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Premises liability for swimming accidents

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Personal Injury

Michigan summers are synonymous with refreshing dips in lakes, pools and beaches. But amidst the much-needed enjoyment, accidents can happen.

Understanding premises liability and the legal responsibility of property owners for injuries on their land can be crucial for individuals who get involved in a swimming accident.

Premises liability and the duty of care

Premises liability laws mandate that premise owners have a legal duty of care to anyone who enters their land. Ideally, property owners owe no duty of care to trespassers except in situations of attractive nuisances.

In Michigan, swimming pools can be considered attractive nuisances, especially for children. This means the premise owner must take reasonable precautions to help prevent kids from entering the pool unsupervised.

Social guests invited onto the property for a pool party or other social functions are owed a higher duty of care. The premise owner must warn invitees of any hidden dangers on the property, including:

  • Pool malfunctions
  • Missing safety equipment
  • Unclear depth markings

Additionally, they must maintain the pool and surrounding area in a reasonably safe condition.

Premise owners also owe licensees a duty of care. Licensees are hired individuals who have the owner’s permission to be on the property for the owner’s benefit, such as a repair person. The property owner must warn licensees of known dangerous conditions and avoid creating new ones.

Important safety measures for pool owners

State law doesn’t mandate specific pool safety equipment. However, taking reasonable precautions can significantly lower the risk of accidents. For instance, installing a fence around the pool is a crucial safety measure. This can deter unsupervised access, particularly for young children.

Additionally, clearly visible signage around the pool warning of its depth and potential hazards is essential. Moreover, regular maintenance can help ensure the pool is in good working order. This includes proper chemical balance to prevent slippery surfaces and functioning pool equipment.

Summer swimming should be a time for relaxation and fun. By understanding premises liability and taking necessary safety precautions, both property owners and guests can help prevent accidents. People who get involved in a swimming pool accident can benefit from seeking medical attention, documenting the scene and consulting with a reliable legal team to navigate the legal complexities at issue.