Diving & Swimming Accident Lawyers

Diving and swimming accidents can happen anywhere that there is a body of water. In public city pools, spas, paddling pools, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and private backyard pools. It does not matter whether the place is teeming with swimmers and divers or is a relatively private spot that very few people know about, sadly, accidents happen.

Even in public and hotel pools, or beaches where there are lifeguards on duty, people still get badly hurt or die, every single week. Divers and swimmers who use water parks and resorts also have accidents. Despite the effort these places put into keeping everyone safe, sadly, things can still go wrong.

Diving and swimming accidents can lead to all sorts of injuries. In some cases, even death. Children are particularly vulnerable. Often, the younger ones don’t know how to swim or are not physically strong enough to get themselves out of trouble.

If, and when, diving and swimming accidents happen, you need to have someone in your corner to fight your case. Having a personal injury lawyer who has dealt with these cases in the past helping you will make a positive difference to the outcome of any claim you make.

Ontario Law on Diving & Swimming Accidents

The laws that are used by your lawyer to pursue your case will vary. It depends as much on where you had your swimming-related accident as it does on how and why it happened. Under Ontario’s Occupier’s Liability Act, an owner of a swimming pool has a legal obligation to keep the pool and the area that surrounds it safe.

This means that they have to ensure that:

  • Swimmers are adequately supervised at all times
  • The appropriate safety equipment is easily available
  • Safety equipment is properly maintained
  • Warning and guidance signs are clean, legible, and up to date
  • The swimming pool is fenced in so that access can be controlled
  • Facilities and amenities, like handholds and steps, must be properly maintained
  • The area around the pool is not slippery even when wet
  • There are no trip hazards in the pool area
  • The pool and water are kept hygienically clean to avoid the spread of disease

Why Diving & Swimming Accidents Happen

Every year, around 420 people drown in Canada. Most of these tragic accidents happen while people are swimming or playing around on the water.

Thousands more injure themselves. The severity of these injuries varies greatly. They include everything from cuts and bruises to broken bones and head or neck injuries. Often, these accidents are preventable. Generally, they occur because of one of the following reasons:

A failure to supervise effectively

In many cases, the people who are hurt are young. As a result, they tend to get over excited and start doing dangerous things. For example, diving into a crowded area of the pool or where it is too shallow to do so safely.

Inexperienced or weak swimmers also tend to have serious accidents. They do not always understand or see the dangers and may not be able to swim far or fast enough to get themselves out of trouble.

For both of these types of swimmers, having someone watching over them can play an important role in keeping them safe. They can spot dangerous behaviour or when a swimmer is getting into trouble and take the necessary steps to stop an accident from happening.

However, this only works if the supervision is done correctly. Accidents can still occur if:

  • Parents or supervising adults become distracted and stop paying attention
  • There are no, or not enough, lifeguards on duty
  • The lifeguards or supervising adult is not adequately trained
  • There is nobody on duty that knows how to rescue someone from water and resuscitate them
  • There are no clear safety procedures in place
  • The safety procedures are not properly enforced e.g. some lifeguards allow diving in areas it is banned in

The facilities are not being properly maintained

A surprisingly high percentage of pool or waterside accidents happen because the facility is not properly maintained. The list of potential problems is a long one and includes:

  • Slippery steps
  • Loose handholds
  • Unsecure slides and diving platforms
  • A lack of warning signs
  • Poor quality, outmoded or badly maintained safety equipment
  • A lack of emergency equipment, especially first aid related equipment
  • Broken or dirty warning and guidance signs that cannot be read
  • Dirty water that becomes a home for disease, parasites, and bacteria

Types of Injuries from Diving & Swimming Accidents

As you can see from the list below, the injuries you could suffer while diving or swimming can turn out to be extremely serious. Even life-changing or life-threatening. They include:

Injuries from drowning

In Canada and much of the world, drowning is still a leading cause of death. Between 2011 and 2019, 665 people died in drowning accidents across the country. Seventy-nine percent of those who died in accidental drowning incidents, in Canada, were aged between 0 and 9.

Many of the people involved in drowning accidents die. Some do survive, but they tend to end up suffering from one of the following medical conditions or injuries:

  • Brain damage that leads to long-term mental impairment
  • Brain damage that leads to movement issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Hypothermia
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Long-term damage to organs that were deprived of oxygen

Diving board injuries

Diving is fun, but it can also be quite dangerous. If you have an accident while diving, there is a good chance that you will sustain a fairly serious injury. These are the most common ones:

  • Spinal cord and neck injuries
  • Head injuries, some of which can lead to brain injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Drowning after being knocked unconscious
  • Heavy bruising from hitting the water incorrectly

Slip and Fall accidents

The areas around pools and other bodies of water are usually slick with water, so, unsurprisingly, people tend to have slip and fall accidents. But, as you can see there are other causes of these kinds of accidents, they include:

  • Slips and falls because of slippery steps or areas surrounding the swimming pool
  • Falls because of improperly maintained handholds and railings
  • Falls that are due to inadequate warning signage
  • Trip accidents that occur because of things being left around the poolside

Brain injuries while swimming or diving

Of all the injuries you can sustain while swimming or diving, brain injuries are amongst the most serious. They can impact your ability to lead a normal life in many different ways. You can be left with mental and emotional issues as well as have movement problems, including paralysis. So, it is important to be aware of the following types of water-related accidents, all of which can lead to brain injury:

  • Non-fatal drowning
  • Diving accidents where the head suffers an impact
  • Slip and fall accidents that result in your hitting your head

If you are hurt in this way, it makes sense to hire a brain injury lawyer. They have the experience to understand that this type of injury can affect you for many years to come.

Diving and swimming accidents can lead to devastating injuries, and you need a personal injury lawyer to help you file for compensation. Call Diamond & Diamond Law now.

Contact a Diamond & Diamond Diving & Swimming Accident Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers from Diamond & Diamond have experience in handling diving and swimming accident cases

Get a free consultation if you call our 1-800 number

We have several offices located across Ontario and Canada


“Swimming/diving and alcohol don’t mix well, so to prevent accidents, stay sober if you’re thinking of jumping into the water.”

FAQs on Diving & Swimming Accident Lawyers

Are public pools in Ontario required to have a lifeguard?

Yes, if it is a class A pool, a fully trained lifeguard must be on duty during the times the public pool is open, in Ontario. The requirements for class B pools are not as strict, but, in certain circumstances, they must also have a trained guardian on duty.

Can you fully recover from a non-fatal drowning?

You can fully recover from a non-fatal drowning. Whether you do or not depends on the nature and severity of your injuries. However, many people who recover physically still struggle for years with their mental health. Drowning is a highly traumatic experience, especially if the person dies during the incident and has to be resuscitated.

If my kid sneaks into a swimming pool without permission and gets hurt, can I hold the property owner liable?

You may be able to hold the property owner liable in these circumstances. In Canada, pool owners must erect a fence or barrier around their pool. It needs to be between 1.2 and 1.5 meters in height. If they have installed and maintained one and it is properly secured and your child still enters, your chances of securing compensation will be significantly decreased.

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