A diving accident can happen anywhere; diving into a lake, diving into a pool or diving into the ocean. All a diving accident needs is someone diving into an area of water that is too shallow to allow the dive. Even if the water is deep enough, there are times when objects in the water are unknown to the diver and cause an injury. Because diving accidents are always a possibility when people are enjoying the water, if someone gets hurt by diving, who is responsible for keeping the area safe?
If you are a pool owner your responsibility is clear. Anyone who is injured in a diving accident in your pool will most likely seek damages in a personal injury suit. This isn’t always as cut and dry at it seems however. The injured party would need to show negligence on the pool owner’s part. Was the area around the pool unsafe? Where there ‘no diving’ alerts if the pool was too shallow? And the pool owner would have to be aware that the conditions were unsafe and did nothing to correct the issue.
Let’s take a diving accident involving a diving board. If a swimmer used a diving board that failed and injured themselves, who is at fault. If the diving board had been properly maintained by the pool owner, there is no negligence on the owner’s part. However, if the owner knew the board was damaged or faulty and did nothing to correct the problem it would be easy to prove neglect. Another party who may be responsible is the installer of the board. If it is discovered that the installation of the board was not done properly and the cause of the accident, the installer would be responsible for damages. And let’s not forget the manufacturer of the board. A manufacturer who uses inferior materials for their products and the product fails because of those materials is responsible for damages to the injured party.
When a diving accident happens at a lake or in the ocean, the responsibility isn’t as clear. At public swimming areas, whoever owns the property would be responsible for putting warning signs about any possible dangers. This would include shallow water for diving or rocky areas where diving should be avoided.
Although people who are injured in diving accidents may want to file a personal injury claim for someone responsible, there is some ownership to the injured party too. It is also their responsibility to use caution when diving in unknown areas. If you aren’t sure of the area, don’t dive in. Be safe.