Can You Seek Recovery for SCUBA Accident Injuries?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of John Romano with Romano Law Group.
Aquatic accidents can be particularly dangerous; the addition of water to a dangerous situation can increase the risk of serious and life-threatening injuries, from oxygen deprivation injuries to drowning. In fact, drowning is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, in no small part to aquatic accidents such as boating, swimming pool, water park, and even SCUBA accidents.
Common injuries sustained in SCUBA accidents include but are not limited to the following:
- Decompression sickness
- Immersion pulmonary edema
- Bites/stings from marine life
- Heat injuries and sunburns
Many SCUBA injuries can be avoided by proper attention to safety procedures and diving equipment. Whenever someone is injured due the negligence of another party, be it a dive company, boater, or someone else who owed a reasonable duty of care to the person in question, a personal injury lawsuit may present a viable means of recovery.
Human error, equipment failure, and the environment are considered the three primary causes of SCUBA accidents.
Like any activity, it is possible that some injuries might be unpreventable; for example, sudden and unpredicted changes in weather can put divers at increased risk. While checking the weather forecast before going out is certainly recommended, even this does not necessarily protect them from sudden and unexpected changes in dive conditions. However, human error and equipment failure are highly preventable, and when they occur, it is often possible to trace the injury back to one or more negligent parties.
Lack of experience on the part of the diver is considered a common factor in SCUBA accidents, but other factors often include knowingly allowing an inexperienced diver to go out in the first place, failing to check or maintain the necessary equipment, and failing to follow industry safety regulations to ensure the health and safety of the divers involved. While divers largely take their safety into their own hands, when third parties get involved such as dive companies, equipment providers, and even tour companies, the liability extends to each party involved.
When SCUBA and diving companies fail to follow industry standards, they could be held liable for a diver’s injuries.
SCUBA diving requires extreme attention to safety protocol and equipment maintenance; when a diving company rents out gear that was not inspected, repaired, or is otherwise not safe for a dive, the company may be liable in the event the diver is injured as a result. Similarly, if a dive company has broken safety protocol putting divers at increased risk of injury which could have been avoided, they could be considered responsible for that person’s damages.
These are just a few common examples, but any party responsible for an element of SCUBA diving related to safety could be considered liable if an accident occurs and they were found to be negligent. It is also important to note that signing a waiver does not necessarily waive all liability for the company in question. Damages that can be sought in a SCUBA accident claim include but are not necessarily limited to medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even wrongful death.
To learn more about SCUBA accident injuries or for help filing a claim after a SCUBA accident, reach out to an aquatic accident attorney sooner rather than later.