Water Sports Personal Injury Claims
The nature of water sports means that for all the thrills they offer, there is still some risk of an accident present, especially when there are lapses in health and safety. There is a responsibility on organisers of a water sports activity to make sure they have made the activity as safe as they could have before allowing the public to use it. This is a duty of care, and if you were injured because a water sports organiser failed to take adequate safety measures, or actively contributed to your injury, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. This is a guide to water sports personal injury claims.
We’ll discuss the potentially different ways organisers of a water sport could possibly be liable for an injury, and give you information on what to do if you are eligible to make a claim for compensation. We’ll also give you information on the compensation you could be awarded and inform you of how you can get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to help you make your claim.
Select A Section
- What Are Water Sports Personal Injury Claims?
- Types Of Water Sport Activities
- Causes Of Water Sports Personal Injuries
- Why Could You Make Water Sports Personal Injury Claims?
- How Much Could Water Sports Personal Injury Claims Be Worth?
- How To Make A Water Sport Personal Injury Claim
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 makes it the responsibility of a person or party offering a service to the public, to make sure they are providing the service as safely as they can. They owe a duty of care to anyone visiting their space or using their services.
It is understood though that some activities have the potential to carry a risk of harm. This applies to water sports and other adventure activities. No activity or sport is without risks. Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere. However, it is up to those who have a duty of care for your safety to reduce any risk or remove it if possible. If there are preventable risks, the providers of the service have an obligation to either manage or remove the hazard
- E.g. If they see a broken piece of glass by the side of a pool, it is their responsibility to remove it before someone injures themselves on it
If the occupier does not deal with an obvious risk, in a reasonable amount of time, or in some way contributes to a person suffering harm; the injured person could be eligible to make a claim for compensation against the organisers.
Water Sports Accident Statistics
The National Water Safety Forum is a national network of a diverse group of organisations, that works to prevent water-related injuries and deaths. The organisation along with RoSPA, compiled an annual survey examining the causes of water-related deaths and incidents. Their 2021 survey reported, that during 2021, there were 616 water-related fatalities in the UK. 277 were accidental fatalities. Recreational activities accounted for 55% of accidental deaths.
Water sport activities is a broad term covering a lot of water-based sports and activities. They can be held in swimming pools, or in open water and can range from:
- Water polo
The organisers of the water sport activity have a responsibility to make sure any instructions and materials they provide are safe and trustworthy, and do not put their customers at risk of harm. Organisers of a water sport could otherwise be liable for an injury if they:
- Provided Unsafe Equipment:
Some water sports activities like jet-skiing or fly-boarding will require the activity organisers to provide equipment for use. It is their responsibility to make sure the equipment is safe and in working order. An injury from faulty equipment can be grounds for a claim.
- Proceeded with the activity in bad/unsafe conditions
Customers will often rely on the activity organisers to provide safety instructions. Proceeding with an activity in unsafe conditions like bad weather or a surge of waves could possibly be grounds for a claim if a person were to then suffer an injury.
- Proceeding with the activity in an unsafe area
Before organising or providing the activity, the activity organisers should make sure that the area is either safe to perform an activity in, or that the customers are made fully aware of the dangers they may face. Proceeding with a water sports activity in an unsuitable area, I.e. jetskiing in a river with rocks could be very dangerous.
- Untrained Staff Or An Error By A Staff Member
Any staff assigned to provide instructions for the sport must be trained and capable. You might be eligible to make a claim if you were injured because of bad or poor instructions by a staff member who had no training on the activity.
If the actions of a water sport activity organiser led to your injuries, please reach out to one of our advisers for information about water sport personal injury claims and the compensation you could seek.
Very often when you are being provided with a service you are owed a duty of care by law. This duty means that those who provide you with the service must take feasible steps in reducing any risks and hazards that may cause you an accident that could lead to avoidable harm. When this duty of care is breached and harm is suffered, that was preventable, then a personal injury claim is eligible.
Injuries that you could make a personal injury claim for include:
The injury you suffered, and the effect it has had on you can influence the amount of compensation you are awarded.
The compensation amount for the injury, and the pain and distress caused, is known as general damages. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can be used to give you an idea of compensation amounts for the type of injury you suffered. The figures in the JCG come from compensation previously awarded in court settlements.
We’ve included a table illustrating some figures from the 2022 edition of the JCG below:
Injury Notes Award
Moderate Brain Or Head Injury (iii) Cases affecting a person's memory and reducing their ability to work £43,060 to £90,720
Multiple Face Fractures That leave a permanent deformity £14,900 to £23,950
Fractures of Nose or Nasal Complex (iii) That required realigning to fix £2,520 to
Fractures of Jaws (iii) Simple fractures that heal £6,460 to
Damage To Teeth (i) Loss of or damage to several front teeth £8,730 to
Moderate Ankle Injuries A ligament tear or fracture £13,740 to £26,590
Modest Ankle Injury Minor ankle fracture Up to £13,740
Moderate Shoulder Injury Frozen shoulder with limited movement £7,890 to £12,770
Other Arm Injuries: (b) Serious fractures to one or both forearms £39,170 to £59,860
Minor Back Injury: (iv) A soft tissue injury injury with recovery within three months Up to £2,450
Medical evidence of your injury can help when making a claim. A personal injury solicitor can help arrange an independent medical assessment for you. This can help provide a report for a claim and let you know more about the extent and duration of your injury.
You can also seek compensation for suffering financial losses because of the injury. This can be:
- Loss of income (If the injury left you unable to work)
- Costs towards your care or treatment
- Adaptations to help you cope with the injury.
This compensation amount, for financial losses is known as special damages.
Our advisers can offer you more information about compensation for injuries typically suffered in water sports.
While you do not need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim, the help one can offer can be beneficial.
They would not only communicate with the party you are suing on your behalf, but help you with every process of the claim. They offer the experience that comes with dealing with claims daily and can potentially represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
This is a conditional fee agreement, that would see them not charge you any fees unless your claim was successful. No upfront fees, no ongoing fees, only a success fee; which comes as a legally capped percentage of the compensation you are awarded. If your claim is not successful, you would not pay them a success fee.
If you would like to hire a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you make your water sports personal injury claims, please reach out to one of our advisers. They can evaluate your claim and potentially put you through to one of our solicitors to help you.
You can reach out to an adviser now using:
Related Activity Claims
We’ve included some links you might find useful such as:
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: Guide to safety for leisure activities
NHS: Guide to booking appointments with a GP for your injury.
Government Guide To Claiming Compensation After An Accident
Thank you for reading our guide to water sports personal injury claims. We offer guides on other topics such as:
Please get in touch with our advisers for any more help you might need.
Guide By Charles
Edited By Melissa.