Now that warm weather is here to stay, it is time to enjoy hours and hours by the pool. For you and your family to make the most out of your pool and swimming experiences this summer, it is always best to remember safety rules and guidelines first. Unfortunately, accidents do occur. As a home and pool owner, it is important that you are aware of what to do and what you may be liable for in case of an accident. Here are a few tips on how to avoid pool accidents this summer—and what to do if you find yourself in this situation.
How Are You Liable?
In the event that someone is injured or there is a death due to an accident at your pool, you can be held responsible as the homeowner. You can even be held responsible if the victim was trespassing onto your property. This also applies if you or your child is injured at someone else’s pool. Homeowner liability stems from negligence—the failure to do what would have been done by a reasonable person in a similar situation. If injuries or death occur because your pool area is not properly secured or maintained in good and safe conditions, you can be held liable because there is an expectation for homeowners with pools to protect their guests and prevent trespassing.
Most places have regulations and laws on how residential swimming pools should be constructed. These regulations, when followed, will be able to keep a homeowner from being liable in unexpected events. That is why it is always important to follow all pool rules and guidelines required by your city and state. In the event that a homeowner fails to comply with local pool laws and restrictions, the homeowner will be held strictly liable. This means that there will be no need to prove negligence because failure to abide by these laws is negligent in itself.
If the victim of a pool accident at your home is a trespasser, you will more than likely not be held responsible. However, there is a legal loophole called attractive nuisance that a trespasser could argue to try to make you liable. This loophole states that a homeowner may be liable for a young trespasser’s injuries if there are toys or objects on the property that may attract children.
How To Avoid Pool Accidents
Homeowners insurance is always necessary and good to have, but will not be enough to cover you in a pool accident. Generally, homeowners are required to purchase separate insurance for their swimming pool liability or an umbrella policy that covers their home and pool. This is your best bet because it will allow the situation to be handled by the insurance company instead of a lawsuit.
The best way to avoid these types of incidents is to fully comply with and abide by local statutes for swimming pools, and to keep your home and pool area secure from trespassers. In the event that you are hosting a large group at your swimming pool, hiring a licensed lifeguard is always a good idea to keep the environment safe and fun.
If you have any questions or need consultation about your liability as a homeowner in a swimming pool accident, contact Mitch Grissim & Associates today.