A swimming pool can be an incredibly enjoyable and valuable addition to your home. When installed properly and secured responsibly, a pool can boost your health, provide the perfect location for an outdoor party, and offer a way to improve the value of your home. Pools are wonderful and inviting.
But pools can also be inviting to people who shouldn’t have access to them. Curious kids, trespassing teens, and others can be a problem for pool owners — especially because such visitors can bring unwanted legal consequences along with them.
Legal liability and your pool
The legal problems, from a homeowner’s perspective, come along with the risk of injury (and worse) that pools can create. Pools have their hazards, after all: It’s possible to drown, to bump one’s head, or to trip on the pool rim and get hurt. Pools can even invite skateboarding accidents, personal injury attorneys say. Some trespassing skateboarders like to use empty pools as places to perform tricks, and full ones as hazards to jump over.
A personal injury lawsuit relies on negligence to succeed, legal experts explain. But pool owners will need to make some simple investments to avoid being considered negligent. In law, a pool is considered to be something called an “attractive nuisance.” That means that pool owners are supposed to know that uninvited guests might try to get into their pool, and are expected to take certain measures to stop them.
Protecting your pool and yourself with the help of a responsible contractor
So should pool owners worry? Not if they’re working with a reputable contractor, say the pros at a well-regarded swimming pool contractor in New Jersey. If you’re installing a pool yourself or working with an unreliable contractor, though, you could be in trouble.
You’ll find a lot of reasons to work with great contractors. A poor swimming pool installation could end up costing you a whole lot more than anything you might have saved by skimping on the contractor. But one notable reason is that the law’s relationship to pools is no mystery to experienced swimming pool contractors.
A good contractor will set you up from the start with the right protections to limit your legal liability. The need for fencing, gates, and any other safety and security measures will be outlined and explained. A good contractor will know all about the best ways to keep your pool beautiful and secure, meaning that you won’t have nearly as much to worry about in terms of legal liability.
More to know about swimming pools, security, and the law
Keeping your swimming pool behind a fence and gate will go a long way toward limiting your legal liability in the event that someone sneaks in and gets injured on your property. But, of course, nothing is guaranteed — which is why you should protect yourself with insurance and legal knowledge.
Your homeowner’s insurance should have some amount of liability protection. Now is a good time to call your insurance company to find out just how much. Your insurance company will need to know, of course, that you have a pool (or that you are in the process of installing one). Be up-front and make sure that you’re covered. If you ever need coverage for legal liability, you’ll be very glad that you have it.
If you end up in a legal situation because of an accident or other incident involving your pool, you should reach out to a lawyer right away. You don’t need to know a whole lot about the law to make smart decisions after an accident, but you should know this much: You should get a lawyer as fast as possible. Delaying hiring an attorney can be a bad idea, legal experts agree, and you could end up limiting your options or undermining your own case if you make statements and have discussions with the victim of the accident or other parties.
Armed with a bit of knowledge, a bit of insurance, and a protected pool built by experienced contractors, you should be able to rest easy at night — and enjoy your beautiful pool during the day.