Diving Accident Injuries
Diving boards are fun, and common, additions to private and public pools across the country. Although well-intentioned, diving boards can also be the cause of serious accident and injury - leaving injured parties with legal recourse to recover financial damages they are owed. As with any personal injury lawsuit, cases involving serious injuries or deaths resulting from diving board accidents should be handled by experienced attorneys.
Parties Responsible for Diving Board Accidents
Before considering a lawsuit to recover damages in a diving board accident, you should know what parties can be held legally liable before taking action:
(1) The pool owner, if poor maintenance of the diving board was the cause of the accident. In order to recover damages against the owner, you’d have to show that the board was not safe for usage and the risk of injury was great. To prove this you would want to establish that the pool owner either knew the diving board was unsafe, or should have known the diving board was unsafe.
The issue of whether he should have known that the diving board was unsafe is a determination made based on whether the average person in the same circumstances would have known the diving board was dangerous. That could be straightforward if the diving board was in obvious disrepair, or if there was a history of other people getting injured, or if there were reports of some sort (e.g, insurance, police) that showed that the diving board was dangerous. If there was nothing obvious, you may be able to show that the homeowner was negligent because of his inattention to the safety of the diving board. For example, let’s say that the homeowner’s insurance carrier provides a significant amount of information to the homeowner that gives him directions on how to determine whether the diving board continues to be safe. The argument would be, then, that anyone with that information would have been on notice of the necessity to check the diving board and if they had would have realized that the diving board was unsafe.
(2) The company that installed the diving board, if negligent installation was the cause of the accident. To prove negligent installation, your lawyer will find a diving board installer who will analyze whether the diving board was installed correctly. If not, the opinion of the diving board installer will be used as evidence of the other diving board installer’s negligence.
(3) The manufacturer or seller of the diving board if there was a defect in the board that caused the accident. It may be that the diving board has manufacturing defects, design defects, that the warnings or labeling on the diving board were inadequate, or that the marketing was misleading. For example, if the diving board design did not allow for a 180 pound person to bear down on it without breaking, or if the material used to make the board couldn’t withstand 180 pounds of pressure, or, if the board was designed for use only by people who weigh under 100 pounds, but there was no warning label, or, the packaging may show an adult jumping on that diving board, you may have a product liability claim against the diving board manufacturer.
(4) The store that sold you the diving board if they represented to you that is was safe for you to use it, when it was not.
The success or failure of your case will probably hinge on the testimony of experts. Product liability lawsuits and/or negligence lawsuits are complex and therefore hiring an personal injury lawyer makes sense.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Every state has a set time limit for filing lawsuits. The time period may run from the date of the accident until a limit set by each individual state. The time period can also start at another time, such as when the injury was actually discovered. This could be years after the accident occurred. If you neglect to file a lawsuit within any set timeframe, you lose the chance to do so altogether. These statutes of limitation are set by law and vary depending on the state in which the personal injury lawsuit is filed. Click here for personal injury statutes of limitations by state.
Damages Available for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death proceedings are trials held to recover for damages that are specifically tied to the death of the plaintiff (the “decedent”). Damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include: the cost of medical bills and funeral expenses, the value of anticipated lost earnings, lost work benefits, and any lost inheritance. In some jurisdictions, you can also recover for your pain and suffering caused by death after a diving board accident. Depending on the circumstances, pain and suffering damages can be awarded for the pain experienced by the decedent before death and/or the family after the loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, and should always be managed by an experienced attorney.
Attorneys in Diving Board Accidents
If the injury is serious, or the diving board accident resulted in death, you will need to consult with an attorney before taking action. Diving board lawsuits require attention to detail, knowledge of legal terms and procedures, and the professional experience in arguing personal injury cases. Personal injury attorneys with experience in diving board accidents typically offer free consultations without obligation, so seeking out legal advice is generally a good idea.