Summer is now here, and with it warmer weather. During this time of year, enjoying your free time and the outdoors often means cooling off in the pool. While swimming pools are a great form of recreational fun and a great way to exercise, they aren’t free from safety risks and the potential for preventable accidents and injuries – especially when negligence is involved.
Unfortunately, as statistics show, swimming pool accidents are a common cause of accidental injury and death nationwide. This is especially true during the summer months. While it is important to make safety a priority when enjoying your time at a private or public pool, not all injuries can be prevented by your own vigilance alone. Some may be the result of another’s negligence.
As with any personal injury case, victims harmed in swimming pool accidents may have the right to seek justice and financial compensation for their damages – including their pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses – when they are able to effectively demonstrate that another party should be held accountable, either as a result of their negligence or their strict liability. Below, our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys discuss a few common issues when it comes to swimming pool accidents and determining who should be held at fault for victims’ injuries.
Private Pool Owners
Private pools are those owned by individuals and other private entities, and may include swimming pools owned by a friend or family member, gyms or health clubs requiring membership, day care centers or summer camps, and others. Under premises liability laws, private pool owners have legal obligations when it comes to ensuring the safety or visitors and guests, including the duty to take reasonable steps for addressing potential dangers they knew or should have known about.
Generally, if a private pool owner knew of a potential hazard, or should have known about it, but did not take steps to fix it, they can be held liable for injuries and damages suffered by guests. Examples of accidents where private pool owners may be held liable include:
- Failing to fix a broken pool ladder
- Failing to supervise
- Inadequate supervision, including inadequate supervision of children
- Failing to prevent child injuries by fencing off or preventing access to the pool
Public Pool Owners
Public pool owners may be held liable for swimming pool accidents for the same reasons as private pool owners. This generally means failing to address potential hazards, such as by not having lifeguards on duty, failing to adequately clean or maintain pools to avoid infections or disease, or not addressing broken items in or around the pools. Unlike cases involving private pool owners, public swimming pool accidents may entail unique laws regarding government liability. As such it is important for any victim injured at a public pool to work with experienced attorneys who can help them address the unique issues in these claims.
When swimming pool accidents are caused by unsafe or defective products, manufacturers of those products may be held liable under product liability laws. Examples of these cases may include:
- Defective or dangerous pool toys
- Defective pool equipment
- Defective pool cleaning items
- Defective above-ground-pools
- Dangerous or defective pool drains
Holding a product manufacturer accountable for injuries and damages requires extensive experience in product liability law, as well as the need to prove how a product was defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed.
Protect Your Rights After a Swimming Pool Accident
Our legal team at Shrager & Sachs hopes everyone has a fun and safe summer. However, we know accidents can happen at any time, and make ourselves available to victims and families whenever they do. During a free consultation, we can closely review your swimming pool accident to discuss your rights and who may be held liable for your damages. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team.