Accident in a Public Place*

Swimming Pool Accident and Illness Claims*

Swimming pool accidents and illnesses can happen as a result of substandard swimming pools. Injuries and illness are often caused by the negligence of the owner or manager of the swimming pool. It is often the case that children sustain injuries as a result of a swimming pool accident but it is important to note that these accidents can happen to anybody.

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Various Pool Locations

The most common accidents are a slip and fall while at a local gym, leisure centre, aqua centre or swimming pool. If an accident occurred in a hotel then the owner of the hotel may be liable. It is important to note that water park accidents are also part of this category.

Who is Liable?

Before you go about making a claim for a swimming pool accident you will first need to determine who was liable for the cause of the accident. This will help to speed up the process and avoid delays along the way. It is important to note that if the injured had a part in the cause of the accident, through contributory negligence, they may not be entitled to make a claim. In order to proceed, you will need to ensure that the accident was caused as a result of the negligence of another person. In most cases, it is the owner or operator of the swimming pool or waterpark who will be responsible for the accident or illness. They have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of all customers, visitors and staff. A breach in this duty of care could lead to an accident which they will be responsible for. If the accident was caused by negligence you should gather as much evidence as possible to confirm that this was the actual cause of your injuries or illness.

Injuries can also be sustained as a result of the negligence of another visitor to the swimming pool. If this was the case, then they will be found liable for the cause of the accident. Members of the public also have a duty of care and responsibility for the health and safety of both themselves and those around them.

Common Injuries and Illnesses

Injuries and illnesses sustained in swimming pool accident and illness claims include:

Common Causes

Causes of swimming pool accidents and illness include:

  • Damaged tiling
  • Wet floors 
  • Faulty drainage and filtration system
  • Too much chlorine or disinfectant
  • Lack of signage for wet floors and pool depth
  • Damaged equipment such as ladders
  • Lack of supervision and untrained employees
  • Poor maintenance
  • Inadequate lighting 
  • Lack of safety equipment such as life rings

Unhygienic Swimming Pools

Whether it be on holidays, in a hotel or in the gym swimming pool, unhygienic swimming pools can cause people to contract an illness. Some of the reasons why a pool may be deemed unhygienic are:

  • Incorrect chlorine levels
  • Defective or broken water filtrations systems

These can lead to contamination of the water. The onus lies on the owner of the property to ensure that their swimming pools are safe and free from contamination.

How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents

There are a number of ways in which an accident in a swimming pool can be prevented and avoided. There are certain steps that the operator of the pool can take.


All employees and lifeguards should be properly trained as this will reduce the risk of injury and illness. If staff know what to do if something goes wrong it will lower the chance of long-term injuries being sustained. This training will ensure the health and safety of all visitors, employees and customers.

Swimming Lessons

It is important that swimming lessons are provided for those who are not confident swimmers. This may reduce the risk of an accident or injury as they will be taught how to swim and what to do if an accident occurs.

Control Access

Access to the pool should be controlled so that spectators cannot gain access to the pool at any stage. This will reduce the chances of a child running into the pool area and slipping which may lead to injury. There should be barriers put in place that are high enough to stop people climbing over them. There should also be a gate which can be locked in the case that the pool is not being used.

Clear Signage

As the area around a swimming pool is very likely to be slippery, it is important that the correct signage is in place to warn people of this. It is very dangerous to run near a pool as slip and fall accidents are one of the main types of accidents which can lead to drowning and fatalities. There should also be signs in place which indicate the depth of the pool. This makes people aware of certain areas in which they may not feel comfortable in. This can also help to prevent accidents.

What do I do if I'm involved in a swimming pool accident?

Following an accident in a swimming pool, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident needs medical attention. If anybody has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    You must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is important that you report the accident to management. You may be required to assist to fill in an accident form. This is to provide them details of how the accident occurred and details of the injury. You should also request that they preserve any CCTV footage.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    Collect contact details of any witnesses to the accident – their names and contact information.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • How the accident happened, time and date of the accident.
    • Details of any witnesses to the accident (Including staff and other customers); their names, contact information.
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident.
    • Take pictures from different angles of where the accident happened and what caused you to slip, trip or fall.
    • Take pictures of any injuries you suffered, this will help your solicitor to understand how the accident happened.
  5. Speak to a personal injury solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with a claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A solicitor can help you prepare your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist public place accident solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your claim it is important to have as much as possible of the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Some of the important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the claims process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you looked after this matter yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us to progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the other party accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the other party reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point prior to a court hearing date without you ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and this allows you to focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all – regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your accident, phone 01 649 9900 or email to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a swimming pool accident claim you may be entitled to recoup costs to you as a result of the accident. This is along with added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of an accident in a swimming pool, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages. 

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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