Personal injury: Swimming pool safety legislation updated

With the California summer in full swing, parents must consider the safety of their children around swimming pools. Authorities say drownings of children between ages 1 and 4 years are the second leading cause of toddler deaths in the state, and even those who survive such incidents could suffer a personal injury such as irreversible brain damage that might cause permanent disabilities. Residential swimming pools are particularly dangerous because homeowners might think that just being around the house is sufficient supervision, while children should never be unaccompanied at any swimming pool.

California has always had strict regulations when it comes to the safety of residential swimming pools, but the safety act was updated, and it became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. Previous legislation allowed some municipalities to govern home pool safety, but the state now mandates all residential pool safety regulations. This does not apply to multifamily residence pools, public pools and hot tubs with required, lockable safety covers.

Effectively, the new requirements to prevent drownings are twice as strict as those that were in effect until the end of 2017. Specific safety features must be included in any plans to remodel or build a residential swimming pool before a permit for such a project can be secured. Authorities say the stricter requirements aim to prevent hundreds of disabilities and deaths caused by drownings.

Homeowners who have residential swimming pools can be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur, even if the victim was uninvited. An experienced California attorney can explain the laws about premises liability and also the attractive nuisance doctrine to avoid such lawsuits. Parents who have to deal with the death or injury of a child after an encounter with an unsafe swimming pool can seek the support and guidance of a personal injury lawyer in pursuit of financial relief.

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