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Diving Injury

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Diving Accidents
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Miami Diving Accident Lawyers

Representing Victims of Scuba Diving Accidents Throughout South Florida

Swimming underwater can be an amazing experience, but there are risks involved with diving and snorkeling. A diver master’s or other party’s negligence can result in catastrophic injuries or even death.

Injuries caused by scuba or freediving commonly include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Shark bites
  • Drowning and near-drowning
  • Arterial gas embolism
  • Decompression sickness
  • Hypoxia
  • Coral poisoning

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a diving accident, contact Mase Seitz Briggs for a free consultation. Our Miami scuba diving accident lawyers have recovered millions on behalf of injury victims and their families throughout South Florida. Call (844) 627-3529 to get the dedicated representation you deserve.

In a diving injury claim, any of the following parties might be liable for damages:

  • Dive master
  • Dive instructor
  • Tour operator
  • Boat owner
  • Fellow divers or other boaters,
  • Parties responsible for maintenance of dive equipment

I signed a liability waiver. Can I still sue after a diving accident?

Even if you signed a liability waiver, you may be able to pursue compensation for your diving injuries. Florida law requires that to be valid, a waiver must be clear, unambiguous, and unequivocal. Additionally, the release must clearly and specifically state what is being waived. There are also exceptions regarding minors and intentional wrongdoing. A waiver that fails to meet legal standards established by Florida or Federal courts will be considered invalid and unenforceable.

If you signed a liability waiver and were injured in a diving accident, you should still contact an experienced attorney. A diving accident lawyer can review the waiver to determine whether it meets the legal requirements and is enforceable under Florida and federal maritime law. 

How do diving accidents happen and who is responsible?

Most diving accidents can be prevented if the diving company exercises reasonable safety precautions. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. When a dive accident results from another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, they must be held accountable.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, there may be one or more parties that can be legally liable for your accident and injuries. You should have your claim reviewed by a scuba diving accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your legal options.

These are the most common reasons that diving accidents occur:

  • Improper training or instruction: The dive company may be liable if they failed to properly train you how to dive or how to use the equipment. They may also be liable if they failed to hire properly trained instructors.
  • Failing to monitor ascents and decompression: Ascending slowly and safely is critical in diving. If divers exceed a safe ascent rate, nitrogen absorbed in the bloodstream will form bubbles, leading to decompression sickness. Divers should not ascend more than 30 feet per minute to avoid decompression sickness. The dive company should monitor this ascent.
  • Diving in an area with currents or heavy boat traffic: Dive instructors must know whether the sea conditions are safe for diving. They must also know whether there is an unsafe risk of boat traffic in the area. If the dive company leaves you in a dangerous area and you are injured, they may be liable.
  • Failing to comply with Florida’s Diver Down law: Florida law has requirements when using a “Diver Down” flag. The flag has requirements for its display. Divers are expected to stay within a certain safe distance from the dive boat, and other boats are required to stay a certain safe distance from where divers are in the water.
  • Dive partner negligence: For safety, divers usually dive in groups. While this often helps divers avoid injury, you can get injured if another diver in your group is negligent. If this happens, the negligent diver may be liable. Some dive companies pair inexperienced divers or leave them alone in open water without a dive buddy. If you are injured in a situation like this, the dive company may be liable. 
  • Malfunctioning equipment: The dive company is required to keep its equipment in good working order. If you sustain a diving injury because of a faulty piece of equipment, the dive company and/or equipment rental company may be liable.

Unsafe Scuba Diving Equipment

Defective scuba equipment can cause serious injury or even death to a diver. In any diving accident, it is crucial to investigate the dive equipment used on the excursion to determine whether it was properly maintained, had a dangerous design, or was defective.

Each year, federal regulators and manufacturers issue recalls. If you were injured because of defective or dangerous equipment, contact our office to speak to a diving accident lawyer.

Commonly recalled scuba equipment includes:

  • Regulators
  • Low-pressure and high-pressure rubber hoses
  • Inflators
  • Diving masks
  • Dive computers
  • Signaling devices
  • Weighting equipment
  • Compressors
  • Scuba tanks

When scuba equipment fails or is improperly maintained, it can cause life-threatening injuries or death. In many cases, such as the ones described below, defective equipment can pose a drowning hazard.

AGA Swivels for Scuba Diving Masks - The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of all SW-3000 2nd Stage 360-degree swivels manufactured between January 2004 and February 2005 after finding that the swivel could separate while diving. The separation could result in a sudden loss of air supply resulting in decompression sickness due to rapid ascent or drowning.

AquaLung Surelock II Weight Pockets (with rubber handles) - Rubber handles attached to AquaLung Buoyancy compensator vests could detach when divers attempted to remove weight pockets. The rubber handle detachment posed a drowning risk. In addition to this recall, AquaLung issued recalls on certain powerline inflators, regulators, and more.

Tips for Safe Diving

While there are inherent dangers involved with all types of diving, these safety tips should ensure you are doing everything possible to have a fun and safe dive:

  • Use and maintain quality equipment.
  • Never hold your breath.
  • Perform safe ascents.
  • Dive with a buddy.
  • Plan your dive.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Stay physically fit.

Injured in a Diving Accident? Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation!

If you have been injured or someone you love has died in a scuba diving accident, you might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorneys are skilled trial lawyers that know what it takes to win. Contact our office to get started.

Get Your Free Consultation
(305) 377-3770
Mase Seitz Briggs
2601 South Bayshore Drive
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33133

Phone: 305-487-8863
Toll Free: 1-844-904-1749
Fax: 305-377-0080
1200 N Federal Hwy
Suite 200
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Phone: 561-210-8516
Fax: 561-210-8301
*Available by Appointment*
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