A dip in a pool offers a welcome reprieve from the heat. Unfortunately, sometimes fun in the sun can lead to drowning or other submersion injuries. If a loved one suffered injuries or death as a result of drowning, a Kansas City personal injury lawyer can help you determine if someone else legally responsible. Know your legal options and how the Kansas City drowning attorney at Wendt Law Firm P.C. can help your family.
A Matter of Premises Liability
Swimming pool accidents and drowning fall under the legal theory of premises liability. Under Kansas law, this requires all owners of a property to adequately maintain and responsibly care for their property. Owners of public lands must also take reasonable steps to keep their patrons safe. The degree of care a property owner must exercise depends on the category of the entrant. For example:
Patrons of public pools or hotel pools, whether for free or by charge, are “invitees.” Pool owners must exercise reasonable care and maintain and repair the pool to prevent injury. In some instances, professional supervision may be required.
Guests on private property are “licensees.” Pool owners of private property have a lower duty of care and instead have a duty to warn patrons of dangers that might not be immediately obvious.
Under Kansas City premises liability law, a property owner does not owe a duty of care to trespassers. With regard to swimming pool injuries, however, the law operates a little differently.
Exceptions for Child Trespassers
Kansas, like most other states, has an “attractive nuisance” doctrine that requires pool owners to keep their pool safe from children who cannot comprehend the dangers associated with a swimming pool. This means pool owners must install and adequately maintain a fence around the property to keep children out. If they fail in this duty, they may be liable for damages, even if the child was technically trespassing.
Other Forms of Swimming Pool Injuries
Drowning is the most obvious devastating consequence of swimming pool accidents, but pool owners may also be liable for other injuries. For example:
Injuries from diving into a shallow area lacking posted warnings.
Failure to provide life preservers.
Injuries resulting from inadequately maintained diving boards or ladders.
Civil Suits Against Government Entities
In many cases, public entities, like the city government, own and operate local pools. Lawsuits against government entities are different from traditional third parties. They typically have a shorter statute of limitations, and they may enjoy protection under governmental immunity. These lawsuits require an experienced injury attorney and specific experience with lawsuits against municipal agencies.
Your Kansas City Drowning Attorneys
A swimming pool injury can be devastating, leading to permanently disabling injury or death. If a loved one suffered a submersion injury or drowning and someone else was legally responsible, you may be able to collect damages to pay for bills and final expenses. While a settlement cannot erase the trauma of your experience, it can provide financial security when you need it most.