Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who Is Liable When Someone Is Injured or Killed on a Business’s Premises?

Most parents have thought about the risks their children face while swimming in pools, lakes, or oceans. In many cases, parents feel a certain level of security because lifeguards are on duty or because they have made sure that their children know how to swim. These safeguards are important, of course, but may not be all that is required to keep your child safe from harm.

If your child is swimming in a lake with murky or weed-filled water or sharp drop-off depths, for example, the ability to swim and the presence of a lifeguard may not save your child from drowning. Parents need to be aware of all these dangers and take precautions against the risks they pose to their children.

Even when lifeguards are present at a lake, ocean beach, or pool, parents should keep a close watch on their own children to make sure they are safe from harm. Pools, lakes, and oceans are often crowded with a great number of adults and children of every age, making it impossible in most circumstances for lifeguards to watch every child at every moment. Problems can also arise if one swimmer gets into trouble and requires assistance from available lifeguards, leaving no or far too few lifeguards to watch over the remaining swimmers. Knowing this and realizing the risks swimming can pose, many owners or operators of pools post warnings to parents, advising them that they are responsible for their children’s safety even when lifeguards are on duty.

Swimming in an ocean can involve additional dangers, as well. Strong undertows and dangerous sea-life may be beyond the control of lifeguards or even the most watchful parents. Jelly-fish and, in recent weeks, great white sharks, have been known to pose threats to children who swim off the New Jersey shore. Sharks have reportedly begun to appear in waters closer to the shore than usual, requiring extra vigilance by parents of children who swim in these waters. New Jersey’s shore communities and beaches are wonderful, almost magical vacation and weekend retreats, but proper vigilance and safety precautions are crucial to ensuring that a time of joy and relaxation does not turn into disaster.

Legal Responsibility for Injuries Sustained by a Child While Swimming 
Legal responsibility for injuries sustained by a child while swimming may be attributed to a number of individuals and/or entities, depending upon the circumstances of the particular incident as well as the location of the lake, pool, or other body of water in which the child was swimming when a swimming accident occurred.

Liability of Owners of Premises
In some cases, a pool or lake in which a child is injured may be privately owned or operated. Hotels and private swimming clubs, for example, may own and/or operate pools or lakes in which a child may be swimming. If a child is invited onto the premises in such a case and is injured while swimming as a result of the owner or operator’s negligence, the owner and/or operator of the facility may be found liable in an action for negligence for any injuries sustained by the child as a result.

Liability of Individual or Entity Responsible for Watching a Child
Children are often placed under the care of another adult or daycare center while parents are working or otherwise unavailable. During the summer months, daycare employees, with the parents’ permission and knowledge, may take the children entrusted to their care to a public or private pool or other body of water to swim. If a child sustains an injury or drowns while swimming under such circumstances and the daycare employee’s negligent supervision of the child is found to have been a cause of the child’s injury or death, the employee as well as the individual’s employer may be found liable for the child’s injury or death in a negligence or wrongful death action.

Liability of Landowners for Swimming Injuries Sustained by Trespassing Children 
In many states, people who are trespassing on another’s land while injured may not recover damages from the owner or operator of such premises unless the owner became aware of the trespasser’s presence and failed to warn of a known danger before the injury occurred. An exception to this relief from liability is often made when the injured trespasser is a child, however. In cases in which a child is lured onto property by what is known as an “attractive nuisance,” property owners are generally held liable for injuries sustained by the trespassing child. As the law recognizes a swimming pool or other body of water as an attractive nuisance that is particularly enticing to children, most states have enacted statutes requiring landowners to take particular precautions (such as the erection of fences) to prevent such injuries.

Obtain Expert Assistance from an Experienced Child-injury
Attorney Today’s writer, Jeffrey Killino is a respected child-injury attorney with a special interest and dedication to child safety. Attorney Killino’s knowledge and expertise—as well as his aggressive endeavors to protect the rights of children—have awarded him invitations to appear on major television networks, including CNN, ABC FOX, and the Discovery Channel, to speak about his involvement in national cases, including one compelling Mattel to provide free lead-poisoning testing to all children who may have been affected by 1.5 million toys.

Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with this client. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this interesting article. I've always wondered about that!


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