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Premises liability and pool accidents, who's responsible?

Swimming is a popular pastime for both children and adults in Maryland and elsewhere. There are those who swim for exercise, fun or even competitively. No matter why a person may love to spend time in the water, the simple truth is swimming pools present a number of dangers for users. When a swimming pool-related accident does occur, victims -- or in the event of fatality -- their surviving family members may question who is responsible. If it is believed that a pool owner was negligent in any way, ultimately contributing to an injury or death, a premises liability claim may be filed in order to seek compensation for any losses sustained.

Fatal drowning is believed to be one of the top causes of injury-related deaths for those between the ages of 1 and 14. There are cases of accidental drowning, but there are also a number of dangers in a pool that can contribute to this sort of fatal injury. One in particular is a pool's drainage system. Certain drain designs actually increase the odds of entrapment, resulting in drowning or other significant injury. Other common pool dangers include:

  • Slippery decks
  • Ladders and stairs
  • Slides
  • Diving boards
  • Electrical defects

Any of the above dangers may occur due to improper maintenance or design flaws, among various issues. Along with drowning concerns, common injuries seen as a result of poorly designed or ill-maintained equipment include head injuries and disembowelment. Both of these issues can cause life-long impairments, and will often require significant medical care, rehabilitation and the use of assistive devices in order for a victim to function.

What can one do if he or she believes a pool injury or death resulted from an owner's negligence? A premises liability claim, along with any others that are deemed appropriate for the situation may be filed in a Maryland civil court. If liability is successfully established through providing proof of negligence, a monetary judgment may be awarded for any and all damages that are deemed legally recoverable.

Source: FindLaw, "Swimming Pool Injuries", Accessed on Aug. 26, 2015

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