Swimming pool owner liability for personal injury exists in Oklahoma. In the hot Oklahoma summers, swimming pools are an inviting and refreshing form of recreation if you are fortunate enough to have access to one, whether public or private. But swimming pools are also potentially dangerous and cause many personal injuries in Oklahoma each year. Some persons, especially young children and those who are not adept swimmers, may be at risk when using a pool or involved in other water sport injuries.
Whether acting as a property owner or property manager, you have a duty to ensure the safety of anyone who visits your property. Business enterprises like hotels, public parks, and even private homeowners who invite guests to use their swimming pools have a duty that, if breached, may result in liability in an Oklahoma civil court. This form of premises liability may subject you to legal responsibility to compensate any injured party for their damages due to your wrongful conduct.
Potential accidents at a swimming pool or facility include drowning, diving, and slip-and-fall accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that
- More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except congenital disabilities.
- Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes for children ages 1–14.
The Duty Of Care In Oklahoma If You Own Or Manage A Swimming Pool
Whatever you do during your daily routine, any type of action may create risks that affect others. If you own or operate a swimming pool in Oklahoma, swimming pool owner liability may attach if you do not act to ensure the safety of anyone who uses your pool.
Your duty of care in this situation includes complying with all applicable federal, state, and local safety laws, providing lifeguards, minimizing the risk of slip-and-falls, and using fencing to prevent trespassers or any other unauthorized persons from using the pool. This duty also includes ensuring that the pool is not an attractive nuisance that endangers younger children. The failure to prevent an area from being too slippery or not providing safety measures like a lifeguard can breach this duty.
The law of premises liability in Oklahoma applies to lawsuits for injuries suffered using swimming pools. The level of responsibility depends on the type of pools involved. A public pool is operated for use by the general public. It may also refer to pools intended only for guests or members of a hotel or private club. Unless a pool is on the property of a single-family home, it is likely a public pool.
Private pool owners have the highest duty of care in this situation. They, therefore, owe the greatest responsibility to guests, also known as licensees, who use a pool located on private property.
Public pool owners and operators must take reasonable measures to maintain and repair pools to reduce the risk of injury when guests use the pool or facility.
Trespassers are uninvited persons who use a swimming pool without the owner’s permission. Both public and private pool owners and operators have no responsibility to provide for the safety of trespassers, except those trespassers who are children. As a result, pools must be surrounded by fencing so they are inaccessible to unauthorized children or not old enough to use the pool and facility.
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Parties Potentially Liable For A Pool Accident
Parties and entities who may have a duty of care related to owning or operating a swimming pool include the following:
- Private individuals
- Public pool owners and operators (municipal pools)
- Hotels, motels, and inns
- Apartment complexes
- Amusement parks
- Pool equipment companies
- Pool design companies
- Pool maintenance companies
If any of these parties have a duty of care and breaches this duty, they may be liable if you suffer any damages as a direct cause of their conduct. You have a right to seek compensatory damages for all harm caused in this situation.
Tulsa Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident, the experienced Tulsa swimming pool injury attorneys at Kania Law Office are here to help. Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in all types of injury accident cases. For more information about how our Tulsa personal injury lawyers can help you call (918) 743-2233 or contact us online.