Who Is Liable for Public Pool Slip and Falls?

Posted On December 1, 2021 Personal Injury by John Allen Phebus

If you decide to frequent a public pool in Arizona, know that the entity that owns the property or is in charge of the pool has a responsibility to keep the swimming pool and surrounding area, including the pool deck, reasonably safe for guests and visitors. If you get injured in a public pool slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation, depending on the circumstances. Learn more about when you can and cannot hold someone liable for a public pool slip and fall in Arizona.

Poor Pool Maintenance and Liability

Not every slip and fall accident at a public pool will make you eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit in Peoria. Certain elements must exist before you can hold the owner of the pool legally responsible for your accident. The main grounds for a public pool slip and fall lawsuit is negligence. This is a claim that the entity in charge of pool maintenance failed to properly maintain the swimming pool area, and that this is what caused you to be injured. 

Lack of proper pool maintenance could create many hazards that increase the risk of a slip and fall accident, including:

  • Uneven surfaces
  • Cracked pool stairs
  • Broken ladders
  • Tripping hazards
  • Spilled drinks or sunscreen lotions
  • Broken or missing floor tiles
  • Missing or damaged rubber mats
  • Lack of slippery surface warning signs
  • Slippery diving board
  • Defective pool equipment
  • Violated federal or state pool safety regulations
  • Lack of measures to prevent children from accessing the pool unsupervised

If there is evidence that the entity in charge of public pool maintenance negligently failed to keep the premises safe for invited guests (as well as child trespassers, who are also protected under Arizona law), that entity could be held legally responsible for the victim’s injuries and related medical care. The party that the injured victim could hold liable for a public pool accident will most likely be a state or local government agency.

Who Is Responsible for a Public Pool Accident?

Most public pools in Arizona are owned by the state, city or municipal government, such as the Department of Aquatic Health & Safety. In general, the owner or controller of the public pool is the party that you will name as the defendant in your premises liability lawsuit. If you were injured at someone’s privately owned pool in Arizona, on the other hand, you would bring a claim against the private property owner.

Once you understand who is responsible for properly maintaining the public pool, you will need to obey Arizona’s specific laws and requirements for filing a lawsuit against the government. Under the Arizona Tort Claims Act, a claimant only has 180 days from the date of the accident to file a claim against a government entity. You or your lawyer generally must submit a letter of intent to sue with the agency that you wish to hold accountable. You may then enter into settlement negotiations with the agency to resolve your claim. 

You or your lawyer will need to provide evidence of what caused the accident, as well as proof of your injuries and related bills, to achieve a fair settlement. It will be up to you or your lawyer to prove that the owner of the public pool is guilty of inadequate property maintenance, dangerous or defective equipment, lack of proper supervision by lifeguards, breaking swimming pool safety regulations, or engaging in other negligent acts that caused your slip and fall. 

Seeking Compensation for a Public Pool Accident

If the government agency or an insurance company does not offer a fair amount for your claim, an attorney in Arizona can help you take your swimming pool accident case to trial instead. If you wish to get an attorney’s opinion on whether or not you have grounds for a claim after a slip and fall accident at a public pool in Arizona, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer to schedule a free consultation with one of our Peoria personal injury attorneys.