When Is a Homeowner Liable for a Swimming Pool Accident?
A swimming pool is a fun addition to your home that gives your family somewhere to play and cool off on a hot day. Even though pools are often seen as a place for frivolity, they are also places where you need to be cautious since they can become deadly very easily. In 2017, at least 163 children drowned in swimming pools or spas, and nearly 70% were under the age of five.
In a worst-case scenario, a swimming pool accident can be devastating to you and your family. When the accident was caused by the negligence of the homeowner, you could use the help of a Marion personal injury lawyer to defend your rights. But first, let’s look at when the homeowner is liable for a swimming pool accident.
Even if a person was trespassing and using your swimming pool without permission, as a homeowner, you could still be held liable for any injury that results from an accident in your pool. If you don’t follow the laws for security and upkeep of your pool, you could be held liable for injuries caused by your negligence. An injury at your residential pool would fall under premises liability, and after an accident the injured would have to prove:
- You owed them a duty of reasonable care at your pool.
- You breached the duty of care by careless action or inaction.
- Their injury was a direct result of this breach.
- They suffered damages from the injury.
In order to prevent unwelcome people from using your swimming pool, getting injured, and claiming you were negligent, you should follow state laws for securing the area around your swimming pool. The Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act in the Illinois Municipal Code requires all new outdoor swimming pools on private residential properties to be enclosed by a barrier, like a wall or fence, that is at least 42 inches tall. Above ground pools taller than 42 inches are not included in this act, and neither are Jacuzzis.
As a pool owner, you should be present when anyone is using your residential pool, no matter if it’s an inflatable kiddie pool, above-ground pool, or in-ground pool. This way, you are there to prevent accidents as much as possible by making visitors act carefully. It’s also important for you to keep your pool up to date so there are no defective parts, missing safety equipment, or other problems that could be a hazard to swimmers.
Common Swimming Pool Accident Injuries
Safety should be the number one concern of anybody using a swimming pool because accidents that cause serious injuries can easily happen in them. If the area around the pool is wet, it can become slippery, and cause slip and fall accidents. Not only is the water dangerous, but diving boards, floating devices, and the walls of the pool can all become devices that cause damage, or in the worst case, death. Some common injuries that occur at swimming pools are:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
As stated above, there is only so much you can do as a homeowner to prevent a swimming pool accident and the injuries that result, but properly securing, updating, and supervising your pool are the best ways to prevent negligence and accidents.
Prince Law Firm Is Here for You
If you or a loved one were at a residential swimming pool in Illinois and were injured from the homeowner’s negligence, you could have a case for your injury. At Prince Law Firm in Marion, we know how difficult this time is for you, and we want to provide you with the legal support you need. While we handle the legal side of things, you can focus on physically and emotionally healing from your accident. Cases can be complicated, so reach out today so we can start an investigation into what happened and hold the responsible party accountable for their action or inaction.