According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every year nearly 300 small children and toddlers drown in swimming pools. For every child who dies from drowning, another five children are admitted to emergency rooms for nonfatal submersion injuries. Many of these injuries are severe, leading to lifelong debilitation and expensive medical treatment. When injuries occur due to the fault of a third party, the victim and their family may be able to collect damages.
When can swimming pool owners be held responsible?
If a guest is injured in or around a swimming pool, the owner can be held liable for failing to properly maintain or supervise their property under a legal responsibility called premises liability. Swimming pool owners can also be held liable for injuries to trespassing children. There may be liability for:
Failing to install a proper fence around their swimming pool — Installing a proper fence normally protects the owner for liability against trespassing children.
Failing to supervise children who use the pool — If the child is injured while visiting the property as a guest, the child’s parents may be able to recover damages even if there was a proper fence around the pool.
Failing to adequately train lifeguards — Parents whose children are injured in a public pool that uses improperly trained lifeguards may be able to sue the city or the pool managers for damages.
Failing to install proper equipment — Pool owners must provide proper safety equipment, such as railings and lights at night.
Failing to post safety warnings — Warning signs must give adequate warnings and be posted conspicuously.
Liability claims based on Georgia’s pool safety laws
Georgia has specific residential pool safety laws. Residential pool owners must install fences that are at least 4 feet high and that have vertical slats that prevent children from entering. If a child is harmed in an improperly fenced pool, you may be able to claim damages simply by showing that the pool owner failed to properly fence their pool.