Pool Party Injuries: When Is A Host Liable?


Summertime is also fun-in-the-sun time for a lot of people -- and that often involves a pool party or two. If you're lucky enough to be invited to a pool party, you may be delighted -- until you get seriously injured because of someone's negligent act.

Since there's always a slightly inherent risk of injury when you get into a pool, are you simply out of luck if you get injured? Not at all. There are plenty of times when the host of a pool party is actually liable for someone's injuries.

Here's what you should know about private pools, pool parties, and a host's liability for injuries:

How common are injuries in pools?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 10 non-boating related drowning every day. Many of these happen in private pools. There are many more non-fatal incidents -- many of which can leave the victim with brain damage, spinal cord damage, and long-term disabilities. 

While the exact number of injuries related to pools and pool parties is unknown, private pools often pose significant risks to guests precisely because they are not well-regulated. There's usually no lifeguard on duty and alcohol is frequently a factor at these kinds of events -- which can impair judgment among guests and lead to further injuries.

When is a host liable for your injuries?

Social hosts have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe premise for their guests. Liability is based on foreseeability and negligence.

Essentially, you have to ask, "Was this accident reasonably foreseeable?" Could it have been predicted? You also have to ask, "Could it have been prevented with reasonable care?" In other words, if the host had stepped in and taken reasonable action to prevent what was obviously an "accident waiting to happen," would have the accident been prevented? 

What are some examples of a negligent host at a pool party?

Here are some examples of pool party accidents that could be foreseeable and negligent on the part of the host:

  • The host allows diving off the side of the pool, despite the fact that swimmers are in the pool underneath the diver and the diver hits a swimmer in the back, paralyzing them both.
  • The host allows guests who have been drinking to chase each other around the pool and one guest slips and falls, hitting her head and developing a traumatic brain injury.
  • The host leaves the ladder to the pool unattended and down after the adults go inside and a child climbs the ladder to the pool and drowns.

These are just a few obvious ways that preventable pool injuries happen -- but they're unfortunately common.

What should you do if you or a loved one suffered an injury at a pool party?

If you were injured at a pool party or a close relative was killed, talk to a personal injury attorney today about your legal options. The odds are high that the host is responsible and his or her homeowner's insurance will have to compensate you for your losses -- but only if you know your rights.


30 May 2019

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