Most swimming pools have been open since Memorial Day but the rising temperatures mean pools are getting more use - and that means lawsuits from pool related injuries are also on the rise.
With temperatures rising, swimming pools seems like a summer oasis. But slick surfaces, deep water, and pool chemicals can turn a favorite summer pastime into a dangerous situation.
Be safe near the pool this summer but protect yourself and your loved ones. Know the key factors in a lawsuit based on a swimming pool related injury.
If you or someone you love is injured in a swimming pool-related accident this summer, there are three factors to consider when filing a claim.
1. Determine who owns the pool. If you're filing a lawsuit, you need to know who is responsible for the accident and name them as the defendant.
Figuring out who owns the pool before you file the suit can save time and energy. If the wrong party is named, the lawsuit will have to be re-filed which causes time delays and cost you extra in filing fees.
2. Know if someone was responsible for pool safety. Legal negligence requires that someone had a duty towards the person who was injured and that they failed to live up to their duty.
In most states, lifeguards have some legal duty to supervisor pool guests. Private pool owners also owe a duty of care to invited guests to make sure their property is safe. Failure to meet this standard of care may allow you to bring a claim for negligent conduct if you or someone you know is injured as a result.
3. Did the owner follow the legal requirements for pools in your state? Many states recognize that swimming pools can be dangerous and require owners to take some preventative precautions.
In most states a pool must be fenced in or have some other barrier around it. If a child can easily get around the barrier and gets hurt, the property owner may be liable. Just because your child wasn't supposed to be on the pool owner's property doesn't mean you can't recover for your child's injuries.
The pool is a fun place to hang out in the hot weather and with some safety precautions it can also be relatively safe for you and your family. But if someone is hurt, know that you have options.
The unique factors in your swimming pool injury may change how a lawsuit should be handled. Make sure you contact an experienced attorney to protect your legal rights.
- Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week 2012 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Take Caution to Avoid Swimming Pool Accidents (FindLaw)
- Swimming Pool Liability: Pool Safety is Key (FindLaw's Injured)
- Summer Weekends No. 1 for Drowning Accidents(FindLaw's Injured)