If a swimming pool injury or illness has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Swimming pool injuries can occur from slips on wet surfaces, diving accidents, or waterborne illnesses due to poorly maintained pool water.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a swimming pool accident, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

You are not alone

Swimming pool injuries are fairly common, especially in busy public pools. Injuries can range from minor slips and falls on wet surfaces to more serious incidents like diving accidents, leading to head injuries or even drowning.

Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) indicate that children, in particular, are at risk of injury due to their playful nature and varying swimming abilities.

Although drownings in UK swimming pools are very rare, injuries from slips, trips and falls pose a significant risk (rospa.com).

    If you or your child were injured at swimming pool, and the injury was caused by the owner or operator's negligence, it should possible to make a personal injury compensation claim, even if your accident occurred abroad.

    Do I qualify for swimming pool injury compensation?

    You will usually be eligible to claim compensation if you have been injured in the following circumstances:

    • in the last 3 years, and;
    • another person or organisation was to blame, and;
    • they owed you duty of care.

    Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

    Claiming when you're partially at fault

    Personal injury claims often involve circumstances where there is some degree of blame on each side.

    We found that, in our 2024 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents were unsure as to which party was legally liable for their injuries.

    Even if your actions or negligence played a role in the accident, you could still be eligible for compensation. Cases with shared fault (contributory negligence) frequently settle through a split liability agreement.

    Read more:

    Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

    How long do I have to start a swimming pool injury or illness claim?

    For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.

    The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.

    How much compensation can I claim for swimming pool illness or injury?

    The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

    • the seriousness of your injury, and
    • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

    At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

    Swimming pool injury or illness compensation calculator

    Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

    Updated April 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

    General damages

    General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

    Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

    How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

    Special damages

    Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings, including potential lost commission, bonuses or promotions, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as physical therapy and pain medication.

    Read more:

    A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

    Common causes of swimming pool accidents

    Injuries and illnesses often occur when swimming pool operators fail to:

    • provide adequate lifeguard support,
    • ensure the water is safe to use and free from parasites,
    • ensure that the area around the pool is free from hazards.

    Common causes of swimming pool accidents and illness include:

    • Damaged tiles
    • Defective pool drainage
    • Defective water filtration systems
    • Excessive use of chlorine, or chemical disinfectant
    • Failure to clearly signpost pool depths

    Typical swimming pool injuries

    • Slips, trips and falls - Slippery pool sides and steps are a frequent cause of this type of injury.
    • Lacerations - Damaged tiles are the most frequent cause of this type of swimming pool injury. Pool water contaminants can further exacerbate this kind of injury.
    • Diving injuries - Head and spinal injuries can result from diving into pools that are too shallow.
    • Contaminated pool water - Swimming pool water usually contains chlorine, or chemical disinfectant, to kill harmful bacteria. However, bacteria and other contaminants can still reach hazardous levels. This is due to their continuous introduction to the water by pool users.
    • Chlorine poisoning and chemical burns - Excessive amounts of chlorine or chemical disinfectant in pool water can be poisonous. Chemical burns and serious skin and eye irritations can also occur when too much disinfectant is added to pool water.
    • Drain suction injuries - Excessive levels of suction from swimming pool drains can cause serious injury and drowning. If drain covers are left off, swimmers can be pulled down into drains, becoming stuck fast. Suction entrapment can also be the cause of internal and rectal injury.
    • Unusually shaped pools - There is some evidence to suggest that unusually shaped swimming pools present a higher risk of injury. This may be due to difficulties in gauging changes in water depth. If these depth changes are not suitably marked, and a swimmer is injured, a claim may usually be made.

    Who is legally responsible (liable) for my injury?

    When making a compensation claim, your solicitor will need to establish that you were owed a duty of care by another party.

    A duty of care is when a person, company or organisation has a legal obligation to safeguard the well-being of others.

    UK laws impose a duty of care on employers, local authorities, medical professionals, landlords and the owners and occupiers of other premises, to protect workers, visitors and the public from harm.

    Who is liable for your injury will depend on where your accident happened:

    Community swimming baths and leisure centres

    If you were injured in public or community pool, the local authority or council may be liable.

    The council all have public liability insurance to pay cover compensation if you are injured.

    Read more:

    Making an injury compensation claim against a council or local authority

    Private swimming pools and leisure centres

    If you were injured in a pool that is privately owned and operated, the owner or operator of the pool may be liable.

    The pool operator should have public liability insurance to pay cover compensation if you are injured.

    Read more:

    Making a public place injury compensation claim

    Swimming pool accidents on holiday

    Holidaymakers can sustain injuries, or contract illnesses, resulting from defective swimming pool facilities in hotels and water parks.

    Under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, package holiday tour operators have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their customers.

    The regulations state that tour operators have a responsibility to make regular health and safety checks on holiday accommodation, including swimming pool facilities. These facilities must be safe, adequately maintained and have fully functional life-saving equipment on site.

    If you were injured or made ill by poor swimming pool facilities, you may be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.

    Water park injury claims

    Water parks are often unconnected to the package holiday tour operator. If you were injured was sustained due to the negligence of the water park operator, a compensation claim may be made against the water park owners.

    For UK water parks, the compensation claims process is no different to that of most 'occupiers liability claims'. However, claiming for accidents and illness that occurs in water parks abroad can be much more complex and time limits may differ.

    Swimming pool accidents at a private residence

    You may have been injured in a pool belonging to a friend or neighbour. Claims made in such circumstances can be particularly awkward, particularly if the pool belongs to a friend or family member.

    However, compensation may be necessary if an injury leaves you unable to work and in need of treatment. Typically claims are made against the pool owner's home insurance.

    Read more:

    Claim compensation for an accident at home

    How did your injury happen?

    Swimming pool injury or illness claims are usually referred to as public place, or occupiers' liability, claims. Click on the icons below to learn more:

    No win, no fee swimming pool injury or illness compensation claims

    With no win, no fee, you can claim swimming pool injury or illness compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

    Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

    How we can help you with your injury claim

    Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

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    If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee injury claim, we are open:

    Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

    Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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    Citations

    Source: (reviewed: 13/12/2023)

    Chris Salmon, Director

    Author:
    Chris Salmon, Director