The liability of owning a pool must not be taken lightly.
A backyard pool can be a lot of fun, but it does not come without some liability issues that homeowners should be aware of. Safety devices and additional insurance coverage can help lessen the financial risk associated with having a pool in your backyard. If you have had your pool for some time or are about to purchase a home that has a pool and are concerned about all of these liability issues then you can always consider having your pool professionally removed and having the newly acquired real estate beautifully landscaped.
Liability of owning a pool for the homeowner stems from negligence, or the failure to do what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. Injuries resulting from a lack of security around a pool or a failure to properly maintain the pool in good condition may result in homeowner liability because homeowners with pools are expected to protect guests and prevent unwanted visitors. If a homeowner is negligent in keeping the pool area safe and inaccessible, then he could be liable for injuries suffered in or around the pool.
In addition, most states, cities, and towns have statutes regarding the construction and maintenance of residential swimming pools, including requirements for special covers, locked gates, and fencing. Though these restrictions may seem elaborate, failure to comply with ordinances can invite injury and may make proving liability easier because failing to comply with protective law makes a homeowner strictly liable – meaning there is no need to prove negligence. For more information, be sure to contact a local attorney with experience in homeowner liability.
Liability of owning a pool Slip and Fall
Due to the high risk of slip and fall accidents in slippery areas surrounding a swimming pool, owners must take reasonable care to provide non-slip surfaces and to take other measures to prevent accidents such as warning guests of an unsafe condition or cleaning up standing puddles of water on the pool deck. To establish negligence in a slip and fall case, you will have to show either that the pool owner negligently created the puddle, or negligently failed to remedy the puddle after notice that it was there. Negligence law requires attorneys, judges, and juries to consider all the factors surrounding the slip and fall injury that occurs on a pool deck, however, the pool owner will usually be at a disadvantage due to the high standard of care they are held to.
Attractive Nuisance and Trespassers
Typically a homeowner has no liability for injuries suffered by trespassers on his property, however, attractive nuisance is a legal loophole in the traditional liability approach to trespassers which states that a homeowner can be responsible for injuries to a young trespasser if there is an object on the property which attracts children. Playground equipment and pools are the most common examples of attractive nuisances, and in terms of swimming pool accident liability the homeowner is typically liable for injuries to children unless it is physically impossible for the child to reach the pool. If your child is injured or drowns in a neighbors pool, the homeowner may be liable for the full extent of the damages under the legal theory of attractive nuisance. As with any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits involving children, an experienced attorney should be involved.
Insurance and Liability of owning a pool
While technically a homeowner’s insurance policy may offer coverage for a pool, the truth is that any sort of coverage, even through the most comprehensive policy a homeowner can purchase, is not necessarily going to be enough to protect him should you or your child be seriously hurt in the pool. Typically pool owners are required to purchase a separate insurance policy for swimming pool liability, or an umbrella policy for the home, which would give them enough coverage for most accidents. This benefits injured parties because it allows the case to be handled by insurance rather than a lawsuit, however, depending on the nature of the swimming pool accident and the willingness of the insurance company to pay for damages, legal action may be required.
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