When Is a Homeowner’s Association Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents?
Many neighborhoods have a community swimming pool for residents, which is maintained by the homeowner’s association (HOA). Swimming pools provide a fun place for neighbors to gather for summer relaxation, exercise, and water games.
But there’s a dangerous side to pools as well. According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children between one and four years of age. Each year, there are about 3,960 fatal accidental drownings and 8,080 non-fatal drownings. Drowning or near-drowning incidents destroy lives and cause inconceivable levels of pain to victim families.
Who is responsible for community pool drownings or accidents?
Certainly, drownings and other accidents sometimes occur at pools located on private residential properties, but many also happen at community pools located in planned neighborhoods or condominium complexes. When accidents occur at a community swimming pool, the homeowner’s association is usually liable.
Having a pool gives HOAs an advantage because it boosts the appeal of the property, attracting new residents and increasing overall value of the community. By installing a pool, HOAs make themselves legally and financially responsible for maintaining the pool’s safety.
HOAs are responsible for the following:
- Ensuring the pool is fenced, including a gate that closes securely
- Repairing any uneven, cracked concrete around the pool area
- Repairing any damaged areas inside the pool itself
- Firmly enforcing the hours of operation
- Posting safety requirements for the community
- Ensuring all pool features meet local safety codes
- Any diving boards or slides must be firmly and properly installed
- Water depths must be properly marked
- Ladders and stairs must be stable and firmly affixed to the side of the pool
- Any diving or warning signs must appear in plain view of the pool
- Floors in the area should have ample grip so as to minimize slips or trips
- Pool water must be regularly maintained by a qualified pool service person
What to do after an HOA-owned pool accident
If you or a loved one had an accident at an HOA-owned pool, the HOA might offer you a settlement right away, but this is probably to the advantage of the association or its insurance provider. Instead, look to your own best interests and contact an experienced drowning accident lawyer, such as Kathryn Burmeister, immediately. Burmeister Law Firm has a proven track record helping clients recover damages after suffering drowning accidents and other pool-related injuries while using an HOA-owned swimming pool.
To successfully sue the HOA for injuries and losses due to a pool accident, you must have enough evidence to prove negligence. Gather as much of the following evidence for your case:
- Photos of your injuries
- Receipts for all medical care, hospital costs, medications, doctor’s notes, etc.
- Photos and videos of the scene of the accident and, if available, video of the accident happening
- Eyewitness testimony of bystanders who witnessed the incident
- Requests sent to the HOA regarding the need to repair any hazard or defects in and around the pool
It’s crucial that you seek medical help as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Once you’ve gathered as much evidence as possible, make an appointment with drowning accident lawyer, Kathryn Burmeister. She will review the evidence and handle all aspects of the legal process as your advocate. And, don’t worry, your consultation is free and no-obligation. Don’t delay. Get started on your claim so you can get the compensation you deserve.