Absolutely nothing beats the heat like having your own private swimming pool to enjoy. Homeowners across the country choose have these little bits of paradise in their backyards to privately swim in with their family and friends. However, all owners of swimming pools need to be aware of the legal responsibilities involved in their ownership. One of the biggest responsibilities is taking precautions to keep children from finding their way into your pool. If you fail to take proper preventative measures and a child drowns or is otherwise injured in the pool, you may face legal ramifications based on the legal doctrine of “attractive nuisance.”
An attractive nuisance is an artificially created condition which is both dangerous to children and tempting to them. Children are often unable to properly assess the dangers of a situation like an adult can. The law places some responsibility of keeping children safe and out of harm’s way on the owners of such temptations. Swimming pools make for an obvious temptation to children, and are thus considered attractive nuisances.
The expectation of the homeowner is that they will do what is reasonable to keep children from coming into contact with the swimming pool unsupervised. This may include installing a tall fence in the backyard, keeping the pool indoors, or putting up signs warning against trespass. It is also important to make sure that any gate into the backyard is kept locked at all times. If children still choose to climb the fence, you will likely be able to claim that you did everything in your power and took reasonable pains to protect the children.
Due to the high risk of liability that comes with a pool, all property owners with swimming pools should consider purchasing additional liability insurance with their homeowner’s insurance company to protect them from attractive nuisance claims.
If there has been an accident involving a child finding their way into your pool, you should contact a skilled property lawyer Decatur GA can count on. Your attorney will be able to look at the factors of the accident and break down a clear path to defending you from having to pay large sums in a settlement. If you have properly secured your pool and taken reasonable precautions, your attorney will be able to defend you against any claims. Your attorney will also take on the burden and headache that comes with any legal action, allowing you to rest easy.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into swimming pools and attractive nuisance.