Whether you’re taking the kids for swimming lessons or using your local pool to keep active and fit, swimming should be fun and safe. Legally, swimming pool operators have a duty of care to try to ensure the safety of all swimmers and visitors to the pool. However, accidents and injuries do sometimes occur that can lead to swimming pool accident claims. If you or a loved one has been injured or made ill at a swimming pool, this article will show you the types of accidents that could be claimed for and what any compensation payout could cover.
To help you begin a swimming pool accident claim, one of our advisors will answer any questions you might have. During a no-obligation consultation, they’ll assess the merits of your claim and offer free legal advice. If suitable, you’ll be partnered with one of our personal injury solicitors. They’ll deal with your case on a No Win, No Fee basis if they agree to work with you so you won’t need to pay any legal fees upfront.
To learn more about claiming compensation for a swimming pool accident, please continue reading. Alternatively, please feel free to call us on 0800 652 1345 at any point if you have any questions.
Can I claim compensation for a swimming pool accident?
Before we look at the types of swimming pool accidents and injuries you could claim compensation for, let’s look at the basic criteria our personal injury lawyers use to assess personal injury claims.
To check that you have a realistic chance of being compensated, they’ll assess whether:
- The swimming pool operator (councils, hotels etc) owed you a duty of care; and
- The operator’s negligence led to a swimming pool accident or incident; and
- You were injured or made ill as a direct result of that incident.
Usually, legislation such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 will mean that the pool’s operator has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to try and protect all swimmers. Additionally, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 could be relevant if you were injured whilst working at a swimming pool. You needn’t try to understand the nitty-gritty of these laws as your solicitor will check which is relevant before taking on your claim.
Common causes of accidents at swimming pools
Our solicitors can help you to claim for injuries sustained at private swimming pools (hotels, gyms etc) as well as those operated by local authorities. Realistically, it’s quite possible to have a variety of different accidents at a swimming pool but some of the most common injuries and accidents include:
- Slips, trips and falls. These could lead to a claim if excess water around the pool or in the changing room has not been cleaned up or if warning signs were not there to warn you of the danger.
- Chemical burns. If you suffer because too much chlorine (or another chemical) was added to the pool, you could be entitled to compensation. Chemical poisoning or chemical burns can lead to very serious injuries.
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations. If you cut yourself on a broken tile at the side of the pool, in the changing room or in the pool itself, you could be eligible to claim for your laceration injuries.
- Head or spinal injuries. An example in this category might include where you sustained head injuries or spinal injuries because somebody jumped into the pool and landed on you because a no-diving rule wasn’t being enforced by the lifeguards.
- Poor pool management. If a pool isn’t kept topped up with the right chemicals and at the right PH level, germs can be spread easily. This can lead to serious illnesses like norovirus, diarrhoea and legionella.
- Inadequate supervision. You could start a claim for personal injuries sustained in a swimming pool because of poor management or a lack of supervision. This could include cases where injuries were caused by overcrowding. You could also claim if your injuries occurred because the staff at the pool were not properly trained.
Essentially, you could claim compensation for injuries sustained in any part of the swimming pool if the accident was caused by the operator’s negligence.
Swimming pool accident at work claims
If you have been injured whilst working at a swimming pool, you could claim compensation if your accident was caused by:
- Inadequate training (or if your training hadn’t been refreshed).
- A lack of protective equipment (such as gloves when working with dangerous chemicals).
- Tiredness if you’d been asked to work too many hours or weren’t allowed rest breaks.
- Faulty, damaged or poorly maintained equipment.
Please let us know if you believe your employer’s negligence caused you to be injured while working at a swimming pool and we’ll assess your claim for free.
Claiming compensation for a child injured at a swimming pool
Legally, your child cannot take legal action until they are 18 years old. However, if they’ve been injured in a swimming pool accident they may require compensation to help them deal with their injuries before they become an adult.
As such, parents and guardians can apply to represent their child during a swimming pool accident claim by becoming their litigation friend. Once a court has approved your application, you’ll be able to start the claim in the normal way.
If a settlement offer is received, it will need to be checked for fairness by a court and any compensation will be held in a court account until your child is 18 years of age. Before then, you’ll be able to request that funds be released by applying to the court in writing.
Fatal swimming pool accident claims
Unfortunately, while most swimming pools in the UK are safe to use, some swimmers do drown each year. We understand that if you’ve lost a loved one, compensation isn’t going to help you deal with your loss.
However, you might still decide to claim later on if you were financially dependent on the deceased’s income or benefits. Additionally, you could claim back any expenses like funeral costs that you’ve had to cover.
If you do wish to find out more about claiming compensation for wrongful death, one of our specialists will handle your call compassionately and without putting any pressure on you to proceed.
How much compensation for a swimming pool accident claim?
There are many things to consider when making a personal injury claim. For an accident at a swimming pool, you could be compensated for any physical or mental harm caused by the accident plus any associated costs. If your claim is successful, it could include damages to cover:
- Any physical pain and suffering.
- Stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological injuries.
- Loss of amenity (any negative impact your injuries have on hobbies, family life and social activities).
- Medical expenses (physiotherapy, prescription fees etc).
- Loss of income. Additionally, future losses could also be paid if you’ll suffer in the long term.
- The cost of a carer.
- Travel expenses.
- The cost of making changes to your home or vehicle to make it easier to deal with any ongoing disability.
To try and secure the highest level of compensation possible, your solicitor will take the time to fully understand how your injuries have affected you.
For a swimming pool accident claim, an independent medical expert will need to assess your injuries. For this reason, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment (usually held locally) for you. The expert will examine you, review any medical notes and discuss the impact of your injuries with you. The report they prepare will be used to determine the amount of compensation you might be entitled to.
Providing proof for a swimming pool accident claim
Most swimming pool accident claims will be redirected to the operator’s insurance provider. If you’ve ever dealt with an insurer, you’ll know that they usually begin by denying everything and it’s then up to you to prove the contrary. As such, your solicitor will try to secure proof to show how you were injured, who was to blame and how your injuries have affected you. This could include:
- Medical records. To try and prove your diagnosis, your solicitor will ask for copies of your GP records or your hospital records. These can be used in conjunction with independent medical reports.
- Accident report forms. It’s important to report the accident so that it’s documented in the swimming pool’s accident report book. A copy of the report can be used to prove where and when you were injured.
- Photographs. As well as photographing any visible injuries, you should take pictures of the cause of the accident if you’re able to.
- CCTV footage. If the accident happened in a part of the swimming pool where CCTV was operating, you can request a copy of any relevant footage.
- Witness statements. You should let your solicitor know the contact details of anybody else who saw your accident. They might be asked to provide a statement if liability for the accident is denied.
- Financial records. Try to keep any receipts or other financial records for any costs you’d like to recoup through your claim.
Due to the way insurance companies operate, we believe you have a better chance of being fairly compensated if you’re represented by a specialist solicitor. Please contact us if you’d like to see if one of ours could support you.
Swimming pool accident claim time limits
You may already know that there is a 3-year time limit for personal injury claims in the UK. For swimming pool accidents, this will either start from the date you were injured or the date an illness was diagnosed by your GP.
For swimming pool accidents involving children, their 3-year limitation period does not begin until their 18th birthday. As explained previously, that means a parent could claim compensation on the child’s behalf at any point before that date.
In our opinion, the sooner you begin your claim, the better. Not only will an early start make it easier to find the proof to support your claim but it could also help financially too. That’s because, if the defendant accepts liability for your accident, they may be asked to pay interim payments to cover the cost of remedial medical treatment or your loss of income before the claim is finalised.
No Win, No Fee claims
It’s important to note that our solicitors will manage accepted swimming pool accident claims on a No Win, No Fee basis. Knowing that you don’t pay legal fees unless you are compensated should reduce your stress levels during the claim.
Once you’ve both agreed to work together, your solicitor will:
- Find out how you’ve suffered by discussing your claim in detail with you.
- Arrange for a medical assessment and collect supporting proof.
- File the swimming pool accident claim with the defendant and communicate with them for you.
- Supply further proof (if possible) if the defendant asks for it.
- Negotiate on your behalf if there are any queries or objections raised.
- Try to ensure that any settlement offered is fair and adequately covers your suffering.
If the claim is lost, you won’t have to pay for any of the work listed above. If the claim is won, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation payment. Legally, this is capped at 25% of your award.
To check if you could claim for a swimming pool accident on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.
Start a swimming pool accident claim today
We hope the information above has proven useful. If you’d now like to discuss starting a swimming pool accident claim with us, please call on 0800 652 1345. We’ll provide a no-obligation review of your claim and offer free legal advice on whatever you decide to do next.
If the claim is suitable and accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, you’ll benefit from their skills on a No Win, No Fee basis. You won’t pay a penny in legal fees upfront and you also won’t have to pay if the claim fails.
If there’s anything else you’d like to know about swimming pool accident claims, please connect with one of our live chat advisors, or you can request a consultation here.