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.
Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.
We can help you make an public place accident claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last 3 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 an injury claim on their own behalf.
What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?
A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.
How common are swimming pool injuries?
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.
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.
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 your accident occurred abroad.
Common causes of swimming pool accidents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 an injury? (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 an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury 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.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a swimming pool injury claim take?
The time needed to claim compensation for a swimming pool injury can vary considerably.
For instance, a simple liability accepted public place accident claim might be concluded in a few months. If liability is denied a claim can take considerably longer. On average a public place accident claim takes 6 to 9 months.
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury 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 injury 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 injury claim?
If your injury 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.
How do personal injury solicitors get paid?
If your swimming pool injury or illness claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.
How we can help you
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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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 feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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 an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury 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 injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.