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Is a Pool a Liability?
ELI5: Negligence

A drowning accident lawyer weighs in

A lot of people are unwilling to have a pool because of the additional liability they can take on due to the pool. However, having a pool in your backyard doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to be in lawsuits left and right. Though it’s impossible to completely avoid being sued, there are steps you can take to reduce your liability, even when you have a pool in your backyard. If you’ve got a pool in your backyard, it’s important that you take reasonable precautions to ensure that those using your poolwhether invited or otherwiseare not injured this summer. After all, taking steps to ensure that you’re doing everything a reasonable person can to prevent drowning accidents is a key part of reducing your liability.

Premises Liability and Swimming Pools

Premises liability is a legal concept that holds that the property owner is responsible for injuries that happen on their property when the property owner failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the aforementioned injury. So, if you have a pool party, and you allow your guests to bring and drink alcohol, you could be liable for injuries that occur when an intoxicated guest is injured in, or around, your pool. This is because you knew, or reasonably should have known, that swimming can be dangerous after a person has ingested alcohol. Under premises liability, you’re responsible when you knowor should knowthat a hazard exists, but you fail to remove the hazard. If you are aware that a person is at risk for being injured on your property, but you don’t take reasonable steps to prevent the injury from happening, you could be liable for the injuries your guests sustain.

Reducing Your Liability

As previously stated, there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing lawsuits. Even after you’ve done all you can do, someone still may become injured and sue you for damages. However, while it isn’t possible to completely eliminate your liability, it is possible to reduce your liability. You can reduce your liability by taking reasonable precautions. The more you’ve done to prevent an injury, the less likely it will be that you’ll be found liable for another person’s injuries. If you’ve got a pool in your backyard, you should have a fence put up with self-closing hinges on the gate. You should also consider having a gate that locks. Put a cover on the pool when it’s not being used and make sure all toys are cleaned up and put away. Make sure you have floatation devices for those who cannot swim.

Trespassers

You can also be liable if a trespasser uses your pool and is injured. However, if your pool is properly secured, your liability may be reduced since the injured party was trespassing and did not have permission to be on your property. As a property owner, you are responsible for keeping your property safe for guests, not trespassers. If you take the right precautions, combined with the fact that the injured party was trespassing, you are less likely to be liable. In Utah, multiple parties may be found to be at fault. This is sometimes called modified comparative fault. If the trespasser is determined to be 50% or more at-fault for the incident, they cannot be compensated for their injuries.

Children

Children are tricky because they’re more likely to sneak into your pool, more likely to become injured, and less likely to be liable for their injuries. Why is this? Well, to begin with, there’s the fact that, legally speaking, young children are almost never considered to be trespassers. Also, a swimming pool may be considered to be an attractive nuisance. This means that children may not be able to understand the danger that the swimming pool poses so they’d go swimming anyway. So, if you know that children are sneaking into your pool, you have a higher duty of care toward those children. If this is the case, you need to take additional precautions in securing your pool.

Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

Before you start using your pool, review your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure that it covers fatalities or injuries that occur on your property due to the pool. This is especially important if you’re a new homeowner, or if you’ve just recently built a pool on your property. It’s also important for you to know how much your homeowner’s insurance policy covers. If a person is injured in your pool, your homeowner’s insurance policy will likely be the first place a personal injury attorney looks when they’re attempting to get compensation for their client.

When You Need a Drowning Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a swimming pool, and you need a drowning accident lawyer, Moxie Law Group is here for you. Our talented attorneys are committed to fighting for the injured and getting fair compensation for those who have been injured. If you’ve been injured, and you need a little extra help getting back on your feet, contact Moxie Law Group today.