With many pools being shut down this summer due to COVID-19, it has led to people setting up backyard swimming pools to cool off this summer. However, a swimming pool on your property can potentially cause a personal injury lawsuit that you are not prepared for. Here are some things to keep in mind to better understand your liability as a property owner with a swimming pool.
Know Your Local Laws
It is important that you become familiar with the laws in your areas regarding swimming pools. For example, some states require that you simply have the yard fenced off, while others require that you have a fence that is a specific height. In some states a gate will be fine, but others require a locking gate. Understand how the law applies to your area so that you can best be prepared.
Know Your Home Insurance Policy
Many homeowners assume that they will be covered in a personal injury lawsuit because of their home insurance policy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. You may need to reach out to your home insurance provider and let them know that you will be installing a swimming pool. Don't be surprised if your insurance premiums go up slightly, or you need to buy additional coverage for a swimming pool. Some home insurance policies will not even cover the swimming pool if it is not fenced off according to local laws.
Know How To Keep People Safe
Even if you have your yard fenced off and are properly insured, it is important to take steps to keep people safe when they are around the swimming pool on your property. It is not enough to simply put signs up around a pool that state the rules. It is also about not encouraging improper behavior that can lead to an injury, and to warn people when they are not behaving properly.
For example, if you have a shallow pool, you should not allow people to dive into shallow water. If you have a below ground pool, you should discourage people from running on the pool deck. You can have all the signs up that you want, but if you allow this behavior regularly, it could be seen as if you are endorsing this behavior at your pool.
Reach out to a personal injury lawyer if you find yourself injured at someone's backyard swimming pool, or facing a potential lawsuit for someone's injury.