When the weather warms up, who wouldn’t want to go for a dip in the pool? But this popular summer spot is a common location for slip and fall accidents.
From one perspective, it’s easy to see. The surrounding area is often wet, the concrete ground displays cracks, swimmers enter and exit through a ladder, and, if there’s a concessions stand, a sticky surface might be close by. Plus, there are the issues of supervision and safety.
Like any slip and fall case, however, responsibility by the poolside isn’t always clear cut. The plaintiff and defendant must abide by certain rules.
It’s without saying that the pool’s owner must ensure the surrounding area and all equipment are safe. Any hazard must be addressed right away, by closing the pool or putting up a sign clearly warning of the danger. As a result, if a slip and fall does occur, the plaintiff must prove the owner was negligent in identifying and handling said hazards.
Yet, multiple factors may create an unsafe environment: poor maintenance, damaged equipment, or a lack of supervision. Because any hazard must be removed or obviously marked, and because the pool should have proper safety equipment on hand and enough staff, multiple individuals may additionally be responsible when a slip and fall injury happens. Depending upon the circumstances, this could be:
- The lifeguard, for a lack of supervision or responsiveness to an injury;
- Operators and managers, if the injury results from improperly maintained grounds;
- Contractors who provide maintenance and cleaning services; and
- Companies that manufacture equipment like diving boards, steps, and ladders.
As is the case when customers enter a premise to use or request a service, the pool, surrounding surface, and locker room must be routinely checked and repaired.
For Pool Attendees
Whether you’re a patron at a resort, paying for a country club membership, or going to the public pool, anyone passing through the gates and planning to go for a swim is expected to follow certain safety rules.
Signs and staff members may enforce some, while others are considered reasonable, rather than reckless, behavior:
- Always walk around the area – never run.
- Wear proper footwear – something flat with treads, rather than heels or smooth-soled shoes.
- Be careful wherever you dive.
- If you cannot swim, be sure to properly wear an adequate flotation device.
- Observe whether a lifeguard is on duty. If no one is present, stay out of the pool.
Not following these rules may have life-altering consequences.
Slip and fall injuries by the pool have resulted in:
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones or fractures
- Nerve damage
Injuries frequently involve children under 14 years of age.
Because your behavior will be under the microscope, it’s recommended you document the conditions. Take pictures of the scene, get names and contact information from witnesses and assisting employees, note all warning signs in the area, and document all medical visits and treatments.
Going to the pool should be an enjoyable afternoon – not one resulting in a trip to the emergency room. If you’re recovering from an injury, don’t just let the medical bills build up. To hold the responsible party accountable, start your case with Trantolo & Trantolo. Contact any of our Connecticut law offices to speak with an experienced attorney.