When you make use of a public swimming pool, the operator has a duty of care to try and make sure your visit is as safe as possible. Therefore, if you’re injured or made ill while using a swimming pool, you may be eligible to make a swimming pool accident claim for compensation if the operator was to blame for your injury or illness.
In this guide, we’ll explain when you could make a swimming pool accident or illness claim and review how much compensation you might be entitled to claim.
If you or your child has been injured at a swimming pool, read on to learn more about your options or call us on 0800 6524 881 to discuss your case right away.
Table of contents
- Who Would Be Liable For An Accident In A Swimming Pool?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Swimming Pool Accident Claim?
- Common Types Of Swimming Pool Accidents & Illnesses
- What Types Of Negligence By Swimming Pools Owners & Operators Could I Claim For?
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Swimming Pool Accident?
- What Evidence Will I Need To Support A Swimming Pool Accident Claim?
- How Long Do I Have To File A Swimming Pool Accident Claim?
- Starting The Swimming Pool Accident Claims Process
Liability for a swimming pool accident will depend on the circumstances of the accident. Generally, however, the business or entity responsible for the maintenance and operation of the swimming pool may be held liable for accidents and injuries or illnesses to swimmers that occur due to their negligence or by failing to provide a safe environment for their customers.
Essentially, swimming pool operators have a duty of care to try to keep all swimmers and users as safe as possible. That means that you could make a swimming pool accident claim against councils and local authorities, hotels, schools, holiday parks, leisure centres and even private owners of pools.
If you’d like one of our personal injury solicitors to represent you in a swimming pool accident claim, they’ll need to verify whether:
- The operator or owner of the swimming pool was negligent in some way; and
- That negligence led to an avoidable accident or incident; and
- You suffered an injury or illness as a result.
In most cases, the defendant in a swimming pool compensation claim will pass it on to their insurance provider. Therefore, you’ll need to convince them of why you should be compensated by providing supporting evidence. Later on, we’ll review the types of evidence for a swimming pool accident claim that could help you to do so.
Pool operators should take extra care of children who are using their facilities as they are more prone to injury. While a child cannot claim compensation themselves (while they’re under 18), you could become their litigation friend and manage the claim on their behalf. If that’s something you’d like to pursue, please speak to our team today.
There are several injuries and illnesses that can be sustained at swimming pools and could lead to a personal injury claim. Some common examples include:
- Diving injuries – head and spinal injuries may occur when diving into a swimming pool that is too shallow.
- Slips, trips and falls – these can lead to broken bones, back and head injuries, soft tissue injuries and severe bruising. They can be caused by excessive water by the poolside or in changing rooms and other trip hazards.
- Chemical burns and chlorine poisoning – chemicals to keep a pool clean and safe to swim in can become a hazard if not used at the correct concentrations. They can lead to eye injuries and skin irritations and burns.
- Contaminated water – The chemicals mentioned above are used to prevent the build-up of bacteria in swimming pools. If not managed properly, contaminated pool water can still cause illnesses like diarrhoea, E.coli and norovirus.
- Drain injuries – swimming pool drains use suction to pass water through cleaning filters. However, if a drain cover is removed or broken, swimmers could trap digits or limbs in them.
- Broken tiles – damaged or broken tiles in or around a swimming pool can lead to serious cuts and lacerations. Those in the pool are more dangerous as the damage may not always be visible.
- Electrocution – Although rare, electric shocks or electrocution can happen if electrical appliances or equipment around the swimming pool are not properly grounded.
- Drowning – Unfortunately, swimmers can drown in pools if the pool owner or operator failed to properly maintain the pool or take adequate safety precautions, such as providing lifeguards or proper signage. Other causes of drowning can be due to faulty swimming pool equipment such as ladders, drain covers, pool pumps etc.
If you’ve been injured or made ill at a swimming pool, you may have grounds to sue for damages so please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your options with a specialist.
The operator of a swimming pool may have been negligent for which compensation could be claimed if:
- Depths at each end of the pool were not clearly signposted.
- Chemical and cleanliness levels were not properly checked and recorded.
- Suction and filtration systems were not properly maintained.
- Damaged tiles were not repaired or temporarily taped over.
- Wet floor warning signs were not used to identify a slipping hazard.
- Excessive chemicals or cleaning agents were used.
- There was a shortage of properly trained lifeguards on duty.
If you had an accident at a swimming pool because of any of the above, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries.
There are many different types of injuries and illnesses that can originate from swimming pool accidents. While most swimming pool accidents resulting in injuries or illness tend to be fairly minor, with lifeguards on hand to assist, there are still deaths in swimming pools occurring today. Therefore the amount of compensation for a swimming pool accident will vary from case to case.
However, generally, you could claim compensation to cover:
- Any pain and suffering caused by physical injuries.
- Distress, anxiety and other forms of mental trauma caused by the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of your usual activities while injured.
- Any reduction in earnings if your swimming pool injuries prevent you from working.
- Care costs if somebody else looked after you while you were ill or injured.
- Travel-related costs.
- Medical costs such as physiotherapy or private treatment of your injuries.
- Future loss of earnings for injuries that take longer to heal.
- Home adaptations to improve your quality of life for more serious injuries and disabilities.
Making a swimming pool accident or illness claim with one of our personal injury solicitors may increase your chances of success and could lead to an improved compensation offer.
Our compensation calculator provides some guideline compensation figures for a range of swimming pool injuries and illnesses covering general damages:
To ascertain the exact nature of your injuries, your solicitor will typically book an independent medical review as part of your swimming pool accident claim. A specialist will examine your injuries and ask a series of questions about how they’ve affected you. After your meeting, your solicitor will use the medical report to give you an estimate of how much your claim might be worth.
As described earlier, evidence must be provided to prove how you were injured or made ill at a swimming pool. This will be used to try and prove what went wrong and why you were injured.
Therefore, if you were made ill or suffered an injury at a pool, you should:
- Seek medical advice. Even if you receive first aid at the swimming pool, you should visit a minor injuries unit or a hospital to have your injuries checked properly. Medical records could be requested later on to confirm the diagnosis.
- Report the incident. It’s important to tell the pool’s operator about the incident as soon as possible. This will mean that it is logged (as required by law) and your copy of the report could be used as evidence.
- Speak to witnesses. If any other swimmers or spectators saw what happened, ask them for their contact details. Your solicitor may need to contact them for a witness statement later on.
- Take photographs. You should take pictures at the accident scene if there’s an obvious root cause. Also, photographs of any visible injuries can help to prove how you’ve suffered.
- Request CCTV footage. Many pools use security cameras to keep staff and guests as safe as possible. Therefore, you should ask for any relevant footage to be sent to you.
Finally, you may wish to seek legal advice about your options. If you call our advice centre, we’ll review what happened for free and explain what you could do next.
You may already be aware that there is a 3-year time limit for claiming compensation for personal injuries. For most injuries suffered at a swimming pool, your limitation period will usually start from the date of your accident. For an illness where you’re not immediately aware you’ve been made ill from the swimming pool, it will usually be from the date your condition was confirmed by a doctor.
Your solicitor may be able to secure interim payments to help you if you can’t work while you’re injured or arrange for private treatment not available on the NHS. Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin your claim as soon after you were injured as possible.
To find out if you could start the process of making a swimming pool accident claim today, please call 0800 6524 881 today. Even if you’re not sure about what to do, there’s nothing to lose by calling as you’ll receive free legal advice during a no-obligation case review.
If one of our solicitors goes on to represent you, they’ll do so on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you’d rather chat online about a swimming pool accident claim, please feel free to use connect with a member of our live chat team.