Diving Board Injuries
Were you hurt in a diving board accident, or did you lose a loved one from a wrongful death? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for diving board accident/drowning victims and can help your family too.
Contact a Chicago premises liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Pools are responsible for many injuries and deaths each year. In the past decade, more than 4,000 people have drowned in pools or spas. A US federal law requires pool owners to keep their properties reasonably safe and maintained. Failure to comply with this law may result in fines or other penalties.
Consumer Products Safety Commission Alert
A broken diving board can be a safety hazard because it may not support a diver's weight. Therefore, pool owners must make sure their property is reasonably safe and maintained by keeping an eye on the condition of all equipment used there, including diving boards.
If a diving board cannot immediately be repaired, pool owners must alert visitors that the diving board is broken and should not be used.
The law requires that you keep your property reasonably safe if others come onto it or use your equipment – even if they pay you for this privilege (for example, by renting a room).
That includes ensuring your property does not contain hidden dangers such as defective products or unsafe conditions – whether caused by weathering or deterioration – which could cause harm to someone who comes onto your property.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an alert about this issue. CPSC estimates more than 800 emergency room visits each year due to injuries related to improperly maintained or damaged diving boards. In addition, the agency reports at least one death per year since 2003 due to diving board accidents.
This alert provides information on how pool owners should maintain their pools and address safety concerns, such as broken diving boards. It also includes guidance on what consumers should do if they have concerns about a pool's condition before using it for recreational purposes.
Common Causes of a Diving Accident
Diving board incidents during the hot summer months might contribute to the various pool and water-related injuries. Some of the most common causes include:
Unattached Diving Boards
Diving boards must be secured or attached to structures to ensure that they are safe for everyone. If loose screws exist on diving boards or if they become detached, divers may be harmed. Pool owners who fail to remedy these hazardous situations risk snapping diving boards, causing divers to fall.
Vertical Diving Boards
Vertical diving boards are much higher than other types. These boards can cause major injury when they hit the pool floor or another object in the process of diver impact. If divers do not judge their distance properly before jumping, their legs, ankles, and feet may be damaged.
Diving Board Disrepair
Some pools will have a diving board for recreational activities. It is imperative to regularly examine these boards to ensure that they are safe for use. If board parts are broken, torn, or damaged, divers risk being hurt due to the impact of fragments on their jumps.
Every pool owner who neglects to keep the diving board free of defects may be liable for injuries.
Slippery Diving Boards
Every diving board should be kept free of thick debris, such as algae and moss. These elements may affect the texture of the board, making it slippery for divers to land. If a person slips or slides across a diving board that has these substances on it, they may sustain more serious injuries from the impact with the water below them.
Every pool owner who fails to clear the diving board of these substances must be held accountable for their negligence.
Pool owners need to post warning signs if necessary. Divers may not recognize that certain portions of the pool are too shallow for diving if there are no warning signs. Notices stating "No Diving" should be prominently displayed. In addition, until it is safe for divers to use, a closed diving board or undergoing repair should be marked.
Inadequate Distance Between the Diving Boards and the Bottom of the Pool
By law, there must be at least ten feet of water between the diving board and the bottom of the pool. If there is less than this amount, divers could be at risk of serious injuries.
Pool owners who fail to provide enough depth in the water may be liable for any injuries that result from inadequate depth.
Pool owners who fail to meet this standard may be held liable for injuries caused by improper maintenance. If there is not enough water for people to safely jump off or fall into, they may sustain more serious harm than hitting solid ground.
Broken Glass on the Pool Deck
Glass shards must be treated with great caution in and around pools. Broken glass can cause injuries if people step on it with bare feet or swim in the pool with open wounds.
When the broken glass is on or around the pool, it can be dangerous, especially for children. Pool owners who leave the glass in these high-risk areas are liable for any injuries that result from a lack of caution.
Inadequately Secured Pool Ladders
Pool owners who fail to ensure the ladders are properly secured may be liable for injuries when people fall off them. Some of the most common causes include broken rungs.
When pool ladders have broken rungs, they cannot support people's weight. These defective ladders can cause divers to fall and land on the lower part of the pool, putting them at risk for head and neck injuries.
Pool owners who fail to regularly examine their ladders and fix broken parts must be held accountable for their negligence.
Chemical Hazards of Pools
Pools should be examined regularly to ensure that they are free of chemical hazards. For example, chemical substances such as chlorine can irritate the skin or respiratory problems. Pool owners also need to ensure that all pool water and chemical container levels match for optimum safety.
Pool owners who neglect to monitor and maintain their pools properly may be held accountable for injuries.
Common Injuries From Using a Diving Board
A diving board can cause serious injuries if it is not properly maintained. Some of the most common injuries associated with these boards include:
When a diver lands on a broken diving board, they may sustain fractures in their hands, legs, and ankles. Sometimes, the bones in their feet will break when they contact another object in the pool.
Broken Collar Bones
Divers who land on their backs or necks are at risk of shattering collar bones. These injuries may require surgery to repair, leaving diving accident victims with permanent physical disabilities.
Neck and Back Injuries
If divers do not judge their jumps correctly, they may crack their heads open on a diving board or another object. In some cases, the impact will damage their necks and spines severely enough to require surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In rare circumstances, spinal cord injuries may occur from diving board accidents. If a diver's head or neck slams into a hard surface unexpectedly, they can suffer a punctured spine that causes permanent paralysis.
When pool owners fail to maintain their diving boards or do not post necessary safety signs, they put the general public at risk for severe injuries. Although some of these accidents may be caused by user error, defective boards or other faulty pool equipment can cause injuries to people who were safely using the pools.
Were you injured by a diving board that was poorly maintained? If so, you may be able to pursue legal action against the owner or property manager of the property where you sustained your injury.
Everyday Hazards of a Diving Board
The pool and diving board can pose serious dangers to people who don't respect their potential hazards. These threats include:
Slipping or Falling
Should a pool owner fail to clean their slippery diving board regularly, they may become slippery and dangerous. When divers jump from these surfaces, they risk falling and hitting their heads on the pool floor.
Pool owners who neglect their duty of keeping pools free of debris, germs, and bacteria put users at risk for slip and fall accidents. These types of incidents can result in broken bones, lacerations, and other painful diving board injuries.
Injuries Due to Impact
When divers land at full speed, they have the potential to break bones, crack open their skulls and cause other severe injuries. If children are using a diving board without supervision, it is possible that they will not judge their jumps properly, which can lead to potentially deadly accidents.
Any impact to the head is a cause for immediate concern. Diving boards are notorious for causing this type of injury, leading to severe brain damage if not treated immediately.
Users may accidentally fall underneath the water if the diving board is equipped with water pumps or other water apparatuses. In addition, if children are using the diving board unattended, they may be unable to resurface or call for assistance promptly. That can lead to tragic drowning accidents.
National Statistics on Dangerous Diving Boards
More than 4,000 people drown each year in pools or spas. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most are children younger than five years old.
Consumer Products Safety Commission
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that from 2005-2009, an average of 4,900 unintentional nonfatal injuries associated with pools and spas occurred each year. In addition to these figures, the CPSC also reported an average of three fatal injuries related to the pools and spas each year during the same time frame.
Another CPSC report discovered that from 2001 to 2006, an average of 233 drowning deaths a year resulted from pool- and spa-related accidents. According to the CDC, fatal drowning constitutes 2 percent of unintentional injury deaths among children 1–4 years old.
In 2013, there were a reported 15,586 emergency department-treated submersed or immersion injuries associated with pools and spas among males and females in the United States.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
In 2007, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) National Action Alliance for Youth Sports reported that a hospital treated about twenty-three million people for a sports-related injury. A majority of those injuries resulted from water-related activities.
However, the number of children under five that drown in home swimming pools has fallen to an all-time low after years on the rise, according to data from USA Swimming's Aquatics Health & Safety Program. In 2013, the CDC reported that 3.6 deaths per every 100,000 children under 13 years of age were attributable to drowning in home pools.
National Safety Council
Between 2001-2005 about 4,200 deaths per year were attributed to unintentional drowning among individuals of all ages. Additionally, according to the National Safety Council's Injury Facts 2014 Edition, over 656,000 nonfatal injuries used to happen related to pools/spas annually.
Contributing Risk Factors for Diving Accidents
There may be contributing factors of diving injuries other than pool on or neglect, including:
- Drug or alcohol impairment: Both illegal and prescription/over-the-counter medication could impair the swimmer's abilities to make wise decisions when working, playing, or recreating in sports activities, including using a diving board.
- Lack of lifeguards: Insufficient supervision of children on or near swimming pool decks, in general, can result in numerous injuries, including serious diving board accidents.
- Peer pressure: Some divers choose to act restlessly, trying to perform a cool trick, dive off a high place, or do a death-defying feat to fit in with swim group peers.
- Inadequate entry and exit points: Pools should generally have two different means for entrance and egress from the water. In addition, if someone is injured, getting out of the pool could be problematic if they encounter any obstacles returning to the deck.
- Entry and exit platform heights too low: A diving board should be set at an appropriate height level for swimmers' abilities; prevailing standards indicate that boards are not considered safe until 8 feet above the surface
- Abusive use of a diving board: When non-swimmers or swimmers with low body fat are allowed to jump from the diving board, they fall through the air at a much higher speed than an experienced swimmer. It increases the risk of spinal injuries and other very serious consequences.
- According to the CPSC, failure to be aware of proper diving board rules and regulations: There are specific standards for using a diving board. (For instance, a diving board should be inspected thoroughly for damage before each use.) People using a diving board should also make sure that one person is always in charge of supervising the activity at all times.
- Refusal to follow pool safety rules and regulations: Certain dangers are inherent when individuals engage in activities around or on top of pools that should not be ignored.
Prevention Tips for Diving Accidents
Any diver or other supervising adults and children at the pool can follow prevention tips to avoid catastrophic injuries. Some of the prevention tips include:
- Ensure appropriate use of the diving board & ladders by teaching your kids how to dive properly & avoid doing flips off the board.
- Check that the pool deck is free of clutter before getting into the water, which could cause someone to slip and sustain an injury while getting out of the pool.
- Being unaware of proper diving board rules and regulations
Diving into shallow water (i.e., sand) is also a common cause of injury among swimmers; sand may be compressed under pressure, which reduces the buoyancy of sand.
Diving into sand compresses it, making it denser than normal body parts such as feet or other body parts that land first while diving. As a result, it causes the upper part of the body to have a more significant impact when compared to other areas outside the direct line from shoulder to ankle.
What You Need to Do After a Diving Board Accident
Following a diving board accident, you might be perplexed about what to do next. The procedures described below cover what you should do immediately after an injury, as well as in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks that follow.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
In minor cases, seeking and obtaining medical attention is especially important to rule out any potential head injury or traumatic brain damage. Unfortunately, within the first few minutes, your adrenaline is likely rushing, masking many of the signs and symptoms associated with a life-altering injury.
Only a doctor with the best diagnostic tools cannot fairly determine your current medical condition and recommend an effective treatment plan.
Document What Happened
If possible, capture photographic evidence of the diving board accident scene, your injuries, and add details to pictures of any cuts, bruises, broken bones, or other mild to severe injuries. In addition, take photographs of any worn material at the accident scene, broken diving board, missing screws, or rusted bolts.
If any eyewitnesses were present, make sure to collect their contact information. It is important if the diver was a child under ten years of age, as all states have a legal obligation to make an injury claim for this population.
Follow Up With Medical Treatment, Rehabilitation, & Therapy
If you notice that you are experiencing negative side effects such as headaches, blurred vision, or other symptoms at any time after your diving board incident, contact your doctor immediately.
For mild to moderate cases of diving board injuries and accidents, you may recover completely with little to no long-term side effects after a surgical procedure known as a closed reduction. This reduction is often followed by physical therapy rehabilitation and follow-up surgeries if needed. However, diving board accidents leave no room for error and should be seen by a licensed medical professional as soon as possible.
Speak With an Attorney
Seeking legal advice and representation from a qualified diving board accident lawyer can ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation for your:
- Injuries, pain, and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Missed work time, and
- An array of other factors unique to your case
A qualified diving board accident attorney is familiar with the laws surrounding these types of claims in your area and can help protect you against any unfair denials or delayed claims.
Diving Board Injury Liability
A competent personal injury attorney specializing in defective diving board accidents can determine the number of parties that might be legally liable for your damages. Potential negligent parties could include the pool owner, pool maintenance crews, pool designer, or manufacturer. Specifically, each one of these involves:
By law, all pool owners must keep their properties reasonably safe and well-maintained, including the pool area and any diving board installed, designed, and last checked for defects.
Pool Maintenance Crews
Commercial pools require a rigorous daily maintenance schedule to ensure all equipment is working properly. If a faulty or broken piece of equipment causes an injury, the pool management should have been notified by their team of maintenance workers so it could be repaired immediately.
The diving board itself should be designed to industry standards and installed perfectly by a professional who has previous experience in this area. The same holds for any other equipment in the pool area, such as ladders and slides.
If the diving board was made outside of your country's market, it must meet industry standards and provide the required safety information on the product. Most states require warning labels or informational tags on all equipment to inform pool owners of any potential hazards associated with operating the piece.
Signs You May Have a Claim
You may have a claim if you notice that your serious injury is directly proportional to your diving board height, the number of dives, and other factors.
Were you not properly trained on using the pool equipment? If so, it may be grounds for a claim if your diving board injuries could have been prevented by reading the manual or attending an instructional class taught by a certified expert.
If you are underage, diving off too high of a board, or jumping several times consecutively, may also potentially result in a future claim.
Speak With an Attorney
Seeking legal advice and representation from a qualified diving board accident lawyer can ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Moreover, compensation for medical expenses, property damage, missed work time, and an array of other factors unique to your case.
A qualified diving board accident attorney is familiar with the laws surrounding these types of claims in your area and can help protect you against any unfair denials or delayed claims.
Diving Board Accident FAQs
Our diving board accident lawyers understand that many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with the insurance company over a diving board accident and how to file for compensation.
A pool accident injury attorney has answered some of those questions below. Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for additional information.
Is Financial Compensation Available After a Diving Board Accident?
There are various types of financial compensation for which you may be eligible, depending on your circumstances. The two most common forms include medical bills and pain and suffering damages.
Have you already paid thousands of dollars or continue to pay for any necessary medical treatment that was not covered by your current health insurance policy? Then the negligent party is responsible for reimbursing you immediately after your claim is filed.
Pain and suffering damages
A pool accident injury attorney will file a claim on your behalf to ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation for your pain and suffering associated with the diving board accident. This suffering may include physical discomfort, mental anguish, stress, or other factors directly caused by the accident and your diving board injuries.
Do Diving Boards Fall Under General Pool Equipment?
Diving boards may sometimes be considered a "piece of general pool equipment." Still, specific types of swimming pool accidents may harm an individual, such as improper assembly or lack of signage on the equipment.
When purchasing new products for your swimming pool, such as diving boards and ladders, always ask if manuals come with the packaging. If not, contact the manufacturer for more information on safely using the product and reference any potential warning signs before operating it.
If you were injured due to a defective or inadequately labeled piece of pool equipment, call now to speak with a qualified diving board accident lawyer for free.
Call a personal injury lawyer (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form on this website to set up your appointment today. Our diving board accident lawyers are available 24/7 to take your information and answer any questions you may have about filing an injury claim following a diving board accident.
Is There a Time Limit I Have to File a Civil Lawsuit for Diving Board Accidents?
There are specific state statutes (laws) that may affect the amount of financial compensation awarded.
Speak directly with an accident lawyer about your case by calling (888) 424-5757 today. We provide free consultations and operate 24/7 to handle all injury claims related to diving boards or other pool equipment resulting in personal injury, including spinal cord damage.
You do not have time to waste after suffering serious injuries in a swimming pool accident. Your best chance of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries often comes within two years following the date of the original incident, so act now!
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Involving a Diving Board Injury
Were you injured in a diving board accident or lost a loved one through preventable drowning due to another's negligence? The diving board accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for innocent victims harmed by others.
Call our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law office remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our diving board accident attorneys accept every personal injury claim and wrongful death lawsuit on a contingency fee basis. This zero-fee guarantee ensures you pay nothing until the case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.