Property owners face an increased risk of accidents occurring when there is a pool on the premises. Ranging from slips around the pool to fatal drownings. According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the third-leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. If you or someone you love has been injured in a swimming pool accident, Texas premises law allows a claim to be filed against the property owner for damages.
Homeowner’s Duty of Care
Pool owners or operators have a duty of care to keep their premises relatively safe for visitors. They are not required to warn visitors about obvious hazards, such as wet areas around the pool. However, if there is a hidden danger that the owner knew of or should have known about and failed to warn about or fix, then injury victims can likely pursue a claim. The same applies if the pool owner fails to adhere to Texas swimming pool safety laws. For example, a pool needs to be safe to swim in and well maintained. Any chemicals must be mixed appropriately, and a reasonable effort must be made to control who has access to the pool.
Trespassers are generally not extended this duty of care, as long as the pool is enclosed according to the law. Swimming pools can be considered an attractive nuisance though, which means certain precautions are essential to general safety.
Texas Swimming Pool Safety Laws
Homeowners in Texas are required by state law to comply with state-set standards for maintaining and operating their pools. Some of those requirements include:
- An enclosure around the pool area that’s at least 4 feet high with the openings at the bottom of the fence that are less than 4 inches.
- The enclosure cannot be made from chain-link fencing.
- Permanent equipment or structures cannot be near the fence in a manner that allows people to climb over the fence.
- Doors and windows that open out to the pool should have safety systems, and alarms installed that will sound off whenever someone goes through.
- Self-closing and self-latching gates
- Ladders for aboveground pools must be locked, removed or secured whenever the pool isn’t being used.
Pool owners are also responsible for the safety of children who are on their property or swimming in their pools.
A Pool is an Attractive Nuisance
Attractive nuisance is a legal term referring to a dangerous condition on a property that may attract young children. Since swimming pools are appealing to children, they may enter the property without express permission or an understanding of the danger. Texas law imposes a higher duty on landowners to protect children who may wander onto the premises because of something that draws them there. Precautionary measures must be taken to prevent foreseeable injuries, or a pool owner can be legally liable.
What to Do if You Sustain a Pool Injury on Another’s Property
The steps to take after sustaining a pool injury on another’s property are:
- Call 911, if the injury is serious so you or your loved one can receive faster medical attention. It will also dispatch the police to the scene, who will create an accident report documenting the incident and the resulting injuries.
- Document the accident scene, if you are physically able to, or you can ask someone else to. Take photos of the pool itself and the surrounding area, its equipment, as well as any other objects involved in the accident. Pictures of the scene can help explain why it happened and potentially prove pool owner negligence.
- Go to a doctor, if you didn’t receive medical attention at the scene. Not only will it prevent your injuries from getting worse, but it also is a medical record proving your injuries occurred at the pool.
- Call an experienced Texas swimming pool accident lawyer, as soon as possible. Evidence can quickly disappear, so the sooner you hire an attorney to begin collecting evidence, the stronger your case will be.
Speak to a Lawyer Who Understands Swimming Pool Liability Laws in Texas
If you or your loved one was injured in a pool accident in Texas, contact the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm. Call today at (844) 529-4867 to schedule a complimentary consultation with a San Antonio premises liability attorney.