Pool owners do accept some risk when they allow people to swim on their premises. However, the owner of a pool is not automatically liable for injuries that occur in or around the pool.
Here’s an overview of liability issues regarding residential swimming pools.
Issues with liability in swimming pool accidents will typically fall under the general guidelines of premises liability laws.
Under these laws, there are several different kinds of “entrants” on a property: trespassers, licensees and invitees. Property owners owe varying degrees of care to each of these types of entrants.
For pools, invitees are usually patrons at public pools, and the owners of these pools have a responsibility to make sure the pool is reasonably maintained to prevent injury. Licensees are typically going to be guests at pools on private property, and owners of these pools are responsible for warning guests about any potential dangers that might not be obvious.
A person who owns a pool has no responsibility to ensure the safety of a trespasser, however, other than no causing intentional harm to that trespasser. There is an exception here when the trespasser is a child—pool owners have a legal responsibility to keep the pool safe from children who do not understand safety issues and are at greater risk of drowning. This includes preventing access to the pool (with a fence or gate, for example) so children will not wander into the area unaccompanied.
For more information about liability and duties of care for owners of swimming pools and your legal options if you are injured in or around a pool, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.