Swimming Pool Accidents
Homeowners or pool owners (including pools on private property such as condominiums and apartment complexes) are required to take procedural measures to protect visitors from any foreseeable harm. Similar to Slip and Fall Cases, with Swimming Pool Injuries and Accidents, the Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act stipulates the duties that home owners and owners of pools must take to ensure that their visitors are reasonably safe and protected.
pool owners and homeowners may be found negligent if they fail to keep the pool area safe or inaccessible. Supervision of the pool is a must; and if anyone is injured including children, owners can be found liable for injuries or accident drowning.
As a pool owner, you are responsible for providing a safe environment for both adults and children inside and outside the pool. Also, you are in charge of preventing accidents and making sure that you follow proper pool maintenance. The standard for this care is based on the expected responsibility that an average person would provide in the same situation. When a pool owner/operator fails to provide this care, they are said to be guilty of negligence.
This duty of care applies not only to the swimming area, but also its surroundings, which users will participate in while on the premises. More injuries occur at public pools since these are busier, and supervision can be more challenging to monitor. Public pools still have to follow The Occupier’s Liability Act, which sets out the standard of care they must uphold. Section 3(1) of the act states: An occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons, are reasonably safe while on the premises. If you get injured at a public pool, the owner of the establishment or city can be held liable.
To file a lawsuit against a pool owner, you need to prove that you were invited as a guest. A person who was not invited is considered a trespasser and will unlikely be granted compensation for their accident.
Pool accidents are tricky when it comes to proving that the pool owner was liable. You will have to show that the property owner was negligent by establishing any three of these points;
- The property owner of the swimming pool owed you a duty of reasonable care,
- The property owner breached this duty through either careless action or careless inaction,
- There was an injury to you caused by this breach, and
- You suffered damages (monetary and non-monetary) from this injury.
Liability is limited to a pool owner unless a person contributed to their injuries by behaving negligently; this is called contributory negligence. That injured person will be held partially responsible for their loss.
Common Pool Accidents Claims
Shortage of Supervision – public pools require a lifeguard to be on duty when guests are inside the pool. If there is no lifeguard, there must be a sign to warn guests of this. If lifeguards are on duty, they are responsible for keeping swimmers safe.
Lack of Anti-entrapment Devices – swimming pools should have devices in a position that safeguard swimmers from the pool drain. If the proper devices are not installed, the swimmer is in danger of their hair, clothing, or limbs trapped by the drainage system.
Lack of Proper Barriers – barriers are necessary for stopping children and others who cannot swim.
Uneven or Overly Slippery Surfaces – surfaces such as tile can be overly slippery and lead to slip and fall accidents. Cracked or rough pavement and surfaces can also lead to catastrophic injuries.
If you or loved one has sustained any injuries at a swimming pool, call Azimi Law for a free consultation or for a free case evaluation.