On a steamy day, swimming pools offer refuge from the heat. But sometimes, pools can also bring trouble. A tiny slip on the wet pavement can end up in an ambulance ride to the ER and mounting bills.
When you play in or around a pool, is it automatically your fault when you’re injured? Or can you seek compensation for these injuries? Well, “who” is liable for a swimming pool accident depends on premises liability law.
How Can You Get Injured at the Pool?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and CareWell, these are the riskiest aspects of pool activities:
- Diving or jumping in: When people dive or jump into a pool, it’s not the same as sinking into a stuffed mattress. Depending on your angle of entry (and how fast you’re going), you still strike the surface and the bottom, and sometimes with enough force to sprain or bruise your limbs and head, or even sever your spinal cord. Diving into shallow pools should NEVER be allowed. A pool guest can also come to harm if another person lands on top of him or her—broken bones or worse.
- Slipping and falling: Wet surfaces are a hazard, especially with many people around and children running on the pool deck when they’re not supposed to. Most public pools have posted signs that should be obeyed to decrease your risk of a slip-and-fall injury.
- Something in the water: Chlorine and other chemicals can irritate the skin, eyes, and ears. When you can feel the burning, it’s time to get out of the pool. Unfortunately, many infections and bacterial illnesses can also be spread through pool-water contact if the chemicals are not properly balanced, so be aware.
- Unsupervised children: Running on slippery decks, playing in too-deep water, roughhousing, and diving in shallow water are all things kids try to do. They are very likely to hurt themselves, drown, or injure other pool goers unless supervised, so make sure the pool has a lifeguard or responsible adult watching your child.
Pools Are an “Attractive Nuisance”
General premises liability laws apply to both private and public pool owners. Both need to ensure that the environment in and around the pool is safe for users.
All pool owners are subject to the attractive nuisance doctrine. This doctrine states that landowners must take extra steps to secure a hazardous condition or object that is attractive to children. Pools fall under this definition because children tend to trespass to reach them…and do not understand the risks. Kentucky law says that pool owners may be liable for a trespassing child’s injuries IF there were no guards or barriers to keep him or her out.
Public Pool Liability
Public pools are overseen by federal and state regulations. Some are run by towns, and some are licensed by the Department of Public Health. Because these pools serve the public, they must be kept in the best possible shape. In addition, the pool owner or manager needs to provide emergency equipment. A lifeguard should always be on duty for public swim.
A public pool owner is liable when their negligence or violation of regulations leads to injuries. For example,
- Allowing use of the pool when there is faulty equipment or issues with the pool chemicals.
- Allowing pool attendance when a lifeguard is not on duty.
- Not posting warning signs for dangers, such as the shallow end of the pool.
Private Pool Liability
Private pool owners do not face as many regulations as public, but they can still be held liable for injuries. Owners of these pools are required to keep a safe environment; however, they may not be required to have an on-duty lifeguard. If there is no lifeguard, owners may be required to post a sign saying so.
Signage must also be posted about general cautions, such as a broken diving board or ladders. Other than that, Kentucky law is less stringent on private owners. It is for this reason that we suggest you reach out to us at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, for experienced legal aid in these cases.
Aboveground pools may not seem as dangerous as inground pools, but they can be. These pools’ lining is usually held up by bars and metal. If a piece of the structure breaks, a sudden collapse can leave people with:
- Head injuries
- Muscle and joint injuries
- Broken bones
An aboveground pool is still subject to premises liability. The owner may be liable for guests’ injuries if the pool was improperly set up, among other things. The best way to know is to talk to a lawyer.
Contact a Louisville Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Proving liability and negligence can be tough. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we understand this. With decades of experience in personal injury and premises liability, we may able to help. Because of our no-fee promise until we win or settle the case, you have nothing to lose by calling one of our pool accident attorneys. Contact us at (502) 458-5555 for a consultation today