Swimming Pool Diving Accident Lawyers
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Several states have passed laws restricting liability for injury resulting from diving into swimming pools. Despite this, swimming pool diving injuries remain a common source of litigation because they are often serious and avoidable. Diving accidents can frequently result in traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. By taking some precautions, swimming pool owners can reduce or avoid potential liability for diving accidents.
If you or a loved one was involved in a swimming pool diving accident, following are some initial questions you should ask yourself:
- Were warning signs present near or around the swimming pool?
- What was the water depth?
- What was the pool width?
- What were the lighting conditions?
- How clear was the water?
- Were others diving prior to the accident?
An experienced personal injury attorney should be able to determine if negligence was involved on the part of the owner of the swimming pool. The following discusses in more detail a few of the factors that can contribute to a swimming pool diving accident:
Standards for the water depth required for safe diving have been difficult to come by and are often not based on empirical evidence. The great majority of diving accidents occur in water depths of less than 3 ¼ feet. But statistics in the matter are not very helpful because many surveys do not have baseline controls. There are also too many factors to account for, including the height of the diving platform, the angle and technique of entry, and the weight and height of the diver.
For this reason, recommended minimum safe water depths vary greatly. The American Red Cross recommends a minimum water depth of three feet whereas SportSmart Canada recommends a depth of twice a potential diver’s height. Furthermore, the shape of the pool’s bottom and the presence or visibility of water depth markings can also greatly impact the severity of a diving injury.
Pool width and side/bottom shape
Most in-ground pools have a gradual slope to their bottom to allow for a deeper end for diving. In above-ground pools, there is often a deep area in the middle with grades going up the side. A frequent cause of injury is a collision with a steep grade (or “spinal wall”) in such pools. If a diver hits the side of the pool, it may have been the pool width rather than the water depth that was the contributing factor.
Presence or absence of a diving board
A diving board can catapult a diver to greater heights, diminishing his or her control of dive angle and direction. But a diving board can also provide a cue directing the diver to a safer diving location. Regardless of whether a diving board contributes to or detracts from diving safety, many pool owners do not install diving boards for insurance or litigation reasons.
Warnings and other visual factors
Placing warnings around the pool may not be enough for the swimming pool’s owner to escape liability entirely in the event of a diving accident. Water’s optical properties naturally cause a diver to overestimate its depth. Cloudy water from lack of maintenance can magnify this effect.
Poor lighting also contributes to diving accidents. Some estimates, in fact, attribute the lack of lighting to nearly a third of diving accidents.
If you or a loved one was injured in a swimming pool accident, you should retain an experienced accident lawyer to help you get the most from your claim.
Please contact us to find an experienced swimming pool accident attorney.