UK solicitor sets out how to claim compensation if your child suffers injury in a swimming pool due to a sharp broken tile cutting and scarring the calf on the leg
Swimming Pool Accident Victim Question
I went with my daughter to the local swimming pool in Swansea. My daughter went to the baby pool area and later came running to me with a deep cut in her calf, which was bleeding badly.
I reported the matter immediately to the life guard who called for assistance. My daughter was bandaged up and explained how the accident happened.
Just on the approach to the steps into the baby pool a wall tile had broken and there was a razor sharp edge revealed – my daughter had brushed past the wall on the way to the pool and this had badly cut her.
The accident was entered into the accident book and the tile was roped off so no one could get close.
I took my daughter to hospital where she had 4 stitches – the hospital said that it is likely that the cut would leave a scar.
The council who are responsible for the pall – phoned me the next day to apologize and explained that the tile was to repaired immediately as it was sharp and a danger to others.
Can I make a claim for my daughter as she is 10 years old and if so how much compensation is she likely to receive for a cut and scar to the calf on her left leg?
Public Liability Solicitor Response
As the council are the owners of the swimming pool they are classed as the occupiers of the swimming pool premises and as such owe a duty to visitors especially children.
The tile on the pool was broken and sharp and as such a danger to your child and others. It is unlikely that the tile just broke before your daughter had her accident – it is therefore likely the broken tile had been in existence for a period of time and the council are under a duty to correctly maintain the swimming pool and tiles as well as inspect them to ensure dangers do not develop.
It seems that council failed in the duty and allowed a defect to develop and go unrepaired.
The fact that the council immediately sectioned the tile off, accepted the dangerous nature of the tile in a subsequent telephone conversation and executed a prompt repair indicates that the council accepted that a defect did exist and that it was foreseeable that the defect could cause injury.
On this basis – I believed your daughter would have a strong claim.
As she is 10 years old she could not make the claim on her own behalf, but would have to provide instructions via a litigation friend – which you as her father could be.
The amount of compensation she could recover for her cut and scar is difficult to estimate in the absence of a medical report from an independent consultant. A solicitor acting on your behalf would instruct a plastic surgeon to examine your both your daughter and her medical notes to provide an opinion as to the exact nature of her injury and the extent of her scarring.
The scarring itself can take many different forms – all affecting the amount she could claim. For example the scar might be raised or indented, cause irritation, change colour in the cold or in the sun, be clearly visible from the distance. All of these factors will play a part in determining the average payout she could recover.
Once all the evidence is available and a suitable offer made – your daughter’s claim would have to be issued at court so that a judge could agree the sum of money as being sufficient and if so have the monies paid into the court’s fund office on your daughter’s behalf until she reached the age of 18 years and can access the compensation monies herself.
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