With summer just around the corner, swimming pool season is also on its way. Regardless of if you are in a private or public pool, or if you are hosting guests in your pool, it is essential that you understand your responsibilities and rights according to the law.
According to information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 5,700 children in the United States are treated in emergency rooms every year for spa and pool related injuries or fatalities. These occur from drowning, a slip and fall accident on a wet surface, and other personal injuries that relate to pool filters and drains.
If you own a pool you need to follow the safety laws in Missouri to protect yourself from liability if someone is injured while using your pool. If you are a guest at either a private or public pool, these laws will help you understand the proper way to handle the situation when you or someone you love suffers an injury because of negligence or unsafe conditions.
Liability for Private Swimming Pools
There are several ways a private pool owner can keep their pool safe, regardless of if they invite guests over to swim. The pool owner should ensure it is well maintained and safe and that the chemicals are properly mixed. Also, the owner needs to make a reasonable effort regarding who can access the pool.
In most situations, homeowners aren’t considered liable for injuries sustained by trespassers; however, the law states that they need a fence that is locked.
A pool owner may be held liable for injuries if negligence occurs, such as leaving a gate unlocked or allowing a child to swim without an adult.
Liability for Public Swimming Pools
Federal and state regulations dictate the safety rules for a public swimming pool. These rules stipulate things such as capacity limits, chemical consistency, supervision and water temperature to protect anyone around or in the pool.
Some public pool owners also hire employees. This is another source of liability, especially if the workers aren’t properly trained. Anyone who is responsible for taking care of the pool needs to know what their responsibilities are and be held accountable to ensure chemicals are mixed properly and that other safety rules are adhered to and enforced.
If you fail to follow the public pool regulations, it may be a costly mistake. If an injury occurs due to negligence, the property owner may be held financially liable.
Hire an Attorney for Help
Even though injury liability is an issue that pool owners need to be aware of, both owners and users of the pool need to take the proper precautions to prevent injuries from occurring to begin with.
Personal injury and premises liability cases are often complex. It is necessary to hire legal representation that has prior experience with these types of cases to ensure your rights are protected.