Who’s Responsible for Swimming Pool Accidents?

Whether it’s for recreation, physical fitness, or simply staying cool on a hot day, having access to a swimming pool is excellent. However, while swimming pools can be the source of a lot of fun, they can also be the source of great sorrow.

Reports show that in the U.S., an average of ten people drown each day. Others suffer other serious injuries such as neurological damage or internal organ damage.

Common Swimming Pool Accidents in Ohio

Drowning accidents are often preventable. However, they continue to be the second leading cause of fatalities amongst children in the country.

According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 5700 children are taken to emergency rooms every year all over the country for treatment for injuries resulting from swimming pool and spa accidents.

Some of the most common types of swimming pool accidents include:

  • Drowning – this occurs when a person is submerged in water and suffocates. For the death to be considered a drowning, it must have happened within 24 hours of submerging.
  • Drowning by entrapment – this occurs when a person is entangled or entrapped under water resulting in their drowning.
  • Near drowning – this is when a person survives more than 24 hours following being submerged.
  • Slip and falls – this occurs when a person slips on a slippery surface in or around the pool and is injured
  • Electrocution – malfunctioning electrical systems can result in the electrocution of a person in or around a swimming pool.
  • Diving injuries – can occur from diving into shallow water or a defective diving board.
  • Pool toy entrapment – these accidents occur when a person becomes tangled or is flipped by inflatable pool toys.

Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pools are fun, but they can also be hazardous. The property owner’s or manager’s responsibility is to ensure that reasonably safe conditions are maintained in and around the pool. Some of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents include:

  • Poor lighting
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Defective diving boards
  • Badly marked pools
  • Dirty water
  • Lack of safety equipment
  • Lack of supervision
  • Overcrowding
  • Inexperience

Who’s Liable in a Swimming Pool Accident in Ohio?

Swimming pools are considered part of the property where they are located, meaning the state’s premises liability rules apply. These rules require property owners to maintain reasonably safe conditions on their properties.

This could mean having qualified lifeguards on duty and providing proper upkeep for diving boards and water quality for public swimming pools.

Homeowners could also face liability if their pool doesn’t have clear depth markers or the correct safety equipment in an emergency. They could even be liable if a child trespasses on their property and drowns without their knowledge.

How Is Liability Proven?

Property owners aren’t always held liable for swimming pool accidents. The degree of care the owner owes depends on which type of entrant you were when the accident occurred.

Your Status on the Property Matters

The law recognizes three types of entrants: trespassers, invitees, and licensees. Pool owners have a different obligation to entrants depending on their status on the property.

  • Invitees – Patrons of pools that have been opened to the public are classified as invitees. Owners of these pools have a duty to provide reasonably safe facilities by investing in maintenance and repair to prevent injuries.
  • Licensees – Social guests to a pool located on private property are categorized as licensees. Private property owners have a duty to warn licensees of hazards that the average person may not recognize.
  • Trespassers – Property owners do not have a duty of care to trespassers. However, this is not the case if the trespasser is a child.

By proving someone’s status on the property, the court can gauge whether the owner upheld their duty of care to the entrant.

Suppose a child goes to the pool with their parents, and there are no lifeguards on duty during active swim times. If a child drowns and no lifeguards are present to rescue them, the pool owners could be liable for damages due to their negligence.

This is only one example of how liability is proven. It ultimately comes down to satisfying the elements of negligence and identifying the victim’s status on the property.

What Is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

When a child trespasses onto a property with a swimming pool and is injured or drowned due to a swimming pool accident, the property owner may be held liable for their injuries.

This is based on the attractive nuisance doctrine. This doctrine recognizes that children don’t always understand the concept of trespassing or the dangers associated with the conditions on the property, such as the swimming pool.

Under this doctrine, property owners must keep their swimming pools reasonably safe if children gain access to the property. This includes preventing access to the swimming pool by fencing it.

Contact Us Now for a Free Consultation

Recovering compensation for a swimming pool accident can be complex. The premises liability attorneys at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, have successfully recovered compensation for many swimming pool accident victims.

Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with an attorney from our law firm.