When people purchase a home with a swimming pool or have one installed, they are typically thinking about all the fun they and their families will have playing outside in the sun. They may also consider the expenses and hassle of maintaining a pool. Most homeowners probably don’t spend much time wondering what their legal liabilities will be if a child wanders into their yard and drowns. The law protects children and will hold property owners liable in many cases for a child’s preventable injuries.
Each year, about 390 children under the age of 15 drown in swimming pools in the United States. Most of these deaths involve in-ground pools, but even inflatable pools can be dangerous. Almost 5,000 pool-related injuries involve a trip to the emergency room each year.
Negligent and careless homeowners are sometimes responsible for the injuries that children suffer in swimming pools. When the owner fails to maintain the pool and that lack of maintenance causes a guest to be injured, the guest or their family may have cause to bring a negligence claim. Similarly, when an adult knows children are using their pool and fails to adequately supervise those children, they may be responsible for the dangerous consequences of their neglect.
A homeowner can be held strictly liable for a child’s swimming pool injuries even when the homeowner didn’t give the child permission to use the pool. This is possible under a legal doctrine called “attractive nuisance.” The law recognizes that children are drawn to certain dangerous temptations, such as playgrounds and pools. The law expects that children might trespass in order to access those tempting things. In certain cases, when these dangers cause injury, their owners may be liable, whether they were negligent or not.
In order to be found liable under the attractive nuisance, the owner must have had an awareness that children were likely to trespass and use the attraction. They must have also failed to have taken steps to prevent danger. With regard to pools, adding a fence around a pool and covering the pool when not in use are steps that could potentially reduce danger and liability.
Homeowners do have a defense to the attractive nuisance doctrine. When children are old enough to know better, the law may determine that they assumed the risk of using the pool. This can limit or prevent economic recovery.
Seigel Law represents families of pool injury victims in the Bergen County area. If your child has been injured in a swimming pool accident or a drowning, contact our experienced and compassionate attorneys for a free consultation. We encourage you to call now at 201.444.4000 or contact us online.
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By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018
I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.Read More
By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017
The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...Read More
By L C - October, 2017
After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.Read More
By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017
Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.Read More
By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017
I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...Read More
"The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.
"After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.
"I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.
"Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.