Homeowners can be held liable for accidents in their swimming pool

Danger sign

When Illinois homeowners decide to construct a swimming pool on their property, it is crucial that they take the proper steps to ensure it is kept safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of ten people die every day as a result of accidental drowning in non-boat related incidents. Approximately 20 percent of these fatalities are children under the age of 14-years-old. Homeowners who own a pool may be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur in and around their swimming pool.

An 8-year-old boy recently lost his life after drowning in the swimming pool of an Ohio family, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch. His parents recently brought a lawsuit against the pool owners for wrongful death. The incident occurred when the boy and his family were attending a party at the home. The parents noticed that the swimming pool was cloudy, and the haziness made it virtually impossible to see the bottom of the pool from the outside perimeter of the swimming area. The family had allegedly left the young boy in the care of the pool owners. When the boy’s parents returned, they were unable to find the boy and later discovered him at the bottom of the cloudy swimming pool. He was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.

Common causes of pool accidents

Residential swimming pools should follow certain safety standards to minimize dangerous hazards that can occur in and out of the water. This includes the following common causes of swimming pool accidents:

  • Water contamination.
  • Ineffective or inadequate barriers and warning signs surrounding the pool area.
  • Lack of supervision.
  • Inadequate safety equipment available.
  • Improper use of diving boards.
  • Defective pool drains.

Homeowners that overcrowd their swimming pools with too many guests also increase the risk of injury or death to those swimming.

Understanding homeowner liability

 While homeowners are responsible for keeping their property safe to all who live and visit there, homeowner liability extends to outdoor features as well. In Illinois, homeowners who invite guests over to their home are legally required to warn them of any dangers regarding their swimming pool, whether it is an unmarked water depth level or a defective slide into the water.

From staying up-to-date with all swimming product and chemical recalls, to ensuring that the swimming pool alarm is functioning correctly, owning a swimming pool is a great responsibility. Homeowners are encouraged to make sure that their swimming pool is in compliance with all Illinois state codes and guidelines.