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Many swimming pool tragedies start with law violations

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Premises Liability

Both businesses and individual property owners are ordinarily liable for what happens at their property. Premises liability is the technical term for the legal and financial responsibility a property owner may have for injuries that occur at their home or in their yard.

Sometimes, premises liability claims begin with a negligence-related issue. Someone doesn’t repair their front porch, and an individual falls through a rotten board, breaking their leg. However, some of the worst premises liability tragedies in California each year can relate to violations of state law. Consider swimming pools. People who have swimming pools must follow state codes for their protection and the protection of the public. One common legal infraction too often leads to tragic incidents where children get hurt or possibly die in someone else’s swimming pool.

The law requires appropriate fencing

Pools are attractive to children. They don’t necessarily think about the consequences of their actions. Instead, they may simply try to get into a pool once they discover it. Younger children and autistic children are particularly vulnerable to drowning incidents involving swimming pools.

The law in California requires an enclosed fence around swimming pools to limit access and prevent unintentional drowning. A pool does not need to be particularly large to require a fence that is at least 60 inches tall. According to state code, any pool that is 18 inches deep or more should have a fence installed around it.

Unfortunately, people often assume that if a pool is temporary, if they install it after acquiring the property or if they don’t have nearby neighbors that they can ignore that statute. Unfortunately, property owners rarely know any child might wonder past their property and spot the glistening sunlight reflecting off of the water of their pool.

Those coping with the aftermath of a child’s injury or a family tragedy related to a swimming pool may be able to file a premises liability claim. They may receive funds from someone’s homeowner’s insurance policy. However, insurance companies may not cover pool-related losses if the property owner violated state law or did not inform the insurance company about the pool’s installation.

A lawsuit is often necessary for families hoping to secure financial compensation for the losses generated after a tragedy occurs at a local swimming pool. There is a grandfather clause for older pools, but a property owner could still be liable even if they didn’t technically violate the statute. Understanding that pool drownings often begin with regulatory violations may empower people to take action after a preventable incident at a swimming pool results in harm.