Backyard Slip and Slide Homeowner Liability

Large blue waterslide with Title: Backyard Slip and Slide Homeowner Liability

Avoiding Personal Injury Claims

Everyone is gathering at your home for the big cookout and game this weekend.  You have rented one of those elaborate slip and slide castles for all the kiddies, even for some of the child-like adults.

Everyone decided on the Bounce House Water Slide with lots of sliding and water. Start from the “twenty-two-foot” secret hideout on the top, then slip and slide your way to the 3-foot pool below.  How good or how dangerous is that!

Attorneys at Hunter Law P.A. are highly skilled at Personal Injury claims. At any time, if you find yourself embroiled in this type of case; Call our offices immediately at (813) 287-2227

The following post describes interesting situations for property owners and the possibility of liability claims being filed against them. A lot of accidents, at first sight, may seem trivial but may turn into big headaches for the property owner.

Simple precautions and knowing your rights under the law is always the best road to take.

  • Hazardous History
  • Patent vs. Latent and Caveat Emptor
  • Premise Liability and Florida
  • Social Host Responsibility
  • Foreseeability and Proof
  • Final Thoughts

Hunter Law Group, (813) 287-2227

Every adult has some wondrous experience as a child while playing on slip and slide or some other water toy. In contrast, others try to block out horrific events. Slip and Slide toys are starting to make a comeback after being banned in states where injuries spiked.

No other outdoor activity used by your child should be supervised as much as a slip and slide in the backyard. Yes, I know, I am a downer in this gilded age of enlightenment.

Callout 1 with text from article: "No other activity used by your child..."

Hazardous History

For homeowners, water slide injuries are far too common to ignore. This is not to say homeowners should have every visiting child or parent sign a liability waiver. Owners need to stay vigilant, not only for their children but for others as well.

How many times have you heard the news of a bounce house flying through the air after rough winds or turbulence? For years, the CPSC has issued warning after warning on the dangers of water slides and bounce houses.

August 7, 2016, Caleb Schwab was riding the Verrückt in Kansas, the tallest water slide in the world. The raft Caleb was riding in went airborne and tragically decapitated the 10-year-old. This incident was a freakish, horrific accident, and one in which every person prays never happens again.   

Tips on Lawsuit-Proofing Your Pool and Water Slides

Before the grill is fired up and the kiddies start playing, take the necessary safety precautions.

  • If electricity is powering lights or a pump at the water slide, make sure the equipment and wiring are safe. If you notice any overhead wires hanging around, call the local power company.
  • Protect the youngest children that want to play on the slip and slide. Drowning rates are highest among children under four years of age. 
  • Summer weekends are the most dangerous times for accidents; supervise children “AT ALL TIMES.”
  • Protect slick areas around the pool, such as laying down rubber mats. Keep the diving board in good working order.
  • Beware of chemicals in the water and on the slip and slide toy. Chemicals injure thousands each year. Slip and Slide rental companies treat the outside of their toys with clean-up chemicals. Ask the rental company about its cleaning policies, and be aware of the kiddies and any allergic reactions.  

 

Callout 2- Gavel and books on desk with Title: Tip on Lawsuit-Proofing your Pool and Water Slides with 6 tips

 

 

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property, do not hesitate to contact the Attorneys at Hunter Law to better understand your legal rights. (813) 287-2227.

 Safety First for Adults

No one is injured more on slip and slide toys than teenagers and adults. Manufacturers of these toys design them for small children and only small children.

Adults who want to get in on the fun may dive into a pool that is made for a child. Adults hit bottom far too quickly with the possibility of permanent spinal cord injuries with quadriplegia or paraplegia being the end result. 

 Adult neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis are far too common on toys built specifically for children. In the early years of slip and slide toys, when governments began keeping records. Between 1973 and 1991, seven adults suffered permanent paralysis as a direct result of being on a slip and slide toy.

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property, do not hesitate to contact the Attorneys at Hunter Law to better understand your legal rights. (813) 287-2227.

Advocates for Children’s Safety 

World Against Toys Causing Harm or W.A.T.C.H, a New England advocate, tells parents that danger lurks behind many of the popular summer toys. The organization reports traumatic injuries to children double in July and August, far outpacing the other ten months.

W.A.T.C.H issues a yearly list of top ten summer safety traps that parents should be aware of. Slip and Slide toys made the list again. 

W.A.T.C.H reiterated the risks of a lawn slip and slide toy, “Know the risks: serious injuries have been associated with lawn slip and slides, including paralysis, read all instructions and warnings including specifications about a participants height and weight.” 

Callout 3- Waterslide with Text: Safety First for Adults 

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property, do not hesitate to contact the Attorneys at Hunter Law to better understand your legal rights. (813) 287-2227.

Premise Liability and Florida

Not all slip and slides are at water parks. If you have one of the water slide toys set up in your backyard or attached to a pool you as the homeowner are potentially taking on the risk for injuries that could happen on your property. 

Under Florida’s Premise Liability laws: “Property owners may be held liable for injuries that occur on their property due to unsafe conditions. However, the injured party must show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous conditions that led to the accident and should have taken steps to fix it.”

Property owners have a fundamental responsibility to maintain a relatively safe environment, so visitors who come to the property do not suffer accidents. The types of incidents that occur on a homeowner’s property are varied and complex.

Mishaps that result in liability claims can be injuries from a slip and slide, dog bites, or a guest tripping on a toy in your driveway.

Whoever owns the property is liable for the accidents and circumstances. Florida courts identify visitors to a residential property or business in three categories.

  • Invitees:  This person comes to the property owner’s land to transact business or responds to a direct or implied invitation. Property owners owe the highest level of care to this invitee. Maintenance specialists(PC) who enter a home to fix a refrigerator are considered business invitees. Florida differentiates between business and a public invitee.

Hunter Law Group (813) 287-2227

  • Licensees: This person stays on the property owner’s land for convenience or promotes the owner’s interests. This type of invitee includes social guests like friends or family members. Property owners must also warn visitors about unsafe conditions.  Florida’s Supreme Court defines this licensee type.
  • Trespasser: This person enters someone’s property without permission. Under the “discovered trespassers rule,” landowners must exercise reasonable care for the safety of that individual.

 

Callout 4- Green book titled Premises Liability with text: Premise Liability and Florida

Foreseeability and Proof

 Florida holds to a traditional approach of premise liability, meaning it looks to “foreseeability.” The injured person must prove the property owner had prior knowledge of the dangerous condition, such as the toy in the driveway they failed to pick up. “Foreseeability.”

With the professional help of Hunter Law, you can best present this proof in a Florida courtroom.

  • Florida premises liability claims fall under common law and standard principles of negligence. Any lack of upkeep or maintenance can lead to a successful claim on premises liability in Florida.
  • If you are successful in proving your claim, you are entitled to receive monetary damages including past medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, and pain and suffering. 

Social Host Liability

As a potential liability exposure, Florida Statute 768.125 says property owners can be held liable for guests who drink alcohol to the point of impairment and then drive home drunk. 

Never let anyone drive home drunk. You could be on the hook for social host liability.

Underage drinking on your property is a no-brainer.  Letting minors drink and leave can be the basis for a significant liability claim. Florida does not currently have any Social Host laws on the books; however, serving alcohol to anyone can cause problems.

Hunter Law Group (813) 287-2227

Final Thoughts on Slip and Slide Homeowner Liability

Children having fun on a bright Florida day, is the best sight in the world for any homeowner. If your neighbors trust your home enough to send their kids over, do not betray that trust.

Watch out for everyone the moment they step on your property. Keep your home in top condition so neighbors feel comfortable just dropping in. There is no better commentary on the American dream than being a responsible neighbor.

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