The Florida temperatures are starting to rise, which means that, now more than ever, you will find people in pools across the state.
With so many people in the pool, accidents are bound to happen. When they do, who is liable for the accident? This is a really important question, especially if you or someone you love is injured to the point where you must consider filing a lawsuit.
In Florida, accidents in the swimming pool fall under premises liability. Essentially, that means that the person or entity who owns the pool can be held responsible for deaths or injuries that occur if they were negligent.
Here’s what you need to know about pool accidents in Florida and how to determine if negligence is to blame.
Under premises liability law in Florida, those who own properties with pools have what is called a duty of care to all who may use it, even those who are trespassing on the property. Anyone who owns a property with a pool must take steps to ensure that accidents don’t occur and that injuries are prevented.
Just what duty of care is owed depends on the status of the visitor, of which there are three:
There are people who are legally on a property using a pool. In this case, there is a duty on behalf of the owner to maintain and inspect the pool, ensuring it is free of hazards that could lead to an accident.
These are people who are not legally on the property. In this case, there may still be a duty of care owed, especially if the victim is a child, because a pool constitutes what is called an attractive nuisance.
These are guests invited onto private property by the owner. If you own a private pool, you have a duty to warn of any conditions that can be dangerous to the guests, whether they are obvious hazards or not.
How Can You Sue?
Your ability to sue depends on your status at the time of the accident and the circumstances surrounding the event. Most of the time, a property owner can be held liable for injuries sustained if the victim can show that these elements existed in the case:
- A duty of care owed by the property owner
- A breach of that duty of care
- An injury that was the direct result of that breach
- Damages suffered as a result
You can sue the owner of the pool, any government body that may own the pool property or a private homeowner for residential swimming pools. You may also be able to sue the manufacturer of the pool if there was a known defect that led to an injury.
If you own a pool, even if it’s at your own house, you must take steps to ensure accidents don’t happen. That’s why it’s worth the investment to make sure you have appropriate pool barriers and properly maintained pool decks, as well as safe pools, functioning equipment, and proper supervision at the pool.
If you or someone you loved was injured in a pool accident, there may be a way to hold the owner liable. Discuss your case with a qualified attorney today to see if your case can go forward – and if you can get the compensation you need to cover the costs of your accident.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.