Swimming is an awesome exercise for the body. Not only does it work a number of different muscles but it’s also low-impact and helps keep someone from feeling overheated. Given the weather in Phoenix, swimming is also a great way to make the scorching days of summer a lot more bearable. As nice as pools are, accidents can happen in and around the water with potentially fatal consequences. Who’s liable for injuries in a private pool? Who’s liable for injuries in a public one? What are your liabilities for the pool that you own? Let’s break things down.
When it comes to your own swimming pool, your primary concern should be for the safety of any children. Arizona has had problems with drowning related accidents for years. In the mid-1980s, the state ranked number one in the nation for drowning deaths of preschool-aged children. That ranking his improved largely because of a renewed push for safety regulations. One of the big elements of this is that pools are required to have barriers/fencing built around them to prevent children from getting in. As a pool owner, you can be held responsible for the well-being of any guests you invite over to use your pool. You need to ensure that you inform any guests about problems with the pool and its surroundings. While you won’t normally be responsible for any trespassers on your property, pools can be seen as an “attractive nuisance” to children. If a kid comes onto your land and is injured in your pool, you may be held liable for their injuries or their life. So even if your own children are old enough to know better, make sure your pool is properly guarded.
It might be easier to think of this case as something similar to a premises liability situation. Just like if you’re at someone’s home and you’re injured because of a broken staircase, being injured in or around their pool is treated similarly. If your young child is injured though, then it goes beyond the realm of strictly physical problems with the pool and into questions of supervision. The owner of the pool should be aware of who is in it and ensure that any children, or parties who may be at risk for an accident, are properly supervised. If you find yourself in this position and feel that a lack of supervision may have occurred, you should speak with an attorney who’s experienced in premises liability cases.
Most states, Arizona included, have extensive regulations that must be followed in order to operate a public pool. Some laws even extend out to the federal level, such as the “Virginia Graeme” act, which applies specifically to drainage/filter openings in pools and spas. Naturally, many of these regulations are set up for the safety of visitors using the pool, but combing through the regulations is not an easy process. If you were injured in a public pool, seeking the counsel of a lawyer may prove beneficial to help you determine if your injury was preventable, based on any code violations.
The idea of yourself or a loved one drowning in a pool is a terrifying notion. Lack of oxygen can cause life-long damage to the brain if their air supply isn’t restored quickly enough. Every second counts in a drowning situation, which is why safety is so critically important to maintain. If you or one of your loved ones was hurt or lost their life due to an accident in a swimming area, contact ELG Law at (623) 321-0566 for a free consultation. Preventable deaths are called preventable for a reason. Call us and see if we can help you get the money you deserve.