Swimming can quickly turn from a great time in a bathing suit to a bad time in a lawsuit.
If there's a pool at your home or place of business, it pays to be aware of how you might end up on the wrong side of a personal injury lawsuit this summer.
Here are three ways your pool can get you in legal hot water.
1. Your Pool May Be an Attractive Nuisance
Attractive nuisance may sound like a great way to describe an ill-fated high school sweetheart, but it's actually a legal doctrine. Property owners whose property may attract and harm children are may be held responsible for that harm under the attractive nuisance doctrine. And swimming pools are one of the classic attractive nuisances. Fortunately, no property owner is expected to completely childproof their pool. There are several ways that you can keep your pool from being found an attractive nuisance, including locking gates that lead to the pool, erecting a non-climbable fence around the pool, and installing a pool cover for when the pool is not in use.
2. Dangerous Pool Chemicals
Pool chemicals cause thousands of injuries every year and most of these injuries occur at private homes (e.g., yours). And although most of these incidents are not serious, pool chemicals can and do cause severe injury in some cases. If you are mixing your own pool chemicals, be sure the read labels carefully and correctly. It's also a good idea to store pool chemicals out of the reach of young children.
3. Drowning Kids
No matter what you do to make your pool safer, any time anybody swims in it, especially children, they run the risk of drowning. And despite an overall decline in drowning deaths, drowning is still the leading cause of accidental death in kids four and younger. One of the best ways to prevent drowning in young children is to give them swimming lessons; according to the CDC this reduces the risk of drowning by up to 88%. Even then, it's always best to keep a close, constant eye on children any time they are in or around the swimming pool.
Even with these precautions, you may need a defense attorney to advise you if you end up being served with a pool-related suit.