have a duty to prevent children from entering the pool unmonitored, so a fence around the pool is required.
When can Pool Owners be Held Liable for Slip and Falls?
The fencing around a pool is very important for proper maintenance and security. Even with a shallow pool, there should be at least a four-foot fence because small children can drown in very shallow areas.
Some additional steps that pool owners should take include:
- Gates need to be self-closing and self-latching to reduce unwanted guests.
- If possible, the pool owner should install audible alert door alarms for the pool area.
- Pool owners should install a safety cover to make sure the pool is securely closed when it is not in use.
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa.
- Designate a maximum number of people in the pool area so that it is not too crowded. The combination of water, slippery surfaces, and too many people can create a tragedy.
- Have an experienced swimmer to serve as a lifeguard.
- Pool pipes, drains, and other openings in a pool need to be off limits to children to reduce the chance of a child getting trapped, which could quickly become fatal.
- Maintain safe covers on all drains. The federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires specific devices to be installed to prevent children being pulled under water. New pools are built with these devices, and older pools are required to be retrofitted with specialized drain covers and multiple suction intakes.
- Maintain the pool ladders; a loose ladder or step could cause an accident.
- Maintain diving boards, and clearly mark water depth. A diving board leading to shallow water can cause a catastrophic injury for the diver.
- Apply a textured finish to the concrete, stone, and deck around the pool for improved traction.
- Remove all toys and flotation devices from the pool at the end of each day. These can be visual obstacles to a child in danger.
Determining who is liable for a swimming pool slip and fall accident can be a difficult task, especially when multiple parties are involved. For help with a slip and fall case, the injured party should seek legal representation.
Passaic Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Determine Liable Parties in Swimming Pool Slip and Fall Accident Cases
The Passaic slip and fall lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr understand New Jersey slip and fall laws and will help you with your case. Pool-related slip and fall accidents can be complicated, but we will fight on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 732-537-8570. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.