School is almost out, and summertime is just around the corner. What does all of that mean? It means a lot of sunbathing and pool parties. Unfortunately, it also means there is a potential risk of swimming pool injuries – even injuries that aren't your fault. For example, you could drown because a lifeguard is too busy texting on his or her phone. You could even suffer a serious skin burn due to a dangerous imbalance of pool chemicals. Alternatively, you could slip and fell because the floor was slippery and slick and suffered a lifelong back injury. When something like this happens and you are injured at someone else's pool, do you have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner of the swimming pool? Is it even worth your time to do so?
Proving the Owner's Liability in a Slip-and-Fall or Personal Injury Case
In order to sue an owner for damages, you must be able to prove four basic elements. These are broken down below.
This particular element essentially holds the owner accountable for any injuries that potentially occur on his or her property. For business owners, they have an obligation to ensure that consumers are safe from harm when they step foot onto their property. For residential property owners, which would be the case in this instance, they are obligated to inform invitees and guests of any known potential hazards and to do what they can to protect them from those dangers.
This element brings up a lot of questions. Did the owner of the property breach his or her aforementioned duty in keeping the pool safe for guests? Did the pool owner add to many chemicals in the pool or put inadequate chemicals in? Did the pool owner fail to properly place non-slip mats on slippery surfaces to keep falls from occurring? Did the property owner fail to have a gated/locked fence installed around the swimming pool to keep small children out of the pool area? Although more could be added, these questions are just a started to what could be suggestive of a duty breach.
If the owner did breach his or her duty, did it cause your pool-related injury? For example, if your slip and fall on a wet floor because of no non-slip mats in place and you broke subsequently broke a hip, then there is the potential that the court will find that the injury was caused by the pool owner. On the other hand, if a "No Diving" was secured to the wall or the fence and you chose to dive into the pool head-first anyway and then sustained a head injury, there is a good chance the court will find that you are actually liable for your own head injury.
Last but not least, you need to ask yourself whether the damages related to your injury are worth your time to pursue. In order to be awarded damages, you must prove you are owed money. As a general rule, this includes lost wages, medical bills, etc. If your ego was bruised, you likely aren't going to be awarded damages. However, if you spent several weeks recovering in the hospital due to your swimming pool injury and had to miss a month of work, chances are you have a significant chance of recovering damages.
To see if you have a valid slip-and-fall or personal injury case, consult with an experienced attorney (such as one from Putnam Lieb) to evaluate your potential claim and assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve.Share