The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every day in the United States, two children under the age of 14 die by drowning. Another 10 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to nonfatal drowning incidents. More than six of those will suffer long-term consequences ranging from victims suffering from learning disabilities to the victims having to live their lives in a permanent vegetative state. You want to do what you can to prevent injuries and deaths from occurring in your own swimming pool.

Liability of Homeowners for Injuries and Death That Occur in Their Swimming Pools

A backyard swimming pool can provide months of fun for you, your adult friends and your children. But, if a death or injury occurs, you as the homeowner will most likely be liable. You need to be sure your homeowner’s insurance provides coverage. Contact your insurance agent for specific information relevant to your particular pool. A North Carolina personal injury attorney can also answer your liability questions.

You may think you will carefully supervise children who are swimming at your house. This is more difficult than you think. Drowning happens quickly. The news is rife with reports of children who drown while adults are nearby watching them. A drowning child is often indistinguishable from a playing child. A drowning child does not scream or flail, but instead bobs up and down while trying to grab a breath.

Another danger is neighbor children who find their way into your pool when you are not even home and are either injured or drown when you do not even know they are there. Children slip and fall as they run around the pool deck. Others hit their head when they dive into shallow water. You need to take some steps to minimize your liability.

How to Minimize Your Liability

There are a few important steps you can take that can minimize your liability. Check with your local municipality to see what local ordinances require. Most require the following:

  • The pool must be enclosed with a fence at least 4 feet high.
  • Fence gates must be self-closing with latches on the inside which are secure and cannot be reached by a small child.
  • Use a secure pool cover for times the pool is not in use.
  • Each household member should know CPR.
  • Each household member should know how to quickly access rescue equipment.
  • Install a pool alarm that will sound when the surface of the pool is disrupted.
  • If you cannot find a child, check the pool immediately before looking anywhere else.
  • Check with your insurer to see if a diving board is allowed.

Consult with one of our attorneys at Campbell & Associations for more information about how to protect yourself from liability.

swimming pool liability protection