Understanding watersport injuries and personal injury claims | Bolt Burdon Kemp Understanding watersport injuries and personal injury claims | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Understanding watersport injuries and personal injury claims

Watersports are a thrilling and popular pastime, from surfing the waves of Cornwall to kayaking on the serene lakes of the Lake District. However, the excitement of these activities is not without risk. Water sport injuries can be severe, leading to significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences. If you have been injured while participating in watersports due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim.

Common watersport injuries

Watersport injuries can vary in severity and type, depending on the activity and circumstances. Some of the most common injuries include:

  1. Fractures and sprains: High-impact activities like jet skiing or wakeboarding can lead to broken bones and sprains.
  2. Head injuries: Collisions with equipment or other participants can result in concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries.
  3. Spinal injuries: Surfing and diving incidents may cause spinal cord damage, leading to long-term disabilities.
  4. Cuts and bruises: Sharp objects in the water or on the seabed, such as rocks and debris, can cause lacerations and bruises.
  5. Drowning and near drowning: These are among the most serious risks, often resulting from inadequate supervision, faulty equipment, or adverse weather conditions.

Causes of watersport injuries

Injuries in watersports can occur due to a variety of reasons, many of which may involve negligence or breach of duty by another party. Some common causes include:

  • Inadequate training: Instructors fail to provide proper training or safety briefings.
  • Faulty equipment: Use of defective or poorly maintained equipment.
  • Lack of supervision: Insufficient monitoring, especially in organised events or rentals.
  • Environmental hazards: Failing to warn participants about dangerous water conditions or hidden underwater hazards.
  • Negligent behaviour: Reckless actions by other participants or operators, such as speeding boats or careless manoeuvres.

Making a personal injury claim

If you have sustained an injury while participating in watersports and believe it was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process:

  1. Seek medical attention: Your health is the top priority. Get immediate medical help for your injuries and ensure they are documented.
  2. Report the incident: Inform the relevant authorities or organisations involved in the activity, such as the watersport centre or event organisers.
  3. Consult a personal injury solicitor: Seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims. They can assess the viability of your case and guide you through the legal process.


Compensation in personal injury claims aims to cover various aspects, including:

  • Medical expenses: Costs of treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care.
  • Lost earnings: Compensation for lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: Monetary value for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.
  • Additional costs: Any other expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as travel costs for medical appointments or home modifications.

While watersports offer an exhilarating escape and a chance to enjoy beautiful natural landscapes, they also come with inherent risks. Understanding your rights and the process for making a personal injury claim can provide crucial support if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence. Bolt Burdon Kemp offers clear legal advice when pursuing a claim to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, allowing you to focus on your recovery and return to the activities you love.

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