New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Proving Liability in a Swimming Pool Accident
Posted on May 11, 2016 in Personal Injury
Drowning is the 5th most common cause of unintentional injury, death in the United States. About 10 deaths are caused by unintentional drowning every day.
From 2005 to 2014, an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional non-boating related drownings occurred annually in the country, which accounts for about 10 deaths per day. In addition, there were 332 deaths from drowning in boating-related incidents. About 1 in 5 who die from drowning are children aged 14 and younger.
Who is liable in a drowning accident?
When injuries occur at swimming pools, the pool owner — whether it is at a private residence or a public park — could be liable for the injuries. However, this is not an automatic liability. So when is the pool owner liable for an accident?
In most cases, the premises liability laws in your state will play a role in any swimming pool injury lawsuit. This means that three different types of property entrants, and the pool owner has a different duty of care to each:
- Invitees – Typically, this includes people who are patrons or users of public pools. Owners of these pools have the highest duty of care to the people who come to their pool to ensure that the pool is reasonably repaired and maintained so that all attendants are safe.
- Licensees – Usually, this includes social guests who come to a private pool. It is the duty of these owners to warn their guests about any potential dangers that come with using the pool area and which may not be obvious to the average person.
- Trespassers – These are people who do not have the pool owner’s permission to use the property. In these cases, the pool owner does not owe the trespasser any duty of care.
There is an exception to the trespasser rule. Young children who do not understand the dangers that are present in a pool area and the potential for drowning could make their way to a pool area. In such cases, these children are not technically considered to be trespassers. Therefore, owners are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure that small children do not access their swimming pools, such as installing a fence around the pool area.
Who could be liable for swimming pool accidents?
Apart from the pool owner, other people can be liable for a swimming pool accident. It depends on whether it is a public or private pool, whether the injured party was a trespasser or invited guest, and what caused the injury. Other people who could be held liable for a swimming pool accident are:
- Pool manager or operator
- Pool maintenance company
- Governmental entity (for public pools)
- Pool equipment manufacturer
A Fabulous Law Firm
If you or someone you know has been injured in a swimming pool related accident caused due to negligence, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
We take pride in winning cases. We enjoy the feeling of watching our clients light up with joy when we settle or win and they are made financially whole again and then some. We know what it takes to win cases and what legal buttons to press and when to press them.