Commercial and Recreational Diving Accidents

ICW South Carolina

Experienced Diving Accident Attorneys

Diving, whether nearshore or offshore, whether with SCUBA or mixed-gas, and whether recreational  or commercial, can be both fun and dangerous. Dive safety involves thorough planning, practice, and an abundance of caution. As any experienced diver knows, however, diving accidents occur with regularity for various reasons. Common causes of dive accidents include:

    • Problems with gas mixtures and breathing apparatus, including tanks, rebreathers and tubes that can lead to decompression sickness (“the bends”);
    • Manufacturing defects or negligent maintenance of dive equipment;
    • Errors in judgment or execution of duties by the vessel’s captain, dive supervisor, EMTs, medics, or other crew members or any other involved party;
    • Failure of the diver to report symptoms after taking a decompression “hit”; and/or failure of other divers or crew members to properly assess divers and perform neurological evaluations following a dive outside the no-decompression limits or any dive where a diver reports symptoms of decompression sickness, no matter how vague or ambiguous;
    • Other failures to observe appropriate safety measures and respond effectively to any problems that arise before or after a dive;
    • Contaminated breathing media; and
    • Operating outside dive limits, problems with calculation of decompression and other breathing-related matters.

Claims for Diving Injuries Under Maritime Law

The Amiralty law provides remedies for injured divers. Different laws may apply to individuals injured or killed in diving accidents depending upon whether the diver was employed as a commercial diver, employed as a recreational diving guide, or was a recreational diver and passenger aboard a dive vessel. While the Jones Act would apply to maritime employees, including divers, injured in the scope of their employment, regulatory and industry standards differ depending upon whether the diving was commercial or recreational in nature. Diving vessels and their owners owe passengers reasonable care for their safety under the circumstances, and those who perish as a result of a vessel’s or owner’s negligence may have a claim under the Death on the High Seas Act (“DOHSA”) and/or under state wrongful death and survival statutes, depending upon the circumstances of the particular case. Those injured in a diving related accident should seek IMMEDIATE medical care and should consult with a competent maritime attorney if they wish to explore their rights and potential remedies under the admiralty and maritime laws.

Charleston, South Carolina Diving Accident Attorneys

The lawyers at Cooper and Bilbrey, P.C. have experience assisting injured divers.  If you have been injured in a diving accident of any kind, contact us for a free, confidential consultation regarding your rights and potential remedies under the maritime law with no obligation.

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