Owning A Pool Isn’t All Fun & Games

Maybe you’ve gotten lucky and finally bought a home that already has a swimming pool built into the backyard. Or maybe you’ve worked hard, enjoyed your success and are rewarding yourself by adding value and a little bit of luxury to your home by getting a pool built to your specifications on your property. Whatever the case may be, one of the main goals of owning a swimming pool is to add more rest and relaxation possibilities to your home. Being able to swim in your yard in warm weather all year round is one of the great perks of living in Florida.

But, as with anything in life, once you own something you have certain responsibilities. When it comes to owning a swimming pool, you need to take those responsibilities seriously in order to make sure you avoid an upsetting and unwelcome lawsuit.

Your Guests May Be Your Plaintiffs

All home owners have a legal responsibility that is known as premises liability. This means that you have a legal obligation to ensure that guests at your home have a reasonable degree of safety when they enter your home. If anyone should come to harm as a result of some dangerous element in your home, there is the very real possibility that the injured guest could sue you for personal injury. This is especially true if you were aware of the possibility of a harmful element in your home but ignored it, in which case, a strong argument could be made for negligence that resulted in injury.

For example, in the case of a swimming pool, the area around a pool is usually covered by stone or tile. Depending on the surface used, there may be issues of slipping and falling which can result in people being harmed. Another all too common—and tragic—occurrence is children left unattended near swimming pools who may be too young to know how to swim. Sometimes they drown in the pools because no one was supervising them as they played.

Take All Precautions

As the owner of a swimming pool, it is your legal responsibility to ensure your pool is safe not just for the guests you have, but the guests you may not know about. This may seem unfair, but a swimming pool can be legally considered an “attractive nuisance.” This means that children and others in the neighborhood may be more strongly tempted to trespass on your property because of the presence of an entertainment fixture, such as a swimming pool.

If a child should injure themselves—or even drown—on your property because of the swimming pool, you may also be legally responsible for this mishap, unless it can be proven that you took the appropriate measures to prevent trespassing. This doesn’t mean you have to put up a barbed wire fence, laser sensors and 24 hour surveillance to keep strangers out, but on the other hand, for example, if you didn’t even put a fence around your pool, and people have easy access to it, that would definitely not look good in court.

On the other hand, if you or someone you know has been injured at someone else’s swimming pool, you may want to see if a personal injury lawyer will weigh in on whether you have a case.