Swimming pools provide Indiana residents with an enjoyable way to spend time with family and friends. However, as with many recreational activities, swimming pools can pose significant dangers to users. In fact, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Indiana swimming pool accidents rate among the highest in the country for drownings involving children under 15 years old.
Swimming pools pose various hazards and dangers to their users, including, drowning, slip and falls, and injuries because of pool drains. In many instances, these accidents occur because there are a lack of safety features and devices such as fences and flotation devices. Moreover, many times, owners fail to employ lifeguards and maintain railings and ladders. Swimming pool owners and operators can take simple steps to prevent common pool and spa hazards. Owners should install fences around their pool. They should also ensure that there are proficient adult lifeguards and swimmers on site. Moreover, owners and operators should keep up with pool maintenance.
In many cases, owners can be liable for injuries that people sustain while using their pools. Liability depends on the owner and the visitor’s legal classification. Generally, visitors are designated into three categories, either an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. An invitee may be a guest who uses a public pool. Typically, the owner must maintain and repair the pool to prevent injuries. Licensees, are commonly social guests using a pool on private property. In these cases, the owner must warn their guests of hazards that may not be obvious. Lastly, owners must not intentionally harm trespassers, but they do not owe them any other duty unless the pool is an attractive nuisance.
Attractive nuisances are features such as swimming pools, trampolines, abandoned cars or similar things that may attract a child. Indiana’s attractive nuisance law requires property owners to take reasonable measures to secure any attractive nuisances on their land. However, liability may be waived in instances where the owner is a government entity.
In a recent opinion, the 7th Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of a city after a child drowned at a public swimming pond. In that case, a young girl and her family visited a public swimming pond when she tragically went into the deep end and drowned. The family filed a lawsuit against the lifeguards and city, claiming that the city deprived the girl of her Fourteenth Amendment rights. The family alleged that the city was liable because the pond was a “state-created” danger. The appeals court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the claim poses a question of negligence, not a violation of due process.
Have You Been Injured at an Indiana Swimming Pool?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Indiana swimming pool accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse. The Indiana premises liability attorneys at Parr Law have vast experience handling all types of personal injury lawsuits. Our attorneys understand the physical, psychological, and financial impact that an accident can have on a victim and work tirelessly to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Compensation can include payments for medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact Parr Law at 888-532-7766 to schedule a consultation.