Scuba diving opens up a whole new world for those interested in learning the safety, best practices and procedures and gaining the appropriate certification. Scuba diving accidents occur for a number of reasons and minor mistakes can cause injury due to the underwater environment. Scuba diving has inherent risks; even when divers are trained to minimize them. Injuries can happen when equipment malfunctions, inadequate training was provided or the diver lacks enough experience. If a party, such as an employer or diving trainer, increases the risks, they may be found negligent, depending on the circumstances.
The complexity of scuba diving accidents makes investigative techniques, knowledge of maritime regulations in work-related incidents and an understanding of the primary assumption of risk defense. Following are some important aspects of cases related to scuba diving accidents:
Negligence: The plaintiff must prove the employer, diving company or manufacturer of equipment was negligent. Negligence occurs for a number of reasons, including equipment malfunctions or failures, failure to adhere to safety regulations or failure to provide proper supervision during a dive. The facts and chain of events in the case will weigh heavily in determining negligence.
Chain of Events: The chain of events that lead to a diving accident are important to determine who, if anyone, is liable for the injury. For example, a dive supervisor’s failure to inspect equipment prior to a dive could cause injury; however, misunderstanding the chain of events that occurred could damage a plaintiff’s case. Evidence, such as equipment inspection logs, should be uncovered during the investigative process.
Primary assumption of risk: The primary assumption of risk defense may prevent a plaintiff from collecting damages if he expressly agreed to engage in a risky activity, which negates the defendant’s duty of care. Despite this, a defendant may still be held liable if the defendant’s behavior that resulted in the injury was reckless.