Diving and swimming are leisure activities that adults and children enjoy. They are great fun so it is easy to forget that things can go wrong. The fact that both of these activities take place in water means that if there is an accident the consequences and injuries are usually serious.
Sadly, even if you are careful, it is still possible to be hurt. For example, you could cut your foot while swimming in a poorly maintained pool. Or be hit by a diver who is ignoring the safety protocols, or by an overexcited child.
If you or your loved one has been hurt in a diving or swimming accident in Alberta, it’s wise to consult with an Alberta personal injury lawyer.
Common Causes of Diving & Swimming Pool Accidents
Diving and swimming pool accidents can happen for a range of reasons, including:
A lack of understanding of the dangers
Most swimmers and many divers do not fully understand how dangerous the environment they are in actually is. So, they tend to do foolish things that put the lives of themselves and others at risk. For this reason, the law states that owners of pools, spas, paddling pools, and other swimming spaces need to provide some kind of supervision.
A lack of parental supervision
It is all too easy for kids to get carried away and behave in an unsafe way without realizing that they are doing so. That is why, in most places, parents are required to attend with their children and watch them at all times. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for them to become distracted. That is usually when children are involved in water-related accidents or cause them.
Too few or distracted lifeguards
It is also possible for lifeguards to be distracted. Or for there not to be enough on duty to watch over everyone. Sometimes, lifeguards that have not completed any training have been put in charge.
Not enough or poorly maintained equipment
The law requires certain safety measures to be in place. For example, for there to be enough properly maintained life preservers available at strategic points. Sometimes these are not provided or have not been properly maintained.
Failure to create a safe environment
The pool needs to be properly maintained and the area around it has to drain quickly. Non-slip tiles need to be used and there should be no trip hazards. This is all a part of creating a safe environment, something which some pool owners fail to do.
A lack of clear guidelines
Swimmers, divers, parents, and children all need to be made aware of the dangers before entering the pool or spa areas. Some facilities do not have enough signs warning swimmers of potential risks.
Not providing a first aid kit
If someone gets hurt, the faster they receive medical attention the more likely it is that they will recover. To be able to provide this help the staff need access to a properly stocked first aid kit.
The diving board is old and unstable
Diving boards need to be well-maintained to be safe to use. The surface of the board needs to be smooth to avoid cuts and it needs to be secured in a way that ensures it cannot fall into the pool.
Debris and holes that pose a hazard to swimmers
The pool needs to be kept clean. It is all too easy for swimmers to cut their feet on sharp stones or a hole in the steps. Or for a diver to hit something that has been left floating in the water and maybe become tangled up in it.
Injuries Caused by Diving & Swimming Accidents
The list of injuries you can sustain in diving and swimming accidents is quite a long one. Below, we list out some of the ones we have dealt with and helped people to seek compensation for:
At their worst accidents that involve drowning lead to death, when it is not possible to revive that person. These accidents tend to occur when there is not enough supervision, especially when they involve children.
Poor pool maintenance can be a factor. For example, someone can slip on a slippery surface or trip over an object and fall into the water. Or a child can enter the pool area unsupervised because the enclosure fence is broken. Floating toys can also pin kids underwater or entangle their limbs, preventing them from being able to swim.
Sustaining a head injury by hitting the bottom or edge of the pool is another common accident. This can happen while using an old, poorly maintained, or malfunctioning diving board. Or by diving into water that is too shallow.
Spinal cord injuries
If you slip on slippery steps or ground, there is a good chance that you will land heavily and hurt your back. This can result in a spinal cord injury. As can falling from a diving board.
How Pool Owners Can Prevent Diving & Swimming Accidents
Pool owners can do a lot to reduce the chances of people who use their facilities hurting themselves by doing the following:
Providing sufficient warning signs and guidance
In particular in the entrance, around the pool, bathrooms, and shower areas. For example, warning of shallow water, deep water, or slippery surfaces.
Providing safety equipment
Properly placed safety rings and shepherd´s hooks can save lives. Providing lifejackets and floaters helps to prevent accidents from happening.
Keeping the facilities free from debris and water
Trip and fall injuries are surprisingly common. The majority of these can be prevented simply by making sure nothing is left on the floor and that excess water drains away. Installing non-slip flooring prevents falls.
Get rid of sharp objects and surfaces
An awful lot of swimmers cut themselves on broken tiles or by standing on stones.
Keeping foreign objects out of the pool
Furniture and structures should be secured so that they don’t fall into the pool. There should not be any electrical equipment or appliances anywhere near the water.
Properly maintaining the facilities
Making sure that safety aids such as handrails are properly deployed and maintained helps a lot. Items like diving boards should be regularly checked for defects.
Know what to do if you or your loved one get hurt in a diving or swimming accident. Consult with an Alberta personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond today.
Contact an Alberta Diving & Swimming Accident Lawyer from Diamond & Diamond
Diamond & Diamond has Alberta personal injury lawyers with experience in diving and swimming accident claims waiting to assist you.
Call our 1-800 number to get a free consultation from them
PRO TIP :
“For adults supervising kids in the pool, drinking alcohol is never a good idea while you’re watching over the young ones.”
FAQs on Diving & Swimming Accident Lawyers
How do I know if the diving or swimming accident was caused by negligence?
The best way to establish whether a diving or swimming accident was caused by negligence is to ask a lawyer. Providing you choose one that has dealt with these issues before they will be able to quickly look at the facts and assess the situation.
Can I sue the installer of a swimming pool?
If the installer of a swimming pool does not incorporate the necessary safety features into the design, you can potentially sue them. You may also be able to do so if a construction failure leads to someone being injured. For example, if a diving board falls into the pool when someone is using it.
Can I sue the manufacturer of a defective water slide?
Potentially you can sue the manufacturer of a defective water slide if you are hurt while using it. Provided you were using it in the way it was designed for when you have your accident. It also needs to have been properly maintained.