Summertime drownings and premises liability

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Personal injury, Wrongful death |

Summer fun turns into summer tragedy if your loved one drowns in a public pool, private pool or even your neighbor’s backyard pool. Swimming pool drownings are all too common. If your loved one lost their life after drowning in someone else’s pool you will want to make sure you understand your right to file a premises liability lawsuit.

Swimming pool drowning statistics

Drowning is the number one cause of death of children ages 1-4, save for birth defects. Drowning is the number two cause of unintentional death of children ages 1-14, with motor vehicle accidents being the number one cause of death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year approximately 3,960 fatal drownings occur.

Drowning incident and liability

One of the best ways homeowners and private pool owners can prevent drownings is by having adequate fencing around the pool. A four-sided fence is best compared to three-sided fences. Children may trespass to a pool with inadequate fencing and swim without notice. If your child drowns in a pool with inadequate fencing, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.

Swimmers, especially children, also need to be closely supervised. Lifeguards should be on duty at public and private pools. If your child drowns due to a lack of supervision, even if the pool owner did not know the child was there, you could have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.

The attractive nuisance doctrine

When children drown, property owners can be liable due to the attractive nuisance doctrine. Pool owners must prevent access to their pool to keep children from entering it. The concept is that children can be attracted to swimming in a pool and do not have the maturity to understand that swimming alone or without permission is dangerous.

It is important to note that the attractive nuisance doctrine does not apply to adults. It is much more difficult to pursue a premises liability lawsuit if it is an adult who drowns. Still, if the pool deck is slippery, pool depths are not marked or if the pool owner fails to warn about unobvious dangers, you may be able to pursue a premises liability lawsuit.