Injured At a Private Pool? 4 Signs of Owner Negligence

Like many Californians, you may spend days in the swimming pool to help you beat the heat when temperatures start to climb during the summer months. Friends and family like to enjoy time together grilling and enjoying the water. However, the dark side of private pool enjoyment is the possibility of severe injury. Pool owners are actually liable for serious injuries and accidental drowning in many cases.

In the event you should become injured while using someone else's pool, or if a family member should accidentally fall in, here are some things to look to for that point to negligence on the part of the pool owner.

1. Fencing

Fencing is the most important owner responsibility in preventing accidental injuries or wrongful death. Open pools are a risk for all people, but they are especially risky for children who may slip out to play by the pool without an adult noticing, particularly at busy family gatherings. The majority of accidental drownings occur in children younger than three years old. 

Even if the owner is not aware a child is near the pool, they can still be held accountable for damages. Pools are defined as an "attractive nuisance." This is a legal term that is used to describe something that presents a danger to children, but a child could be drawn to it anyway because they are too young to recognize the inherent danger.

Having an open backyard where neighborhood children could potentially wander through and fall in the pool is almost always points to negligence on the part of the pool owner. At the very least, a yard should be fenced if a person owns a pool. But the most responsible owners also put a fence around the pool itself as an added protection for children who have access to the property during parties and gatherings. 

2. Signage

Signs help warn swimmers of dangers and remind people to play properly near the pool. While pool owners cannot control everything, they are still responsible for providing a somewhat safe and protected environment for those who have come to swim. Posting a sign warning of dangers can help visitors to be mindful of their own safety, helping to prevent some injuries.

For example, signs warning about the depth of the water could help people notice that the water is not deep enough for diving. While not required to have signs, those owners who do show greater responsibility for the safety of their visitors. A lack of a sign, or a sign that is not readable, can help strengthen your personal injury claim. 

3. Covers

In many ways, pools are an aesthetic addition to a yard as well as a recreational one. Many people like to leave their pools completely uncovered to enjoy to movement and texture the water adds to a landscaped backyard and pool area. Leaving the pool completely open is an increased risk to visitors.

Responsible owners will use a cover, especially if the pool stands empty for a portion of the year. If a person falls into the pool when it is not filled, such as during cooler months or if it is no longer in use, they can still sustain severe injuries from the fall. 

A flexible bubbly insulation cover will do little to prevent drowning or accidents. Instead, a proper cover can be stretched taut over the edges of the pool to anchors stakes in the deck. The cover will prevent accidental falls into the pool in both wet and dry seasons. 

If your injury was due to improper coverage of the pool, no matter the season, this points to negligence on the part of the owner. 

4. Maintenance

Many more minor injuries that come from pool use are due to neglected maintenance. Here are some things that pool owners should be responsible for.

Replacing Broken Equipment.

Broken drain covers are especially important to replace. The suction for a drain can cause fatal damage to internal organs or mutilate arms and legs. Injuries can also result from broken ladder rungs, cracked light covers, or sharp tiles that could cause gashes or cuts. 

Staying on Top of the pH

If water is too basic or acidic, it can cause skin problems and even wear away tooth enamel. With chemical additives, adding too much can cause burns. Owners should always test the water before allowing guests to swim. 

Deck Maintenance

They should be no standing puddles or slick spots that can cause people to slip. Slipping near a pool can be serious, leading to head injuries or broken bones. 

If the court finds you were injured because a pool owner was negligent in keeping up on pool maintenance, they will be the one responsible for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. 

Pool injuries can often be very serious, leaving lasting scars or permanent changes in your health and physical abilities. You can get the compensation you need to cover the cost. For more information, contact us at Blomberg Benson & Garrett.