Going to the pool is a refreshing way to spend the day during the hot summer months. But unfortunately, pools can be dangerous places. While drowning is always a risk, many other incidents can occur in or around swimming pools.

Pool owners are responsible for ensuring that the people they invite to use the pool are safe. Therefore, when someone suffers an injury, the pool owner could be liable for the injured person’s damages.

Contact a local attorney as soon as possible if you, your child, or another loved one sustained an injury in a swimming pool accident in Houston. A skilled premises liability lawyer at Roberts Markland LLP could review your situation and help you hold a negligent party accountable for the harm they caused.

What Responsibilities Do Swimming Pool Owners Have?

A pool owner’s obligation to keep swimmers and other visitors safe depends on their status. For example, if an owner opens their pool to members or paying guests, the people who use the pool are invitees. In these situations, owners must employ lifeguards and conduct periodic inspections to identify potential hazards. Additionally, pool owners must fix dangerous conditions as soon as possible and post warnings or restrict access to unsafe areas.

Homeowners with backyard pools must provide a safe experience for guests they invite to use the pool, known as licensees. According to Houston Code §43-19(b), private pool owners must enclose their pools with a fence at least 48 inches high that cannot be climbed. In addition, gates must open away from the pool, be self-closing and self-latching, and be lockable. Young children should not be able to open the gate if it is closed.

Although pool owners have no duties toward adult trespassers, they must take steps to prevent trespassing children from gaining access to the water. An owner whose pool complies with the law’s fence and gate requirements is unlikely to bear responsibility if a trespasser suffers an injury, regardless of age. However, if an owner in Houston did not comply with relevant laws, they might be liable if a trespassing child suffered an injury in a pool incident.

Drowning is Not the Only Risk

Many swimming pool accidents involve drowning, but there are many other ways a person could get hurt at a pool in Houston. For instance, if a pool’s owner was negligent, they could be liable regardless of the injury someone suffered. Pool and pool areas are full of hazards. Common pool injuries that could result from an owner’s negligence include:

  • Falls on slippery pool decks
  • Diving board injuries
  • Injuries resulting from malfunctioning whirlpools or spas or uncovered pool drains
  • Infections and skin problems from bacteria in the pool water
  • Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation from excessive chlorine

Pool owners must make reasonable efforts to warn of hazards and repair the dangerous conditions they are, or should be, aware of. When someone suffers a pool injury, a legal representative could investigate the case to discover whether the pool owner failed to comply with their duty to maintain safe premises. If so, the injured person could file a lawsuit seeking damages.

Filing a Claim After a Swimming Pool Incident

When someone suffers a preventable injury at a swimming pool, they could file a negligence action against the pool’s owner. If the claimant can prove an owner’s recklessness led to their injuries, they could receive compensation for the losses they suffered in the pool-related incident.

A lawyer in Houston could identify a pool’s owner and send them a demand letter that sets forth the circumstances surrounding the injury, the reason the pool owner is responsible, and the claimant’s damages. In many cases, the owner or their insurance company responds to the letter by denying responsibility but offering a small payment.

Almost all accident cases result in settlements before a trial. In some situations, a case may settle before a claimant files a lawsuit. However, the threat of a lawsuit often encourages a responsible party to make a reasonable offer. Claimants must act within the state’s two-year statute of limitations to have that leverage.

Trust an Experienced Attorney in Houston to Handle a Swimming Pool Accident Claim

Swimming pool owners are responsible for protecting their guests from injury while using the pool. If a pool owner’s carelessness causes an injury, they could be liable for the injured person’s damages.

A knowledgeable attorney could provide excellent advice after a swimming pool accident in Houston. Contact a legal team member immediately to learn about your legal alternatives.