Over $1 Billion Won
For Our Clients

Premises Liability & Swimming Pool Accidents in Texas

Swimming pools in Texas can often seem like an oasis in the midst of the sweltering summer heat. However, property owners in Texas have a responsibility to properly maintain their swimming pools and the areas around the pools in order to prevent individuals from sustaining injuries. Here, we want to review the different levels of responsibility associated with these incidents, particularly focusing on private residence owners versus business owners. If an incident occurs, a Houston drowning accident attorney may be able to fight for justice for your lost loved one.

What is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine in Texas?

The attractive nuisance doctrine, sometimes referred to as a child nuisance rule, revolves around hazards on property that could attract children and cause injuries. Texas’s attractive nuisance doctrine expands property owner obligations to include even those who might trespass, especially focusing on children. Under these laws, property owners are tasked with making sure that children are safe on their property, regardless of whether they have been formally invited.

The doctrine of attractive nuisance in Texas is based on several assumptions:

  • A child may not fully comprehend potential dangers.
  • Property owners should anticipate the possibility of a child trespassing.
  • Property owners bear the responsibility for any injuries sustained by children on their property if they neglect to adhere to these guidelines.

A critical consideration in Texas’s laws concerning child nuisances involves the age of the trespassing children. The law specifies that the child must be of an age that precludes an understanding of the hazards present on the property. For instance, a toddler would not grasp the peril of falling into a deep trench on someone’s land. Consequently, it falls upon the property owner to ensure such hazards are adequately secured to prevent children from accessing them.

Property Owner Responsibilities and Swimming Pools in Texas

Property owner responsibility for pool safety will vary slightly depending on where the pool is located. The regulations vary depending on whether or not we are discussing private residence owners or those who have pools open for the general public or paying guests.

For Private Residence Owners

Homeowners with swimming pools must implement adequate safety features to protect guests and prevent unauthorized access, especially by children. Key safety measures include:

  • Fencing. A secure fence at least 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate encircling the pool can prevent accidental drownings.
  • Signage. Posting clear, visible warnings and pool rules can help inform guests of potential risks and safety protocols.
  • Maintenance. Regular maintenance and prompt repair of the pool, surrounding deck, and safety equipment ensure a safer environment.

Under Texas law, private pool owners owe a duty of care to invitees and licensees (guests with explicit or implicit invitations). This duty includes:

  • Ensuring the pool and surrounding area are reasonably safe.
  • Warning guests of non-obvious dangers that the owner is or should be aware of.
  • Making reasonable efforts to rectify or safeguard against potential hazards.

However, for trespassers, homeowners’ duty of care is significantly limited, except in the case of children, where the attractive nuisance doctrine may apply.

For Business Owners

Businesses with swimming facilities, such as hotels and recreational centers, must adhere to more rigorous standards, including:

  • Health and safety regulations set forth by Texas state and local jurisdictions, including water quality and lifeguard requirements.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for accessible pool entry and exit.

Business owners have a higher duty of care to patrons, encompassing:

  • Routine inspections to identify and mitigate risks.
  • Clear and conspicuous posting of pool rules, depth markers, and emergency information.
  • Ensuring adequate supervision and lifeguard presence, depending on the size and type of the swimming facility.

In the event of a swimming pool accident on commercial premises, business owners may face liability if it can be demonstrated that negligence in maintaining safety standards contributed to the incident.

Request Free Consultation

Tell us about what happened


Contact Us
Request Your Free Consultation and Our Lawyer Will Contact You Within 1 Hour

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

* Required Field