Splish, Splash: Swimming Pool Liability

June 15, 2016

Written by Amy E. McLaren

School is out, the sun is shining, and a great place to entertain kids (and adults) in the summer is by the pool. While water activities can provide hours of entertainment, there are also many dangers associated with poolside fun. Whether you own a swimming pool or plan to visit one this summer, below are some important reminders:

If you own a swimming pool, what steps should you take to prevent a dangerous situation?

  • First, confirm that your homeowners' or umbrella insurance policy provides coverage for your swimming pool. Many homeowners' policies exclude swimming pool coverage, and you do not want to be held personally liable for an accident at your pool.
  • Second, remove toys and floats from the pool once playtime is over. Often children will wander, unsupervised, to the water to retrieve a toy.
  • Third, and even better than removing toys, install a fence, alarm system, or pool cover that can be used when no one should be poolside. Especially if children are in your house or nearby, set precautions to prevent unknown visitors or accidental drownings.

What should you do if you're injured at a swimming pool?

  • Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries!
  • Generally, public swimming pools and/or public water parks are governed by the municipalities in which they lie, so an action for injury may include a claim against the locality.
  • According to Virginia law, when swimming at a private pool, your ability to recover may depend on your "status" at that property. Social guests are generally classified as licensees and as such, property owners may be liable for your injuries if they neglected to warn you of certain conditions on the property.

This article is not intended, nor is it, legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and our law firm. If you are injured at a swimming pool this summer, it is best to seek legal advice, as soon as possible, regarding your specific incident.