Scuba Diving Accidents
With its easily accessible blue waters and year round temperature, Florida attracts numerous scuba divers who make hundreds of thousands of individual dives in the coastal and inland waters of the state every year. Unfortunately, there are also hundreds of scuba diving accidents in the state of Florida each year, resulting in hundreds of injured persons. These accidents are often preventable.
Scuba Diving Statistics
In the United States, there are currently 9,000,000 certified divers. An average of 1 in every 211,864 scuba dives in the United States ends in death. Furthermore, scuba diving accidents are responsible for an average of 150 deaths each year in the United States. More than half of all diving fatalities involve divers with 20 or fewer dives, with 8% of these deaths being students participating in training. Out of all of the scuba diving fatalities, 10% of the divers were trained when they died; 50% of those deaths occurred on the surface; 86% of those divers were alone when death occurred; and 90% of those divers died with their weight belt on.
Liability of Scuba Diving Companies
Whenever a diver engages in scuba diving, they are dependent upon their equipment, skills and training. Scuba diving companies are required to follow certain standard policies, U.S. Coast Guard regulations, and procedures to ensure that their scuba divers are safe. All too often, these companies fail to follow these required policies, regulations, and procedures and put their divers’ safety at risk. Often times scuba diving accidents are a result of poor judgment, inadequate supervision or training, and/ or faulty or poorly maintained equipment. In scuba diving accident cases, the law places the burden on the scuba diving companies. This means that these companies are presumed negligent unless they can prove that their failure to follow such procedures did not, in any way, contribute to the accident.
Negligent Medical Screening
Out of the average 150 deaths that arise from scuba diving each year in the United States, 10% of the divers are medically unfit to dive. While this 10% includes medically unfit diver’s disregard for recommendations to avoid diving, other deaths include those of medically unfit divers with insufficient or negligent medical screening prior to dive activity. In these instances, the injured diver may have been cleared for the activity when he or she was actually medically at risk. If a medical professional clears a person for scuba diving when in fact he or she is medically unfit to engage in the activity, the medical professional may be liable for medical malpractice and the resulting death or injury to his or her patient.
Protect Your Rights
If you or someone you know is injured in a scuba diving accident, Mark Kaire and David Heffernan can you help with this type of claim. Contact us to answer your legal questions and fight for your rights.