Toronto’s community pools are beginning to open for the season, and with more hot weather on the way, both public and private swimming pools are going to be busy.
Swimming pool accidents are the leading cause of drownings for toddlers and young children. In most of these cases, there was a lack of appropriate barriers to the water, such as a fence or latched gate. For every five children who die from drowning, five will require emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Preventing swimming pool accidents
The most important thing to do to prevent swimming pool accidents, including drowning, is to have proper barriers installed to control access to the pool. These should be high enough to stop anyone from climbing over easily, and include a self-latching gate that can be locked when the pool is not being used.
In addition to drowning injuries, injuries can result from slip and fall accidents on the pool deck. Make sure the deck is clear and pay attention to your surroundings when moving around the pool deck. Never run near the pool.
Pool owners should set rules to ensure safe behaviour, which should be clearly posted and enforced where necessary.
Who is liable for swimming pool accidents?
In Ontario, the Occupiers’ Liability Act requires owners and occupiers keep their properties reasonably safe for anyone that is making use of the premises. The owner of a private swimming pool is therefore responsible for keeping the pool and its surrounding area safe and free from hazards, as well as ensuring that the area is properly fenced and securely gated. They must provide adequate supervision during use, even in situations where everyone present knows how to swim.
Public pools do tend to have consistent supervision and safety measures in place. However, in crowded pools, it can be difficult to keep an eye of every swimmer. A municipality or other local government is potentially liable for any injuries that happen in and around the pool.
Knowledgeable legal advice about swimming pool accident claims
Swimming pool accidents can often be prevented through proper safety measures, but sometimes the worst does happen, and someone is seriously injured at the pool. The personal injury lawyers at Fireman Steinmetz Daya LLP are dedicated to representing accident victims and their families, and have over 110 years of cumulative experience litigating claims for compensation against private owners and municipalities.
We offer free consultations for new clients. Whether a swimming pool accident claim arises at a private or public pool, our team of lawyers can review your situation and help you determine the best way to proceed. Our experience handling these types of claims can give you an advantage in your fight for compensation.
Contact us online to make an appointment, or call our office at 416-967-9100.
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