Swimming Pool Injuries and Premises Liability Laws
Under Georgia law, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for visitors, including adhering to the state’s safety laws related to swimming pools. If a property owner fails to do so, they may be held liable for any swimming pool injuries.
Swimming Pool Owner’s Duty of Care Under Georgia Law
Pool owners or operators are not required to warn visitors about obvious hazards, such as wet areas around the pool. However, they have a duty of care to keep their premises relatively safe. That includes warning visitors of hidden dangers that the owner knew of or should have known about. If they fail to warn of or fix the hazard, then those injured in swimming pool accidents can likely pursue a claim for medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering, or wrongful death. The same applies if the pool owner fails to adhere to the state’s swimming pool safety laws. For example, a pool needs to be safe to swim in and well-maintained. Trespassers are generally not extended this duty of care as long as the pool is enclosed according to the law. However, there are some exceptions, such as when it comes to trespassing young children.
Swimming Pool Injury Liability and Young Children
Swimming pools can also be referred to as an attractive nuisance, which is a legal term for a dangerous condition on a property that may attract young children. Georgia premises liability law imposes a higher duty on landowners to protect young children who may wander onto the premises because of something that draws them there. Since swimming pools are appealing, children may enter the property without express permission or understanding of the danger. If precautionary measures are not taken to prevent foreseeable injuries to young children, a pool owner can be legally liable.
Georgia Swimming Pool Safety Regulations
Pool owners in Georgia are required by law to comply with state-set standards for maintaining and operating their pools to prevent injuries and accidents. Some of those requirements include the following:
- Barriers: All swimming pools in Georgia must be enclosed by a fence or other barrier at least 4 feet tall. The fence should have a self-closing, self-latching gate that opens away from the pool. Homeowners are allowed to use their house as one side of the fence, but if they do, an alarm must be installed on the door that connects the home to the pool.
- Pool Chemicals: All pool chemicals must be labeled and stored in a secure area away from children and pets.
- Lifeguards: Public swimming pools must have a certified lifeguard on duty during operating hours.
- Pool Drain Covers: Public swimming pool, wading pool, spa, and hot tub drain covers must be compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which requires anti-entrapment features to prevent swimmers from getting trapped underwater.
- Pool Inspection: Public swimming pools must be inspected annually by a certified pool operator or health department representative to ensure compliance with state regulations.
If you or a loved one has suffered a swimming pool injury caused by a property owner’s negligence, arrange a free consultation with an Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer today. They can help you recover the compensation you deserve.