Swimming Pool Injury Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For An Accident At A Swimming Pool?

By Jo Jeffries. Last Updated 5th January 2024. In this guide, we focus on when you may be able to start swimming pool accident claims for a swimming injury. We’ll also explain the steps involved in making swimming pool injury claims. Public swimming pools are often visited by people seeking exercise and fun activities. However, the pool could be a potential cause of accidents if there is an issue with the way it is run or maintained.

Have you suffered some sort of accident at a swimming pool that has led to you suffering injuries? If so, and the accident was caused by a negligent party that owed you a duty of care, then you may be able to claim compensation for your swimming pool injury. Whether you:

  • Suffered lacerations from broken tiles that hadn’t been fixed
  • Sustained a head injury at the swimming pool from a slip, trip or fall that could have been avoided if the area had been made safe
  • Became injured in the swimming pool due to poorly kept or maintained facilities

We can help.

For more information on swimming injury claims, you can call us on 0800 073 8801. Alternatively, you can reach us online using our 24/7 live chat.

a swimming pool with a warning sign in front of it

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What Is An Accident At A Swimming Pool?

Essentially, anything that happens at a swimming pool that causes you an injury whether as a worker or visitor to the pool could be considered to be an accident at a swimming pool. And these could open the door for potential swimming pool accident claims. A pool owner/operator has a duty of care to workers at the pool and visitors to the pool to protect their safety, and they should have public liability insurance/employer’s liability insurance that could be used to pay out claims of this type if they were found to be liable for an accident at a swimming pool.

Statistics Highlighting Accidents At Swimming Pools In The UK

The National Water Safety Forum revealed that in 2020, there were 632 fatal incidents involving water. You can see the causes below.

swimming-pool-injury-claims-statistics-graph

Whilst only four of these fatalities was in a swimming pool, in 2017, the number was much higher, with 6 fatalities in swimming pools in the UK.

According to another source, in 2012/13 and 2014, there were 167 hospital admissions to children because of drowning, with 38 of these leading to fatality. It was discovered that pools, ponds and baths presented the highest risk to 0-5-year-olds. While we do not have information concerning who was at fault for any of these incidences, it does show that accidents and injuries could occur at swimming pools, which is why pool safety is so important.

Pool Accidents – Who Is Eligible To Claim?

Swimming pool accidents could cause injuries to different categories of people. Employees could be injured in workplace swimming pool accidents, but so could members of the public who use the pool or the facilities, including swimmers and spectators. 

Swimming pool operators, therefore, have a duty of care to prevent those on the premises from suffering avoidable harm by using the facilities under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. As employers, they also have a duty of care set out in the Health and Safety At Work Etc Act 1974 towards their employees. They must take steps to assess and, if possible, reduce any reasonably foreseeable harm to employees posed by the workplace or their work tasks.

Should those who own or operate swimming pools fail to comply with the legislation above and you suffer injuries as a result, you could be eligible to claim compensation. 

Some examples of incidents that could lead to a swimming pool accident include:

  • Unsafe management of chemicals
  • Inadequate repair and maintenance of the facilities
  • Poor housekeeping
  • Inadequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when it should have been provided
  • Lack of hazard warnings – for example, slippy floor signage, or water depth markings
  • Inadequate training for employees

To find out more about whether you could claim for a swimming injury, please call the helpline. An advisor could help to determine what your rights are and what action you could take.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At A Swimming Pool?

The personal injury claim time limit that would typically apply to a swimming pool accident claim is 3 years from the date of the accident. This is set out under the Limitation Act 1980. However, some claims could be exceptions to this.

For example, if someone were injured in a swimming pool accident and lacked sufficient mental capacity to make a claim for themselves, the limitation period would freeze indefinitely. However, during the time it is frozen, a court-appointed adult could act as a litigation friend for the injured party. They could then bring a claim on the injured person’s behalf. If no claim was made, and the person regained capacity, however, they could bring their own claim. They would typically have three years from their recovery to file.

In addition, if a child is injured in a swimming pool accident, they cannot bring their own claim until they turn 18. They would typically have three years from their 18th birthday to do so. However, while the time limit is suspended, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf.

To find out if you are within the time limit to make a personal injury compensation claim, contact our team of advisors today.

Slip, Trip And Fall Accidents At A Swimming Pool

While you would be expected to take care around a swimming pool, there are certain things that a pool owner/operator could do to help lower the risks of slip, trip and fall accidents at a swimming pool. Floors around swimming pools should have a good grip and sufficient drainage to ensure that water from the pool does not cause dangerous slip hazards.

As well as this, lifeguards should take care to stop people running around the pool, and there should also be signage to this effect. In addition, the lighting around a swimming pool should be sufficient so that you can clearly see where you are going. If the floor is not made as safe as could be considered reasonable, and you suffer a slip and fall injury at a swimming pool, then you may be eligible for compensation via swimming pool accident claims.

Head, Neck And Spinal Cord Swimming Pool Injuries

Pool depth warnings are required to protect those using the facilities from attempting to dive in where the water is not at a safe level for them to do so. If there are no warning signs which detail how deep or shallow the water is, or no warnings not to dive into the water, a person could mistakenly think the water levels were safe for diving, and this could lead to a head or neck injury at a swimming pool, for example.

Neck injuries could be quite serious, as if the damage extends to the spine, it could potentially be life-changing. Suffering a spinal injury in a swimming pool accident could leave a person paralysed and in need of care for the rest of their life. If the swimming pool owner/operator was found liable for such an accident at a swimming pool, the costs of this care may be included as part of swimming pool injury claims, but this could never truly compensate for the changes to a person’s quality of life.

Lacerations And Contusion Injuries At A Swimming Pool

Some of the more common types of injuries could include cuts and bruises from broken swimming pool tiles. While these could be considered quite mild injuries, if contaminated water is also involved, then an infection could make a swimming pool injury of this nature harder to recover from. If you feel poor maintenance caused you to have an accident at a swimming pool, and you’ve been injured, you could look into making a claim for compensation.

Chemical Burns, Poisoning Or Other Illnesses Caused By A Swimming Pool

There are a lot of chemicals that are used in swimming pools to keep the water hygienic, but some of these chemicals, if handled incorrectly or unsafely, could lead to injuries or illnesses. A miscalculation of chemicals or spillage could cause workers or visitors to the swimming pool to be exposed to high levels of chemicals that could cause them harm. Those in swimming pool chlorine accidents could potentially suffer chlorine poisoning, which could lead to very unpleasant symptoms. Or, a chemical burn could cause scarring.

If you have fallen ill or been injured at a swimming pool because of lack of safety regarding chemicals, then you could be eligible to claim compensation.

Drowning And Other Fatal Swimming Pool Accidents

Unfortunately, if something goes badly wrong in a swimming pool accident, this could lead to a fatality. Whether it was death through drowning or a fatal spinal injury in the swimming pool, it could be that you are left bereaved after an accident at a swimming pool.

If you have lost a loved one in this manner, though it would never be enough to truly compensate you for such a loss, compensation could help to cover the funeral costs of a loved one and could include a bereavement award that could help you move forward after such a devastating event. We could help you, and, knowing how devastating these types of claims could be, we would handle your swimming pool injury claims with the sensitivity they deserve.

Swimming Pool Accident Claims On Behalf Of A Child

Did you know that you could potentially make a swimming pool accident claim on behalf of a child?

By applying to be a litigation friend to your child, you could make decisions pertaining to a swimming pool accident claim in which they have suffered injuries. Any compensation awarded could be held in trust for the child in question until such time as they turn 18. However, if your child has suffered a serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury in a swimming pool, for example, and requires money releasing from this trust to pay for specialist care, then you may be able to apply to the trust for some of the compensation to be released for these purposes.

We should also advise that you also have the option to wait until your child turns 18 and allow them to claim for themselves. However, it may be slightly easier to claim sooner after the accident than later, as it may be easier to find evidence such as witness details etc straight after the accident.

Swimming Pool Employee Injuries Leading To Swimming Pool Accident Claims

All employers have a certain duty of care, by law, to take care of the health and safety of their employees. If they fail to take this duty of care seriously and are negligent in protecting the health and safety of staff, and an employee is injured at a swimming pool while working there, the employer could be liable for the employee’s injury.

Accidents at work could happen for a number of reasons, and could even be fatal in some cases. You can see the causes of fatal injuries at work in 2020/21 from the HSE statistics below.

swimming pool accident claims statistics graph

Avoiding injury at work

There are several ways in which an employer could help swimming pool workers from suffering an injury at work. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring PPE is worn when handling pool chemicals to avoid a swimming pool chemical accident
  • Ensuring they are trained on slip prevention
  • Ensuring the pool area is safe for them to work in and hazards are reduced as much as could be considered reasonable
  • Ensuring they are fully trained on how to respond to a pool emergency
  • Ensuring they have the tools they need to carry out jobs like emptying/cleaning drains etc, to avoid a swimming pool drain accident
  • Ensuring they have manual handling training if they are required to lift heavy objects
  • And more…..

If you feel that your employer’s negligence has led to an accident at a swimming pool in which you’ve been injured, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim for your injuries.

Compensation Payouts In Swimming Pool Injury Claims

The amount that legal professionals calculate to appropriately compensate you for your pain and suffering is known as general damages. The pool could be a potential cause of accidents that result in physical or psychological injuries. You could be compensated for both categories of ailment if you could prove that you were harmed by the negligence of another.

How to calculate compensation

Because your injuries could vary in their severity, the legal professionals valuing your claim can often turn to a few different resources to assist them in arriving at the appropriate value. For instance, they may take a look at the medical evidence you submit. Additionally, they will make use of a publication – that is updated semi-regularly – called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

We have made sure to include some entries from the 2022 edition of the JCG in the table below. This is the most recent version of the publication. You can use these figures to gain a better understanding of roughly how much some injuries can be worth in general damages.

General Damages Compensation Table

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Injury Bracket for Payout Notes
Multiple severe injuries causing financial costs and losses. Up to £1,000,000+ Combinations of severe injuries which cause financial costs and losses such as travel and medical expenses, or loss of earnings.
Brain damage (Very Severe) (a) (i) £282,010 to £403,990 Little meaningful response to environmental stimulai.
Neck injuries In the region of £148,330 Where there is paraplegia (incomplete) or injuries have resulted in spastic quadriparesis that is permanent. Cases where an injured party has regained little to no movement despite wearing a collar for a period of years could be included here.
Severe Arm Injuries £96,160 to £130,930 A serious brachial plexus injury could be included within this bracket, and the injured person could be left only a little better off than if the arm were to be completely lost.
Knee injuries £52,120 to £69,730 Fractures to the leg that extend into the joint of the knee which cause permanent or constant pain that limits the claimant’s movements/agility. The claimant in such cases could be rendered prone to developing osteoarthritis and they may require an arthoplasty
Arm injuries that lead to permanent disability (substantial) £39,170 to £59,860 Where there are serious fractures to either one of the forearms, or both, and there is cosmetic or finctional disability that is deemed to be substatial.
Hand injuries £29,000 to £61,910 There would be around 50% of the hand capacity still available. Cases where there is amputation of several of the fingers but then rejoined, could also be included in this category.
Leg injuries £17,960 to £27,760 Serious damage to soft tissues or fractures that did not resolve completely could be included here.
Harm resulting from injuries that were non-traumatic (E.g. chemical poisoning) £9,540 to £19,200 Short lived but serious bouts of poisoning, with vomiting/diarrhoea easing between 2-4 weeks.

If you’d like a more accurate idea of how much swimming pool accident claims could be worth, get in touch us our advisors today. We are always here to help you with your claim in any way we can.

Special Damages You Could Claim If Injured At A Swimming Pool

If you are curious about what amounts besides the compensation for your injuries themselves could be included within your claim for an accident at a swimming pool, this section should help. Costs and/or losses you’ve experienced directly because of your swimming pool injury or swimming pool illness could be classed as special damages and could be included as part of your claim. It could be a good idea for you to keep receipts/bank statements etc that show these costs and losses. Special damages could include some or all of the following:

Care costs

Have you needed help with day to day activities such as washing, getting dressed etc, or have you had to put your children in childcare because you were unable to look after them? Care costs might be considered as special damages within a personal injury claim.

Medical costs

Have you needed private psychiatric treatment, or needed physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment? Even if you have had to pay prescription fees because of your injuries, you could claim for these under special damages.

Travel costs

Whether you have needed to pay to travel to work when you would normally have driven, or had to pay for travel to medical appointments, these could be claimed as special damages.

Loss of Wages

If you needed time off work for recovery from your injuries, or you’ve been told that you will have to have surgery in the future and will need to take time off work afterwards, you may be facing earning losses. Whether current or predicted, these wage losses could be included as part of your compensation claim.

Funeral costs

If a loved one has suffered a swimming pool death, whether, via drowning, a swimming pool suction injury or another injury at a swimming pool that proved fatal, you may be able to claim the funeral costs

Should there be another cost that you’ve incurred as a direct result of an accident at a swimming pool, you could call our advisors to check whether it could be included within your claim.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Accident At A Swimming Pool

For those considering making swimming pool accident claims, the idea of paying a personal injury lawyer before you receive any compensation may be off-putting? If you are, then let us put your mind at rest by explaining that we could help you make claims with a personal injury solicitor without requiring any payment upfront. These are often referred to as no win no fee claims and the way in which they work is as follows:

  1. Your claim would be assessed and the personal injury lawyer would advise whether they felt they could take your claim on.
  2. You would be sent a no win no fee agreement to sign – this document lays out the conditions that should be met for your lawyer to get paid at the end of your claim. No funds would be required upfront but signing this document means you would be promising to pay a percentage (not more than 25%) of your total settlement as a success fee to your lawyer once compensation was paid out.
  3. Your solicitor, once receiving this document back, would begin working on your swimming pool injury claim.
  4. If your solicitor was not successful in gaining compensation for you for a valid swimming pool accident claim, you wouldn’t need to pay them. If they were successful, then their percentage would be deducted, with the rest of the payout being used to benefit you.

Assessing your eligibility

It might be useful to note that it would be unlikely that your lawyer would take on a case that they did not feel had a strong chance of ending in a compensation settlement. Sometimes, a lawyer may instruct you on the benefits of taking out insurance against an unsuccessful claim, but this is something that could be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you’d like to discuss these payment terms in more detail, then please don’t wait to get in touch – we would be happy to help explain whatever it is you’d like to know.

How Our Team Could Help After An Accident At A Swimming Pool

Do you still have questions about making a swimming pool injury claim or would you be interested in starting swimming pool injury claims? Whatever your current position, we’re ready to talk to you about your options when it comes to making a compensation claim.

Getting in touch with us allows us to get some details about what has happened to you so that we could make an assessment on whether we think you could have a strong case for compensation. We offer this assessment completely free and we would not hold you under any obligation to use our services, or even take the advice we offer. If we don’t think you’d be able to claim compensation, we will be completely transparent about this, and we will advise you of the reasons we believe this is the case. However, if we do feel you could be eligible, we could then take you through your options. We could also provide a personal injury lawyer to help you make a claim for compensation.

We want to help

At Accident Claims UK, we pride ourselves on offering a service that caters to the needs of claimants who have found themselves injured due to the fault of someone else. We have many satisfied clients that attest to our fantastic service, and we would be delighted to provide this same service to in order to help take the stress of claiming for an accident at a swimming pool off your shoulders. We’re here to help.

Start Your Claim For An Accident At A Swimming Pool

There are various ways in which you could get in touch with one of our friendly, professional advisors. You could simply call our helpline on 0800 073 8801, or you could look at emailing us at office@accidentclaims.co.uk. If you’d prefer us to get in touch with you, you could use the contact form, or you could even opt to use the live chat feature if you like.

Whichever way you would prefer to get in touch with us, we will always do our best to offer you help if you are eligible to make a swimming pool accident claim.

Essential Resources Relating To Swimming Pool Accident Claims

Gym Accident Claims – To find out about being injured in a gym, you might find this guide useful.

Accident At Work Claims – If you were injured at work at a swimming pool, this in-depth guide could offer you some useful information.

Local Authority Claims – Did the council own the swimming pool you were injured in? If so, this guide could offer some information that you might find useful.

Health And Safety Resources Relating To Swimming Pool Accident Claims

ROSPA Swimming Safety – This page shows some advice on being safe when swimming.

HSE Swimming Pool Safety – The HSE gives some useful information on swimming pool health and safety.

Royal Life Saving Society – The RLSS offer advice on swimming pool and water safety.

Swimming Pool Accident Claims FAQs

In this final section of our guide, we have answered some frequently asked questions regarding claims for injuries at swimming pools.

How are injury claims calculated?

Personal injury claims use the extent of the claimant’s suffering to determine how much compensation they’re awarded. Therefore, there is no average settlement as each claim is different. A compensation calculator couldn’t give you an accurate sum for this either.

What is fair compensation for pain and suffering?

As mentioned above, there is no average settlement for personal injury claims as each case is different. However, the extent of the claimant’s pain and suffering can be determined through an independent medical assessment. This way, the true impacts of the accident can be evaluated in a professional setting, evidencing the case for compensation.

Who is liable if someone drowns in your pool?

Those who own the pool no matter what type of swimming pool it is, hold liability if someone drowns, assuming that the victim was invited there and with the owner not keeping the pool itself safe.

What are some common injuries at a pool?

These include falling, lacerations, infections, breaking bones and drowning.

What diseases can you get from a swimming pool?

These include rashes, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and also swimmer’s ear.

Can swimming pools cause urinary tract infections?

Yes, UTIs could happen due to bacteria travelling into the bladder via urine while the swimmer is in the pool.

How do swimmers take care of their skin?

They can drink a bottle of water regularly during swims and have a complete shower afterwards to remove any chlorine.

How long can I make a claim after an accident?

You could make a claim anytime up to three years after the accident takes place.

Should I accept the first offer of compensation in swimming pool injury claims?

Sometimes, if a liable party admits fault for an accident or injury, they might make an initial offer of compensation. You do not have to accept this. In fact, you might want to consider seeking legal advice on whether this could be considered a fair offer. Sometimes, personal injury lawyers could fight for more compensation than initially offered. Whether you’re claiming personal injury compensation from tour operators for a swimming pool accident on a package holiday, or want to claim general damages from your local pool, it is well worth considering their offer carefully before accepting.

Would my swimming pool injury claims go to court?

It might surprise you to learn that not many claims are heard in courts. In many cases, your lawyer could negotiate a settlement with the liable party without the courts needing to get involved. However, if the liable party disputed your claim, or claimed your injuries were not as bad as described, or they said you were partially responsible, it may become necessary for your solicitor to file paperwork with the court to take the matter further. Should your case be heard in court, your solicitor would be there to support you, so that you could get the appropriate compensation for your injury claim.

Why might the swimming pool owner refuse my swimming pool injury claims?

There are lots of reasons that a swimming pool operator or owner might refuse your claim. They may believe you were responsible for your injury, or they might feel that they were not at fault for another reason. They may also cast doubt on the severity of your illness or injury. While this could be frustrating, if you have evidence that the incident was not your fault, you could take action with the help of your lawyer.

Is it legally necessary to have a solicitor help me with swimming pool accident claims?

You should know it’s not a legal requirement for you to hire a solicitor in order to make a valid swimming pool injury claim. You could go ahead and make a claim by yourself, but there are many reasons people turned to personal injury solicitors to help them with such claims. For example, a solicitor, authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority could handle all the legal legwork of your claim. They could build a strong case for you and handle all of the negotiations for your compensation. They could fight for the maximum compensation possible for your claim. If you would like to work with a solicitor on your case you could do so on a no win no fee basis. We could help to connect you with such a solicitor.

Would I need to use a solicitor based locally to me for swimming pool injury claims?

There are many law firms as solicitors based all across the UK that could handle your claim. In many cases, claims don’t go to court, and there is no need for a lawyer and their clients to meet face to face. However, even if you chose a lawyer based far away from you, you could still visit them or they could visit you. What is important is to get a solicitor that you believe gives you the best chance of getting compensation for your claim. To find out more about what you should look for in a good solicitor, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

Would I be able to make swimming pool injury claims on behalf of my children?

No matter whether your child suffers a slip, trip or fall accident at a swimming pool, or cuts themselves on the tiles, if it is caused by the swimming pool owner or operator’s negligence, you could make a claim for compensation for them. However, to do so you would need to apply to be a litigation friend. A litigation friend is somebody who makes decisions on behalf of somebody else for their claim. This is because people under the age of 18 are not considered to have enough capacity to make decisions on legal matters for themselves.

However, your child could go ahead and make a claim for themselves once they turn 18 if no claim has been made for them before. It could be a difficult decision to make as to whether you should claim for your child or wait until they come of age. We should mention that evidence gathering could be more difficult as time passes. However, the decision is entirely yours, but we could provide information to help you make a decision that’s right for you and your child.

Could I claim for poor hygiene in swimming pool injury claims?

If poor hygiene has led to you suffering injury or illness at a swimming pool, you may be wondering whether you could make a claim for compensation. If you can prove that negligence in cleaning or hygiene have led to you suffering injury or illness, this could lead to a successful claim. However, we would be happy to provide you with a free no obligation assessment to see if one of our solicitors could help you.

Do you still have any questions about swimming pool accident claims? If so, you can seek help from our advisors by using the contact details found in this guide.