Florida Scuba Diving Accident and Injury Cases
Scuba diving is a potentially hazardous sport that carries with it certain inherent risks. Hundreds of U.S. citizens are injured in scuba diving accidents worldwide and over 70 divers die annually as a result of their injuries. In order to dive in the U.S., people must complete and pass a diving certification course. Risks are discussed and safety issues are addressed during the course. Commercial and recreational SCUBA diving accidents usually occur because of poor judgment, improperly maintained equipment, inadequate training, or inadequate supervision.
Fortunately, most commercial and recreational diving accidents are preventable. The most dangerous risk a scuba diver faces is decompression sickness, also known as “the bends”. This occurs when a diver returns to the surface too quickly. While diving, pressure underwater causes nitrogen from the air the diver is breathing to dissolve in the body. Nitrogen bubbles, which form in the blood stream, can cause a variety of problems. Minor injuries may include joint pain as well as skin problems. In more serious cases, paralysis, blindness, brain injuries, and even death may result.
Divers are routinely required to sign liability waivers and releases from the certifying agent, dive resort, boat owner and operator, and anyone related to the dive. Most courts have upheld these releases reasoning that since diving is a voluntary sport, involving risk, that the diver freely waives the right to sue the parties named in the release. However, not all courts uphold these releases as there may be negligence that makes the release inapplicable in certain cases.