Yes, you can sue for a slip and fall around a swimming pool if someone else negligently caused your injury. There are three steps to determining if someone is liable for your damages.
The Three Steps of Determining Liability
The law requires that you prove three things to sue for a slip and fall around a swimming pool:
Duty of Care
The person must have owed you a legal duty of care. If you are legally present at a public or private swimming pool, the owner of the pool has a reasonable duty to do things to keep you safe, like promptly fixing known defects or cleaning up spills. If, on the other hand, you are trespassing at a pool and you slip and fall, the pool owner might not have to pay your damages, unless the owner committed gross negligence or an intentional act.
Breached Duty of Care
The defendant must have breached their duty of care toward you. If they knew, for example, that the maintenance person who cleaned the pool left a slimy substance on the paved surface around the pool but did not bother to clean it up or post warnings, they did not meet her duty of care. Failure to satisfy the duty of care is a type of negligence.
Causation to Your Injury
The negligence must be what caused your injury. We are all negligent multiple times throughout any given day. We are only liable to others if our mistakes harm them. If you slipped and fell because of the slimy substance on the area around the pool, the fact pattern satisfies the causation element of liability.
What Happens If You Were Also Negligent
Often, more than one person is at fault when someone gets hurt. If this is what happened in your situation, you might be worried about whether your part in the mishap will bar you from recovering any compensation from the other party. Not to worry, Georgia follows the rule of comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence, also called comparative fault, your negligence will only prevent you from getting your damages if you were the one mostly at fault.
How Comparative Fault Works
Here is an example to demonstrate how comparative fault works:
Let us say that you were horsing around at the side of the pool and lost your footing because someone had spilled a slippery substance, like suntan oil. The pool had a sign that notified people of the pool rules, one of which was, “No Horseplay.”
If the judge finds that you were ten percent negligence for engaging in horseplay in violation of the pool rules, you will get 90 percent of your damages. The comparative fault rule will reduce your compensation in proportion to the percentage of your fault. So, if you have $50,000 in damages from breaking your leg when you slipped and fell, you can get $45,000 after the $5,000 deduction for your ten percent fault.
How to Get Help
If you suffered an injury after a slip and fall at a pool, and you think someone else was at fault, please call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC. We will not charge to evaluate your situation and tell you if we think you might be entitled to compensation. For your free, no-obligation consultation with a premise liability lawyer, call 404-474-0804 today.