Pool owners know they need to ensure their pools are safe for invited guests. But you may be surprised to find out the responsibility to avoid swimming pool injuries can extend to trespassers. Under certain conditions, a pool owner can be held liable for injuries to someone who went into the pool without permission. For instance, as a personal injury lawyer I have seen cases where children have wandered onto someone else’s property and drown in an unprotected pool.
Why Should Pool Owners Be Liable for Trespasser Injuries?
A pool is considered an attractive nuisance because it can entice children onto the property, and put them at risk. In the California case Werner v. Holton, the court explains when an owner is liable for harm to young children who trespass. The case establishes that a property owner is responsible for injuries to child trespassers when:
- The property owner knows the pool is there
- The property owner knows children are likely to trespass to the property because of the pool
- The pool causes unreasonable risk of death or serious harm to children
- Children do not realize the risk because of their youth
- The obligation of the owner to protect against injury on the property are minor, compared with the risk to young children who could be endangered
These rules make clear pool owners can be held accountable if they do not take proper precautions to protect even a trespassing child from being injured or drowning in their pool.
What Does CA Require Owners to Do to Prevent Trespasser Pool Accidents?
The California Swimming Pool Safety Act imposes very strict rules on swimming pool safety. The California Department of Public Health provides details on this, and other laws, pertaining to public and private swimming pools. The regulations are designed to prevent trespassers from suffering harm.
For example, pools have to be enclosed by walls, fences, portions of buildings, or other “approved durable enclosures.” The enclosure has to be at last five feet high. There can not be holes or gaps greater than four inches in the enclosure. The enclosure must be designed so children cannot readily climb it.
A swimming pool owner who fails to comply with safety regulations is presumed negligent and thus should be held liable for resulting injuries to children.
Getting Help from a Long Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
If you or someone you love was hurt or drowned in a pool accident, you should understand your legal rights. As an experienced Long Beach personal injury lawyer, I can help you determine if a pool owner can be held liable and made to compensate you for damages related to your injuries or a wrongful death. I take your injuries personally. I will handle every aspect of your case myself, to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with a Long Beach personal injury attorney to learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered a pool accident injury.
You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
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