As the winter weather begins to thaw, swimming pools and the enormous amount of fun they bring begin to enter our radars in New York. However, pools also present real dangers to visiting guests. Regardless of whether the pool is being used at any given moment, the owners of pools need to take precautions to keep visitors safe. The negligence of owners to take necessary safety precautions is not only an error in judgment, it's unlawful and will open up the pool owner to liability issues in the event of a serious accident.
Here are a few liability concerns that pool owners need to keep in mind:
1. Property owners are liable for pool safety 24 hours a day
The owner of a pool must keep track of safety issues at all times, even when he or she is not present on the property, and even when no one should be present on the property. This means that pool owners need to enclose and lock their pools in such a way that curious children cannot accidentally enter the property and fall into the pool. It also means that any time guests are present, the owner must monitor their pool area to ensure that unintended drownings and other accidents don't happen.
2. A warning sign isn't enough
Simply posting a warning sign that says "Swim at Your Own Risk" is not enough. Pool owners must provide direct supervision of their pool areas or lock the pool to prevent entry.
If a pool owner hosts a party and serves alcohol or has children visiting the property, it's vital that a watchful eye be kept on guests so that the pool owner can take immediate action in the event of a tragedy.
3. Property insurance that covers drowning accidents
Because pool owners open themselves up to potential liabilities, most choose to buy property insurance that protects them in the event of a serious accident. As such, if you or your loved one suffered an injury -- or your loved one died -- in a pool-related accident caused by owner negligence, it might be possible to seek financial compensation to be paid by the insurance company.
Learn about your legal rights and options after a pool accident
Following a serious pool accident, injured victims -- and the relatives of deceased victims -- may want to learn about New York personal injury laws. A detailed understanding of the law could help victims and family members navigate any lawsuits that arise.