If an individual is injured in or on someone else’s house or property, premise liability may be involved. This is a branch of personal injury law pertaining to injuries that are caused by a lack of safety or by defective property at another’s residence. Accident victims must be able to prove their injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence in order to pursue a valid premise liability claim. Negligence is defined as a “lack of reasonable care” regarding the property.
Many New Jersey homeowners have a swimming pool on their property. Pools are also located at private clubs and public parks around Monmouth County. If a swimmer is injured or drowns in a pool, the owner may be held responsible if it can be proved that they ignored common safety practices.
Swimming pool users at private and public facilities are usually classified into one of three categories. Public pool guests or users are known as invitees. Invitees have permission to come onto the property. These patrons are protected under premise liability rules; the pool’s owner must maintain the pool and provide a safe swimming environment. This term can also apply to the friends and family of a private pool owner.
Pool guests at a private residence are often considered licensees, who are using the property for their own purposes. Examples include pool parties and other social gatherings. Pool guests must be made aware of any potential dangers regarding the pool.
Trespassers are uninvited visitors. If a trespasser is injured on another’s property or swimming pool, the property owner is not liable for their injuries. Exceptions are made for child trespassers. In many states, including New Jersey, pool owners must take measures to prevent a child trespasser’s access to a pool area.
An owner may be liable for a pool related injury if it is not clear that the pool is too shallow to dive into, or if there are obstructions in the pool and guests are not made aware of them. Additionally, accidents in pools owned by hotels or clubs may be subject to liability of the owner if they did not maintain the pool and surrounding area, or provide access to adequate safety equipment. The owner and/or operator of a public pool can be held liable if they do not have lifeguards on duty and a swimming pool accident occurs.
Residential pools in New Jersey must follow state mandated construction standards, which include enclosing the pool with a fence four feet or higher. If the fence has a gate, the gate must be able to close and lock by itself and have a latch that is inaccessible to children. Gates must also open outward. All pools are required to have safety signs indicating depth; and all pool equipment, including drains, diving boards, ladders and slides, must be maintained. If a user suffers injury due to a failure to abide by these safety rules, the pool owner may be held liable for damages.
Accidents can happen in and around pool areas, but the at-fault party is not always the victim. If you or a family member has been injured in a swimming pool accident, contact a Monmouth County swimming pool accident lawyer without delay. The Law Offices of Fox & Melofchik are located in Ocean Township and we work with clients in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, and Mercer County as well as the towns of Long Branch, Neptune, Asbury Park, Middletown, Freehold, Wall, Belmar and Sea Girt. Please contact us today at 732-493-9400 or contact us online. Our team will work diligently to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible and your initial consultation is complimentary.