Swimming Pool Injury or Illness Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a swimming pool accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a swimming pool accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
swimming pool injury or illness compensation:
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) indicate that children, in particular, are at risk of injury when using a swimming pool.
Injury and illness can result from negligence on the part of the swimming pool operator:
- failing to provide adequate lifeguard support,
- failing to ensure the water is safe to use and free from parasites,
- or failing to ensure that the area around the pool is free from other hazards.
If your swimming pool accident was caused by an owner or operator's negligence, it should possible to make a personal injury compensation claim, even if the accident occurred abroad.
Swimming pool accidents on holiday
Holidaymakers can sustain injuries, or contract illnesses, resulting from defective swimming pool facilities in hotels and water parks.
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
Swimming pool injury types include:
- Slips, trips and falls - slippery poolsides and steps are a frequent cause of this type of injury.
- Gashes and 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.
- Illnesses resulting from 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.
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.
Liability for swimming pool accident and illness claims
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 accident 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.
Do I have a swimming pool injury or illness claim?
You should be eligible to make a swimming pool injury or illness injury claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a swimming pool injury or illness claim on their own behalf.
The amount of money you could claim for your swimming pool injury or illness will depend on:
- the extent 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 swimming pool injury or illness has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a swimming pool injury or illness? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for a swimming pool injury or illness claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a swimming pool injury or illness will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your swimming pool injury or illness compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a swimming pool injury or illness injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my swimming pool injury or illness compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a swimming pool injury or illness injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your swimming pool injury or illness claim could be worth now:
How long does a swimming pool injury claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for a swimming pool injury can vary considerably.
For instance, a simple liability accepted public place accident claim might be concluded in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, a claim can take considerably longer. On average a public place accident claim takes 6 to 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your swimming pool injury or illness claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your swimming pool injury or illness claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
Our no win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a swimming pool injury or illness claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my swimming pool injury or illness claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my swimming pool injury or illness claim?
If your swimming pool injury or illness claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
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.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Swimming pool injury or illness FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a swimming pool injury or illness claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the swimming pool injury or illness to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your swimming pool injury or illness claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a swimming pool injury or illness after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim swimming pool injury or illness compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a swimming pool injury or illness claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.