3 ways homeowners can address the liability risk that a pool creates

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2024 | Premises Liability

Residents of New Mexico often endure extreme heat during the warmer parts of the year. Swimming pools can be wonderful amenities at private residences. Well-maintained pools can significantly increase the value of a residential property. They can also provide comfort on hot days.

Unfortunately, swimming pools are a major safety hazard and a source of financial liability. Children, for example, may be unable to resist the siren song of a nearby swimming pool when the days grow hot. Certain children, like autistic children, are at increased risk of drowning incidents when compared with the general public.

Pool owners have liability not just based on their own conduct but on how others react to the pool on their property. They typically need to take certain measures to address the liability that comes from having a private pool.

Installing a fence

Some states actually require that any pools installed have privacy fences to prevent unauthorized access. Proper fencing can prevent people from spontaneously trespassing to gain access to a swimming pool. In some cases, they can even reduce the visibility of the pool, keeping it from being a temptation to local children and teenagers.

Using a retractable cover

In-ground pools can be particularly dangerous for young children and animals. Modern pools often have mechanical pool covers that automatically open and close with the push of a button. Covers can prevent accidental drownings and can reduce the likelihood of others accessing the pool without the permission of the owner. Those who install and consistently use retractable pool covers have less reason to worry about others entering the pool without their consent.

Installing appropriate filter covers

Accidental drownings don’t just occur because people get in a pool without the owner’s permission. They can also occur if someone comes into contact with the water intake system that helps filter the pool water. New Mexico law does require special intake covers for pools and spas in commercial settings. Private pool owners may want to invest in similar covers so that people don’t end up trapped underwater or physically injured by the suction of the pool’s filtration system.

If owners fail to take common-sense steps that could protect the public, they may be vulnerable to premises liability claims after people get hurt or die at a swimming pool. Filing a premises liability lawsuit can be an appropriate response when a property owner does not secure and adequately maintain a pool. Premises liability lawsuits can lead to insurance payouts and can compensate those hurt by unsafe conditions on private property.



FindLaw Network
Nathan A. Cobb