Summer is here, and the kids are ready to head to the local public pool or even a private pool in the backyard. Pool safety is always a top priority and pool-goers should be aware of who is responsible if an accident does occur.
A Pool Owner’s Duty of Reasonable Care
Pool owners have a duty of reasonable care to anyone who is invited or expected to use their pool. If it is a public pool, there may be an even greater duty of care since the pool owner holds itself out as a facility where the public can attend. This does not mean that absolute safety is guaranteed by the pool owner. The pool owner has a duty to tend to problems with or immediately surrounding the pool that could cause a safety risk.
If the owner knows or should have known about the issue or problem, they have a duty to the public to fix the issue right away. For example, if the chlorine level is too high for regular use, the owner should test the levels frequently and should not allow people in the pool if he or she is aware of the high chlorine levels.
Additionally, the owner has a reasonable duty of care in the design of the pool. There should not be any unexpected dips in the surface or slippery flooring surrounding the pool in high trafficked areas. This can cause unwanted slip and fall accidents. If a railing or tiles are broken and a swimmer is injured as a result, the owner must have a chance to recognize the problem before they can assume full liability for that risk. Therefore, the timing of the incident is vital for determining liability regarding a pool accident.
Pool owners are also required to place proper signage of the depth of the pool and indicate where diving or jumping into the pool is not allowed. This type of warning may or may not be considered reasonable, depending on the size and expected use of the pool.
Swimmers Are Expected to Exercise a Reasonable Duty of Care
Like pool owners, swimmers also have a duty of care to behave reasonably at the pool. If the pool has a sign that no diving is allowed in a certain area, but a swimmer dives and is then injured, the owner’s liability may be decreased. Some of the issues would then be whether the sign was in a prominent place and whether it was likely that the swimmer saw and ignored the sign.
Swimmers are also expected to follow other posted rules and behave as reasonably expected at a pool. If swimmers are using the pool not as intended and a swimmer is injured, they could be found to have contributed to their injury. This could decrease the amount of liability that is placed on the pool owner in a legal case.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Help Victims Injured in Swimming Pool Accidents
If you or a family member has been injured while swimming at a pool owned by a neighbor or company, the Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can help. With office locations in Philadelphia and New Jersey, we serve clients from the surrounding areas. Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.