Swimming is a popular activity in California, and many people enjoy doing so in their own backyard pools. However, it is not unknown for injuries to occur at swimming pools. For example, a person could slip and fall on a pool deck at a friend's house. Or, a child could be enticed to a backyard pool and could accidentally drown. In such incidents, who is responsible for accidents that take place in private pools?
Private pool owners are generally responsible for injuries that take place when they are at home and supervising those using their pool. However, private pool owners may even be liable for accidents that take place at their pool even if they are not at home and are somehow negligent. This means private pool owners must take steps to ensure strangers or neighbors cannot gain access to their pool without their permission.
In general, a warning sign that swimmers swim at their own risk does not absolve a private pool owner of all liability. Private pool owners should erect fences that are too high to climb over and lock any gates from within so that children and others do not trespass on their property and use their pool. Or, even if a private pool owner invites guests over to swim, they must make sure their pool and the area surrounding it is adequately maintained and that guests are not served too much alcohol that could lead to accidents.
Ultimately, liability in any personal injury case -- including premises liability cases involving private pool owners -- is a complex topic. This post only provides some tips on this subject and cannot replace the advice of an attorney. Those who have been injured at a private pool will want to seek the professional guidance they need to determine if they have a viable personal injury claim.