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Liability And Your Rights


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Liability And Your Rights

What is Liability?

Liability means responsibility under the law. If a person or company is responsible, or partially responsible, for someone else's injury, they can be held liable by a court of law.

Under the American civil court system, people have the right to pursue litigation, and to be compensated for negligence, wrongdoing or bad faith. People also have the responsibility to pursue litigation when it can bring about changes that will benefit society.

Even if you are told that the victim is at fault, other parties may be partly or totally responsible under the law. Another parties conduct could have contributed to a diving, drowning or near-drowning accident, even if you or others think that you were responsible. This is because most accidents could have been prevented by an adequate, safe environment.

Because they are aware of ways to prevent accidents, equipment manufacturers, property managers and other share the responsibility for many injuries. This legal principle is called "superior knowledge." Another party's negligence may not be apparent to you at first, but legal action can provide many answers to questions of liability.

Liability in diving, drowning and near-drowning accidents can be a very complex and subtle issue. Here are some examples of liability:

Other Situations Where Liability Has Been Established:

  • safety equipment is poor or nonexistent
  • warnings of risk are inadequate
  • depth markings in swimming pools are absent or not readable
  • equipment is improperly placed or installed
  • pool is accessible to children
  • pool lacks safety cover
  • pool lacks safety fencing or alarm systems
  • supervision lapsed

Liable Parties Can Include:

  • recreational equipment manufacturers
  • swimming pool and component manufacturers
  • swimming pool retailers, distributors and installers
  • property owners
  • hotels and apartment owners
  • municipalities
  • schools
  • supervisory personnel
  • resort owners
  • private club employees
  • youth or infant caretakers
  • medical mismanagement

Diving, drowning and near-drowning victims or their families have also brought successful lawsuits against insurance companies, to collect benefits they rightfully deserved.

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