Wet Surfaces Alongside a Pool May Amount to an Open and Obvious Hazard
It is finally summer time! This is the time of year to host a BBQ, pool party, or outdoor gathering. However, unsafe conditions on the property can lead to an injured visitor resulting in a personal injury claim. In New Jersey, a property owner must take the necessary steps to uncover and remove harmful or unsafe conditions.
With in-ground pools surrounded by decorative pavers and outdoor waterslides placed on the grass have begun to grow in popularity, there is also an increased risk of an injury occurring on the property as a result of slippery surfaces. While a property owner is required to inform their guests and remediate any hazard on the property, a guest may be precluded from recovering damages for their injuries if the hazard was open and obvious.
Under New Jersey premises liability law, a slippery surface around a pool may constitute an open and obvious hazard, which is a defense that may be asserted by a defendant. Here, the court asks whether a reasonably prudent person would have identified the hazard and understood the danger the hazard presented.
The court will examine the following:
- Whether the hazard was foreseeable;
- Whether the person is aware that the hazard exists;
- Whether the person was able to bypass the hazard;
- Whether the person assumed the risk; and
- Whether the injured party acted unreasonably under the totality of the circumstances.
While a slippery surface alongside a pool or water slide may amount to an open an obvious hazard, it is still important to place a warning sign next to any wet surface in order to properly inform your guests.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a premise that presented a serious hazard, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. In personal injury cases, a Plaintiff must prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence in order to win. The attorneys at Rinaldo Law Group are skilled personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.