If someone owns a home with a swimming pool and a person is injured or dies in a drowning accident in their pool, is the homeowner liable for damages? The answer is not simple. In some cases, yes – but not always. Keep reading to get the basics of liability for drowning accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered in this type of accident, contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 for a free legal consultation.
Situations in Which Someone Can Be Held Liable for a Drowning Accident
If the owner of the property was negligent and their negligence led to or contributed to the drowning accident, then they could potentially be held liable. Likewise, if the manufacturer of a product caused the accident (or the distributor or seller of the faulty product), then they might be held liable too.
The Legal Definition of Negligence
To understand when a person might be found liable for a drowning accident, it is important to understand what negligence is. It refers to a situation in which a person does not do what the average person would do in a situation.
For a person who owns a pool or other swimming facility, there is a duty of care that they create a safe environment for invited guests. If the owner does not take steps to ensure that the environment is safe, and it is determined that they did less than the average person would in the same situation, then this fits the legal definition of negligence.
Negligent Supervision is Common
One of the most common types of negligence in drowning accidents is negligent supervision. If the owner of the pool did not provide appropriate supervision for swimmers, then they could potentially be held liable for the injuries and damages. A simple example of this is the neighbor who invites the kids next door over to swim and then leaves the kids alone in the pool.
At a public pool, negligent supervision might include hiring a lifeguard or other pool staff that is not properly trained or certified or not having supervision at all.
Negligence Per Se
In some situations, the owner of the pool might be “negligent per se,” which means that they violated a law that makes them automatically liable for the accident. There are laws and regulations requiring certain things, such as fences and locked gates around pools, and if a person breaks these laws, then they can be found negligent and liable for the injuries.
If you or a loved one is involved in a drowning accident and you require help from a personal injury attorney to determine what your legal options are, contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 for a free consultation.