Skydiving Accident Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a skydiving accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a skydiving 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 skydiving accident compensation:

Introduction

Skydiving, including group, tandem and solo jumps, is increasing in popularity. The sport is an inherently dangerous activity, carrying the risk of very serious injury and death in the event of an accident. Due to this risk, however, safety standards are extremely high, and accidents are rare.

Despite rigorous safety protocols, serious injury can occur where these standards are ignored or regulations are breached. The British Parachuting Association (BPA) estimates that fatalities occur in approximately 1 in 540,000 jumps, with novices sustained some degree of injury in 1 in 170 jumps.

If you have been injured as the result of inadequate training, faulty equipment or health and safety breaches, you may be entitled to compensation.

Skydiver

Do I have a skydiving accident claim?

It should be possible to make a skydiving accident claim if your injury happened:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Injury claim eligibility - 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 skydiving accident claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Skydiving health and safety

Due to the inherent dangers of jumping out of a moving plane and free-falling for thousands of feet, skydiving schools must follow stringent regulations, and the BPA publish guidelines which all qualified instructors in the UK must follow. Many people choose to skydive abroad, however, where such strict guidelines may not be imposed.

Before taking part in a jump, an instructor should go through a number of training procedures with participants. This should include how to exit the plane safely, how to perform some simple manoeuvres while in the air, the correct position to take while free-falling, and the correct position to take when landing. The instructor should also teach some basic hand signals to facilitate mid-air communication.

Common skydiving injuries

Common injury claims arising from unsafe skydiving jumps include:

It is also possible for dependants to claim compensation following a death of very serious injury, however the incidence of such cases is extremely low.

Tandem skydiving

A tandem skydive is the most common form of skydive that members of the public take part in, and describes a jump where the participant is securely attached to a trained skydive instructor.

The professional skydiving instructor is responsible for ensuring that the skydive goes smoothly. It is their responsibility to deploy the parachute at the correct altitude and navigate the flight to a safe landing at the designated drop zone.

If you have been injured during a tandem skydive, you may be able to make a claim against the skydiving instructor, or the company they work for. Your solicitor will confirm against whom a claim should be made when you start the claims process.

Indoor skydiving

Indoor skydiving takes place inside a large cylindrical room with a powerful fan built into the floor. When the fan runs, the power of the air enables people to experience the feeling of free-falling from the safety of the ground.

Indoor skydiving is a popular activity for those who want to experience the feeling of skydiving in a safe environment, or for more experienced skydivers to practice techniques.

As with outdoor skydiving, indoor skydiving is carefully regulated for health and safety reasons. Anyone partaking should be briefed on health and safety, and given training before taking part. Suitable safety equipment should also be provided.

Beginners should not be allowed to enter the indoor skydiving area without a trained professional. If you have been injured while indoor skydiving, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Making a compensation claim for a skydiving accident

To make a compensation claim for a skydiving injury you will need to be able to prove that your injury happened as a result of negligence of the skydiving centre or the instructor who was in charge when you took part.

Skydiving waivers and personal injury claims

Centres usually require participants to sign a waiver before taking part in the skydive, but this does not mean that you will be unable to make a claim against them if they have failed in their duty of care.

Under the Unfair Contract Terms Act, it is not generally possible for an individual to "sign away" their right to make an injury claim by agreeing to a waiver.

A claim is less likely to succeed if you have been injured as the result of a foreseeable risk where you consented to take that risk, but in cases where injury resulted from the negligence of your instructor, the claim will likely succeed even if you have signed a waiver.

If you are unsure as to whether you can make a claim, an injury solicitor will be able to advise you on whether the terms of any waiver you have signed are valid and enforceable.

How much compensation can I claim for a skydiving accident?

The amount of money you could claim for your skydiving accident 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 skydiving accident 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

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a skydiving accident? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a life-altering back injury can be £65,000

For a less serious leg injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,500.

However, if you have a life-altering back injury and a less serious leg injury, you would typically receive £65,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,500.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for a skydiving accident 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 skydiving accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your skydiving accident compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Skydiving accident compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a skydiving accident 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 skydiving accident claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a skydiving injury claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for a skydiving accident can vary considerably.

For example, a simple uncontested sports injury claim might be concluded in a couple of months. If liability is denied, however, the process might take considerably longer. On average a sports injury claim takes between 6 and 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your skydiving accident 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 Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a skydiving accident claim with:

  • no upfront legal fees
  • no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
  • a success fee payable only if your claim is successful

No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a skydiving accident injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my skydiving accident 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 skydiving accident claim?

If your skydiving accident claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Skydiving accident 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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a skydiving accident claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the skydiving accident to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your skydiving accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a skydiving accident 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim skydiving accident compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a skydiving accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert