Public swimming pools are everywhere. Be it at a hotel, apartment complex, community pools, the fun environment of a swimming pool can also be a quite dangerous, even deadly environment. Thousands of incidences of personal injury and death occur in swimming pools every year. So, who’s liable for your pool injury?
Parties Responsible in Public Swimming Pool Accidents
Liability in public swimming pool and spa accidents can be very complex. There are three main legal theories involved:
Product Liability: If there was an actual problem with the swimming pool, or the equipment attached to the swimming pool, you might file a product liability lawsuit against the swimming pool manufacturers, retailers or distributors.
Negligence: If the equipment was improperly installed, you might have a cause of action in negligence against the installers. The owner of a swimming pool may also be found vicariously liable for the failures of its employees. For example, if a lifeguard’s negligence caused your injuries, the lifeguard’s employer would have to pay your damages. The cause of action could also be directly against the employer if it was a case of negligent hiring or training.
Premises Liability: A premises liability case can also be brought against pool owners and municipalities for a variety of inadequacies that cause injuries: lack of adequate warnings, poor or absent safety equipment, lack of safety fencing or alarms, and lack of supervision. Most swimming-related accidents are considered a premises liability lawsuit. A reasonably prudent owner – private and public – would take these precautions to control access to the pool or spa. Without these safeguards, the owner could find himself liable for damages that could run into six or seven figures.
Assumption of Risk
If there was no lifeguard on duty, then assumption of risk comes into play. A “No lifeguard on duty” sign, or a “swim at your own risk” sign, makes assumption of risk even more important. If such a sign were present and obvious when the person was injured, the court might reason that the swimmer knew of the potential risks when swimming without a lifeguard, but decided to do it anyway. The court would weigh this risk factor with the precautions that the owner or operator of the facility did take in making its determination. Of course, if the injured was a child, then the court’s expectation for a person’s risk management skills will change.
Contact An Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of a pool owner or life guard, call us now to speak with an experienced attorney.