What are the Legal Rights of a Child Injured at a Water Park, Theme Park, or Swimming Pool?

Swimming Pool - Water Slide - Injury - Drowning During the summer months, children enjoy the time off from school and the opportunity to splash around at the community pool, a neighbor’s pool, a water park, or theme park.  Most public areas are well maintained and inspected frequently.  Most are staffed with trained lifeguards and maintenance personnel to provide for a safe aquatic environment for children. Unfortunately for some children Unfortunately for some children during the summer months, a swimming pool, water park, or theme park is the site for a serious personal injury.  Some incidents even result in the untimely and tragic death of a child as a result of a drowning or a traumatic injury.

Is a water park, theme park or property owner of a swimming pool liable or responsible for injuries that take place on the premises? The answer to this question like many other depends the particular facts and circumstances of the incident leading to the serious personal injuries or death of the child. There are four elements that are required to be proved to establish a case against a swimming pool owner, theme park, or water park.

  1. Duty;
  2. Breach of Duty;
  3. Causation; and
  4. Damages.

Simply stated it is not enough that an injury takes place at the site of a swimming pool, water park, or theme park. Beyond the mere fact that there was an injury on premises, it must be shown that there was some kind of fault or negligence associated with the incident. There are many issues or challenges that arise in cases of this nature including foreseeability and preventability of the injuries at issue.  Was the injury foreseeable? Was the injury preventable? What actions could have been taken to improve the safety of the area?  What kind of staffing was in place?  How old was the child?  Was the child at fault in any way?

It should be kept in mind that under Florida law - a child under the age of 6 years old cannot be held liable for his or her own negligence.  For children 6 and older, the child can be held partially at fault but it will depend on the child’s age, maturity, knowledge, and actions.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Swimming, Water Park and Aquatic Injuries, Playground Injuries, Automobile Accidents, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.