Swimming pool injuries: How liable am I?

Swimming pool could be the best gift that you can give to your kids and your guests this coming summer. There is no better way to enjoy the heat than by spending it with your loved ones in your own swimming pool. However, swimming pools could also be the most dangerous part of your house. In fact, the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm says that a large number of premises liability cases have been associated with swimming pool injuries.

As a homeowner who has (or wanting to have) a swimming pool in their own home, it is important to know the degree of duty of care you have with your occupants. According to www.crowemulvey.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/, your duty of care largely depends on how the court would classify the injured occupant:

Invitees

Invitees are people who have expressly or implicitly invited into your premises, usually for your own benefit. Tenants, invited friends, and contractors rendering services for you are all regarded as invitees. Because premises owners have the highest degree of duty to invitees, you are expected to eliminate all hazards that may trigger a swimming pool incident. Failure to do so could make you liable for all the damages an invitee might incur.

Licensee

Licensees are those who are not expressly or implicitly invited into your premises, but are otherwise allowed to enter your property. A neighbor who frequents your house could be a licensee. As a pool owner, you have the obligation to warn the licensee about the inherent dangers of your pool, and accidents arising out of your failure to warn of danger could make you liable.

Trespassers

Although according to the law, premises owners usually don’t have any duty of care to those who are not allowed by law to enter someone else’s premise, this could not be the case if the trespasser is a child. Children have additional rights in place to protect them. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, your failure to secure an inherently dangerous attraction (in this case, the swimming pool), could make you liable for any injuries a child-trespasser may incur.


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