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How Much Compensation For A Swimming Pool Accident Or Illness?

By Olivia Fitzpatrick. Last Updated March 2024. Welcome to our guide to swimming pool accident claims.

Accidents and illnesses relating to Swimming Pools are more common than you might think, and children are particularly at risk of having an accident or becoming ill.

You may think that you will not be entitled to compensation, but if that accident or illness is a result of poor maintenance or negligent behaviour on the part of a hotel, a cruise ship operator, or those responsible for the upkeep of the pool and its safety protocols then it might be possible for you to make a claim. This might also be the case even in the event of an accident that happened abroad.

Swimming Pool Accident Claims Time Limit

Do you know about the time limit that applies to personal injury claims? If not, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the relevant limitation periods. Otherwise, you could lose out on your eligibility for compensation by waiting too long.

In general, personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit. Therefore, if you’re considering seeking compensation for your swimming pool accident, you should get in touch with us today for a free consultation and see if you could make a claim.

There are a few exceptions that apply to this time limit, particularly for claimants that are unable to make their own claims and require a litigation friend. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it’s simply used to describe someone appointed to make a claim on behalf of someone else.

For example, if a loved one is mentally incapacitated, you could make legal proceedings for them. Similarly, if your child is under 18 but has grounds to make a claim, you could secure their compensation in a trust which can be accessed to cover expenses relating to their injuries, such as medical treatment or prescription costs.

In these exceptional cases, the time limit will only begin once the litigation friend begins legal proceedings. At this point, the 3-year time limit will come into effect. Alternatively, this limitation period is frozen until the claimant becomes able to make their own claim.

To learn more, please read on or get in touch today to speak with one of our specialist advisors and receive free legal advice about your case.

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A Guide to Accident Claims for swimming pool accident or illness

Companies or local authorities that operate swimming pools have a duty of care to ensure that their guests and staff are safe. They have a legal obligation to make sure that all the steps needed to keep their facilities in a safe condition. This includes ensuring that the surfaces around the pool and its facilities are maintained in a safe condition. Making sure that trained lifeguards are in attendance. The water in the pool must be kept clean, with the right chemical balance to ensure that it is safe to use.

If someone gets hurt in an accident or develops an illness because this obligation was not met, the victims could be entitled to make a compensation claim. This page is a guide to how and when you could do this, and how we could help you with your claims.

What is a swimming pool accident or illness?

A swimming pool accident of illness can be caused by:

  • Tilling that is damaged
  • A faulty pool drainage system
  • A faulty water filtration system
  • The use of too much chlorine or chemical disinfectant in the water
  • Lack of clear signage indicating highlighting the depth of the pool

If you have been affected by these circumstances you could make a claim for a swimming pool accident regarding the resulting illness or injury.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a swimming pool accident or illness

In order to make successful swimming pool claims there are things that you should do. If you have been involved in a swimming pool accident or illness then it is important to follow the appropriate steps to help you build a good case. This should include the following:

  • Visit a doctor – It is important to see a medical professional who can assess your injuries and make sure that you get the correct treatment as soon as possible. They will be able to document your injuries or illness and produce a medical report. This is important because it will be used to help calculate the amount of any payout you might receive. If you need assistance with arranging a medical nearby we can help you with this.
  • Get contact information from witnesses – It is important to get the contact details of anyone who witnessed your accident. Witness statements can help to support your case. If you are on holiday it is important to do this as soon as you can before potential witnesses return home.
  • Write notes of the events that happened – As soon as you are able to, you should write down everything that happened. This will help to make sure that you do not forget any important details later on.
  • Keep proof of any expenses – If you encounter any costs as a direct result of your injuries you should be able to make a claim for these – they are referred to as special damages. In order to make any such claim, you will however need to be able to provide proof of the expense. Keep hold of all your receipts and any documentation you are given.

How to begin a swimming pool accident claim

We understand that it can be difficult to know where to start when making personal injury claims; we can help make the process easier. Let us help you with every step of your claim, making the whole process as stress-free as possible.

We can begin with a free consultation session, all you need to do is give us a call. This will afford you the chance to ask any questions that you might have and allow us to ask you questions regarding your claim, allowing us to get a full and clear understanding of your case. This will therefore allow us to give you the best advice. In addition, we can help you arrange a local medical.

We operate on a No Win No Fee Basis when working on your claim. This means that regardless of your financial situation you should be able to make a claim, you will only need to pay the cost of legal fees if you win your claim. More information on this can be found at the end of this post.

Swimming pool accidents in the press

Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents are an all too regular occurrence, especially during the summer months, and are often reported in the press.

In August 2017 newspapers reported the tragic story of a 4-year-old boy who went missing at the end of a week-long holiday at a summer camp near Devon. The boy, who had been reported as missing to the police was found in the swimming pool and the police helicopter was scrambled to take him to a nearby hospital.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the emergency services, they were unable to save him. The incident which was described as an event that had gone “horribly wrong” took place in a swimming pool that the group the boy was part of was using on a “self-supervised” basis.

Swimming pool accident

Swimming pool accident

Several years ago, there was also a spate of articles in the news that reported the story ‘child disembowelled by pool drain’. This dreadful accident occurred when the child in question had been sitting on an uncovered pool drain in the shallow end of the pool and the force of the suction was so powerful that pool drain evisceration was the result. Due to their size, this is an accident that can, unfortunately, have much more serious repercussions for a child. In this case, the girl required a small intestine transplant and will need lifelong medical care.

Whatever has happened to you, and whether your story is similar to those reported in the press or completely different you may be able to make a claim, so it is worth contacting someone to find out. Talk to us today about making a claim.

Fatal swimming pool accidents

People simply don’t realise the potential dangers of a swimming pool, they are all too often a place we visit when we are relaxed and perhaps not being as careful as we would normally be, for example when we are on holiday. Accidents in any location can be dangerous but any accident that occurs in the water has the added potential to lead to breathing difficulties as excess amounts of water get swallowed. This can obviously lead to the risk of a fatal pool accident occurring.

There are also dangers related to covers on swimming pools with incidences of children mistaking covered swimming pools for trampolines and jumping on, only to get stuck. These accidents have been known to result in drowning as the covers are pulled into the pool by the weight of the child, dragging them down into the water. Pool cover drowning can also occur in the unfortunate event that a person becomes trapped under a pool cover.

Cruise ship swimming pool accidents

When you book a cruise one of the things that will be furthest from your mind is whether the onboard pool is safe. Unfortunately, these onboard pools offer just as much danger as any other swimming pool, with potential for slip and trip accidents caused by wet surfaces, and also the over or underuse of chlorine and other chemical disinfectants can make it all too possible for a cruise shop pool accident to happen.

Whilst British cruise ship operators have specific standards that they must follow with regard to the health and safety of their swimming pools their foreign counterparts may not have the same stringent laws in place to protect customers. Talk to us today about making cruise ship claims.

Child swimming pool drowning death compensation claims

If your child is involved in a pool drowning, resulting in their death where the fault was not your own you should be able to make a claim. We understand that this can be an incredibly stressful and emotionally charged time, but will look at your case with the utmost sensitivity. Making a claim under these circumstances may well result in any company involved looking at their safety procedures and putting new measures in place to make sure that no other tragic accidents occur in the same way.

Accident at work claims

An employer has a duty of care to their employee’s whatever environment they work in. Employees who work on or around swimming pools should receive the appropriate training in order to be able to do their job and pass on that duty of care to anyone who uses the swimming pool.

Here are some recent workplace accident statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE):

  • In 2019/20, there were 1.6 million working people who suffered from a work-related illness.
  • 111 workers were fatally wounded at work.
  • 38.8 million working days were lost in relation to workplace illness and injury.
  • Up to £16.2 billion estimated costs were in relation to ill health and injuries due to current working conditions.

If your employer has failed in their duty of care to you, the employee then you might be able to make a claim. The best way to start a claim is to discuss it with a specialist firm who will be able to advise you if you have a case. Contact us about making personal injury claims. 

Slip, trip or fall at Swimming Pool claims

Swimming pools can be dangerous, water on the side of the pool can make the tiles slippery making I easy to slip, this can also result in someone falling into the swimming pool itself. Damaged tiles and other uneven surfaces can create trip hazards. A degree of common sense should be employed by anybody using a swimming pool, no running on the side of the pool, no diving at the shallow end, etc however if someone has been negligent and you have an accident you may have a claim.

Swimming pool accident statistics

How many people could be able to make fatal swimming pool claims? According to UK statistics that relate to drowning, there are a high proportion of people who cannot swim.

Figures from the National Water Safety Forum relating to 2019, the latest figures that are available show a total of 233 deaths that are water-related. These instances were either an accident or natural causes. The report that contains the figures emphasises that there is a significant need to ensure that a greater number of people can swim; only a handful of these drownings occurred in swimming pools.

Here is a further breakdown of the death causes

  • Angling accounted for 5 deaths.
  • Animal rescue accounted for 1 death.
  • Bath accounted for 3 deaths,
  • Climbing/cliff accounted for 1 death.
  • Manually powered boats accounted for 4 death.
  • Motorboating accounted for 9 deaths.
  • Sailing accounted for 4 deaths.
  • Surfing accounted for 3 deaths.
  • Swimming accounted for 44 deaths.
  • Water activities accounted for 6 deaths.

What can be claimed for after a swimming pool accident or illness?

When putting together a claim following a swimming pool accident of illness there are a number of things that you might be able to claim for:

  • General damages – This relates to any compensation you may be entitled to as a result of pain or injury occurring as a result of your accident or illness
  • Care claim – Whilst you are recovering from your accident or illness you require assistance in the home, the person who cared for you can file a care claim
  • Loss of earnings – If your accident or illness means that you will be unable to return to your employment for an extended period of time you should also be able to make a claim for future loss of earnings
  • Travel expenses – If you have been unable to drive as a result of the accident and have had to use alternative means of transport such as taxis you could be entitled to make a claim for this.
  • Medical bills – If your accident or illness occurred whilst you were abroad and you incurred a hospital bill you may be entitled to claim for this

It is important that you keep any receipt and documentation that you are given relating to your accident or illness as these could help you with your claim. If you have received assistance in the home keep detailed notes of any help that you received.

The most common types of swimming pool accidents

What are the most common reasons for making claims for a swimming pool accident? The types of injuries related to swimming pool incidents include:

  • Slips, trips and falls – a frequent cause of swimming pool slips trips and falls can be slippery steps or sides around a pool.
  • Gashes and lacerations – the most common cause of this type of swimming pool related injury is damaged tile work. The injury can often be further worsened by contaminants in the pool water.
  • Diving injuries – diving into a pool that is too shallow can result in both head and spinal injuries.
  • Contaminated pool water-related illnesses – the water in a swimming pool will usually contain chlorine or some form of chemical disinfectant which kills off the harmful bacteria. However, it is still possible for these bacteria as well as other contaminants to reach potentially hazardous levels, as they are continually re-introduced into the water by those using the pool.
  • Chlorine poisoning and chemical burns – extreme quantities of chlorine or chemical disinfectants in swimming pool water can be deadly. If there is too much disinfectant in the pool water the results can be chemical burns as well as serious skin and eye irritations.
  • Drain suction injuries – swimming pool drain accidents can occur when there is an excessive level of pool drain suction which can lead to serious injury or drowning. Pool drain danger can result when covers are left off, this hazardous to swimmers who can be sucked into the drain where they can rapidly become stuck.

Some evidence exists to suggest that swimming pools that are of a more unusual shape can potentially present a greater risk of injury. It is believed that this is due to potential difficulties in gauging any changes in the depth of the water. A claim can usually be made if a swimmer is injured as a result of these changes in depth not being appropriately marked.

How much compensation will I get after a swimming pool accident or illness? – Updated March 2021

It understandable that claimants may want to know how much compensation they are likely to receive for their claim, however, it is not possible for us, of indeed any other company, to give an exact figure.

Whilst you might be able to find a rough idea online, any figures you do find may not be 100% accurate for your case and we would advise that they should only be used as a rough estimate as drowning compensation amounts will vary from case to case.

What we are able to do is supply you with the average compensation amounts for swimming pool illnesses or accidents. The table below illustrates the typical payouts for the types of injuries that are most commonly associated with swimming pool accidents or illnesses.

Updated July 2021.

Injury Description of injury Compensation
Illness – (i) Severe toxicosis and illness with severe pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. £36,060 to £49,270
Illness (ii) Severe short lived food poisoning. Symptoms as above, but which are shorter lived and to a lesser degree whilst still severe. £8,950 to £18,020
Illness (iii) Significant discomfort, such as stomach cramps £3,710 to £8,950
Illness (iv) Pain, cramps, diarrhoea for several weeks £860 to £3,710
Head Injury – Very severe The person may have a basic ability to follow some commands but not much more than this. £264,650 to £379,100
Head Injury – Moderately Severe The person will have a severe disability and a significant dependence on other people. £205,580 to £264,650
Head Injury – Moderate (i) Whilst the injuries may be similar to those in the category above the claimant should expect a higher degree of autonomy and independence. £140,870 to £205,580
Head Injury – Moderate (ii) There will be a moderate to modest intellectual deficit. This means the person may be left unable to work. £85,150 to £140,870
Head Injury – Moderate (iii) The claimant will have suffered effects to their memory and concentration. £40,410 to £85,150
Brain Damage – Less Severe The claimant should make a good recovery and be able to participate in many areas of normal life. £14,380 to £40,410
Head Injury – Minor The claimant will have suffered very minor levels of brain damage. £2,070 to £11,980

It might be that the injury you have suffered is not on this table – if this is the case please give us a call and we will be happy to talk you through an estimate of the amount that you might receive.

No Win No Fee swimming pool claims

There are a number of advantages of working with a company that work on a No Win No Fee Basis, perhaps the most important one is that regardless of financial standing anyone can make no won no fee pool claims for compensation. If we are not able to secure any compensation for you, you will not be required to pay a single penny. This offers you the financial security you need when you are making a claim.

Working with a solicitor who charges by the hour will not afford you the same level of security, and you might find yourself worrying that you will end up with a large legal bill that you will need to pay at the end of your case even if you do not receive any compensation which you could use to fund it.

There is also the possibility of a solicitor taking on your compensation claim simply to make money, knowing that there is little likelihood of a payout at the end and putting you under unnecessary levels of stress. This is not something that you would have to worry about if you worked with us as we would never waste your time. Contact us about no win no fee claims today.

Why choose us as your Claims Service for a swimming pool claim?

With many years of industry experience and a fantastic reputation to back that up, you would be hard pushed to find a more appropriate company to handle your case. Over the years, we have been successful in securing compensation payouts for thousands of claimants, each and every case has been handled in a competent and professional manner.

We understand that what you are going through it incredibly stressful, and this is why we believe in ensuring that the compensation process is as hassle-free as possible. The service that we offer is above all compassionate and caring, very one of our clients matter to us and we strongly believe this is reflected in the service that we offer.

Call for Free Advice and to start a claim

If you have had a swimming pool accident or illness and you want to make a claim then contact us today to get the process started. Our helpful experienced team can be contacted on 0800 073 8804.

Helpful Links

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

This is a useful link offering you information on how to stay safe in and around water.

Government advice on swimming pool management

This link will take you to the website of the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive and their guide swimming pool health and safety laws, it also includes information on how to stay safe near the water in any publicly maintained swimming facility.

Legal Expert compensation guide to slip, trip accidents

As a rough guide, this link can give you an estimate of compensation amounts that might be received for particular compensation claims.

Legal Expert guide to slipping on a wet floor claims

If your compensation claim relates to slipping on a wet floor then this link can offer you a guide to the claim making process. It can also provide you with an indication of the possible amounts of compensation payouts.

Swimming Pool Accident Claims FAQs

In the subsequent sections we answer some common questions about making claims for a swimming pool accident.

Am I eligible to make a personal injury compensation claim?

If your swimming pool accident happened in the last three years, another party was at fault and if that party owed you a duty of care you could make a claim.

Claims for child swimming pool injuries

If your child was injured in a swimming pool accident you could claim compensation on their behalf. You may act as a litigation friend and secure their settlement for them. Alternatively, once 18 the child could claim on their own behalf.

What liability may holiday companies have for swimming pool accidents?

Under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, package holiday companies could owe you a duty of care and compensation if they failed to carry out proper health and safety checks. Claims outside the UK can be harder and we recommend talking to experienced personal injury solicitors.

What is the average compensation settlement for swimming pool injuries?

As you can see from our compensation calculator above, there is not an average amount of compensation awarded. Even settlements for head injuries could differ greatly depending on how severe the injury is.

How long could a swimming pool injury claim take?

Swimming pool injury claims could take varying amounts to time to complete. Typically, the simpler the accident and injury involved, the shorter the time it will take to make a claim. Complex injuries could take longer to claim for.

Could I claim If I was partially at fault?

If you were partially at fault you could still make what is called a ‘split liability claim’. This means that liability is split between you and another party. This will affect the settlement you are entitled to claim. For example, if you were 50% at fault, you could only claim 50% of the possible compensation.

Could I get an interim payment?

If the defendant does admit their liability and you are experiencing financial difficulties, you could be eligible to secure an interim payment to support you during your recovery.

Will I have to visit my solicitor?

In most instances today you will not need to visit your solicitor in person, as they can contact you over the phone, via email and the like.

We hope that our guide to swimming pool accident claims has helped you. Thanks for reading.

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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