Summer is heating up, and that means there’s no better time to cool down with a refreshing dip in the pool. Hanging outside by the backyard pool and having friends and family over can be a great way to spend time in the summer, but with a swimming pool comes some serious liability laws that you need to know about. Below, we take a look at what type of liability you have when you own a swimming pool, how you can protect yourself from a lawsuit and how you can file for compensation in the event you were injured at someone else’s pool.
Injuries At Personal Swimming Pools
Many Minnesotans believe that putting a fence around their pool or putting up a sign that says “No Lifeguard On Duty” will absolve them of liability in the event of an injury. However, a sign or a fence doesn’t absolve you of liability. Under Minnesota law, a landowner assumes and owes a duty of care for any person invited on their property. Property owners do not usually owe a duty of care to trespassers or people that are not invited onto their property, but there’s a catch when it comes to being a pool owner. It’s known as the “attractive nuisance rule.”
This exception to the duty of care law for uninvited guests goes as follows. If a Minnesota landowner:
- Creates or maintains a potential injury hazard (such as a swimming pool); and
- They know the potential injury hazard could attract children; and
- They know that the potential injury hazard could serious harm a child, then a child trespasser is held to the same standard as an invited guest in the eyes of the law.
In other words, If you leave your 13- and 8-year-old home alone and one of them has friends over to swim in the pool and another child suffers an injury, or if you don’t have a fence around your pool and a child walking home from school jumps in and drowns, you can be held liable for their injuries, even if you did not give the child permission to be there.
There are also local regulations that need to be followed as a homeowner in order to reduce your liability. Each city may be different, but in Minneapolis, pool owners are required to have a white or light-colored interior surface, handholds along the waterline, a deck that’s at least four feet wide, a fence that’s at least four feet high and a self-latching gate that connects on the pool’s side. Failing to maintain a pool that is up to code can substantially increase your liability in the event of an injury.
If you suffered an injury at a community pool, a hotel pool or at a neighborhood pool, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Hey Workers. We always handle a fair share of pool-related injury cases during the warm summer months in Minnesota, and we can help get you get the compensation you deserve. Injuries at pools can be life altering, so trust your compensation case to a firm who has handled many similar cases in the past. For a consultation about your case, or to simply learn about your options, contact Hey Workers today for more information.