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Sending your kids over to a friend's house to play in the pool is a great way to help them get some exercise (and to get them out of the house). However, injuries and drownings in and around swimming pools are common. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined drowning to be the number one cause of unintentional death among children who are between one and four years old. Having a pool at your home in New Jersey comes with certain legal requirements, and a responsibility to make sure that children playing in and around the pool stay safe. While hopefully it's an issue you'll never have to face, if your child is injured or worse at a swimming pool, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover for your expenses and losses. 

The CPSC estimates that, between 2011 and 2013, some 4,900 children under 15 years old were treated in emergency rooms each year for swimming pool and spa drowning-related injuries. 390 children die each year from such injuries. The rates of injury are highest for younger children; 76% of all children dying of drowning-related injuries in swimming pools are under five years old, and 3,800 of those 4,900 injured children were under five years old. 47% of these injuries, and 75% of these fatalities, occurred in or around residential swimming pools.

The state of New Jersey imposes certain safety regulations on homeowners to try to prevent these injuries and deaths. For example, any type of pool-whether in-ground, above-ground, or "kiddie"-which holds water over two feet, requires a permit. Pool areas must be fenced in, with a gate that latches automatically, and an entrance near the shallow end of the pool. If the owner does not comply with these legal requirements, she could not only be putting children at risk, but could also be at risk of even greater liability for any ensuing injuries. Owners also bear an obligation to keep a careful watch on any children who are invited to their home and are playing in or near the pool. Generally, a "Swim at your own Risk" sign will not be viewed by a court as providing a sufficient warning to a young child visitor.
Even if a child trespasses on property with a pool, the homeowner may be financially responsible for that child's injuries if the area wasn't properly secured. Swimming pools are considered "attractive nuisances" which describes an object or feature on property that is attractive to children but also dangerous to those unable to determine the risks involved. Owners of attractive nuisances are responsible to keep them safe at all times, and when they fail to do so, owners are responsible for injuries caused to others even when they weren't invited onto the property.

If your child is injured when a swimming pool owner fails to properly secure or monitor their pool, seek out experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys to help you recover what you may be owed. The attorneys at Smith & Doran in Morristown can offer a free consultation on your swimming pool injury claim throughout northern New Jersey. Call today for an evaluation of your claim at 973-292-0016.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
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