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Who’s Liable for a Swimming Pool Accident?


In the summertime, many people enjoy spending time at the pool. While a day at the pool can be relaxing and fun, various hazards can arise if proper safety precautions are not taken. According to statistics released by the CDC, about ten people each day pass away as a result of downing. Tragically, two out of ten are children under the age of 14.

Even if a swimming pool accident does not result in fatality, oxygen deprivation can cause severe injuries such as brain damage, memory loss, and permanent disability. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a pool accident, you might be wondering who should be held accountable. In many cases, liability falls on a pool owner — but there can also be other parties who may be held liable for negligence, depending on the facts and circumstances of the incident.

Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents can occur due to a wide variety of conditions and factors. Drowning can be caused by inattentiveness or lack of supervision. Falls can be caused by slippery deck areas, and entrapment can occur if a pool drain malfunctions. Swimmers may also be at risk for electrocution if wiring is faulty in underwater lights or equipment such as pumps and filters.

Other common causes of pool accidents may include:

  • Failure to supervise
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Intoxication
  • Poorly constructed deck
  • Debris in the area surrounding the pool
  • Lack of proper barriers
  • Poor lighting
  • Improper depth markers

Another way in which a person can be harmed by a pool is if the owner does not ensure it is properly cleaned. Swimmers can contract various bacterial illnesses, viral diseases, and other infections through unclean pool water if it is not treated with the appropriate chemicals.

Liability for Swimming Pool Accidents

Many swimming pool accidents apply the rule of premises liability. A private pool owner, or a public entity that exercises control over the pool, must make necessary repairs if they know or should have known about a dangerous condition that could cause injury to another. An owner may be held liable for negligence if they failed to keep it free from dangers and foreseeable hazards. Significantly, many injuries can be prevented by having proper safety measures in place and ensuring the pool is adequately maintained.

A pool accident case may also fall under the scope of product liability. Critically, manufacturers must ensure their products are safe and free from design flaws and other defects. If an injury arose due to the design of the pool, a faulty diving board, or a malfunctioning suction drain, a lawsuit might be brought against the company that manufactured it.  

Economic and non-economic damages may be available to you if you have been injured in a pool accident. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover your unreimbursed medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the mental anguish you experienced in connection with your injuries. Families who have lost loved ones to pool injuries may also be eligible to receive monetary compensation for their economic losses in a wrongful death action.

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

An attractive nuisance is considered a condition or structure that children might be drawn to — such as a swimming pool. Under this doctrine, those who own pools are responsible for keeping them safe from children who are too young to understand the hazards associated with them.

Importantly, property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care and ensure pool areas are properly gated or fenced to prevent children from getting hurt, regardless of whether they are trespassing. They could be held responsible for any injuries that arise as a result of their failure to do so.

Contact a Knowledgeable New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve suffered pool injuries as the result of another’s negligence, a skilled and diligent personal injury attorney can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. With over thirty years of experience, The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. offers reliable representation and aggressive advocacy for clients who have been hurt in swimming pool accidents and many other personal injury matters.  

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a free consultation.