16-year-old lifeguard faces paralysis after diving accident

Posted on September 25, 2012 by

On behalf of The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter posted in Spinal Cord Injuries on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

Humans are drawn to water. Whether it’s because it’s hot outside or we just want exercise, we often head for the water. Lifeguards need to watch out not only for the safety of patrons, but for their own safety as well. Spinal cord injuries are particularly prevalent in swimming and diving accidents.

A 16-year-old California lifeguard was injured in a workplace accident recently when he attempted to dive into a lake where he was working. As he dived, he hit a sandbar and injured his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the chest down. The lifeguard was a member of his high-school swim team and water polo team.

His paralysis may be a permanent disability. According to his doctor, it is doubtful whether he’ll ever be able to walk again. His paralysis also means a weakened immune system and it could mean chronic issues such as high blood pressure. According to the manager of the lake where it all happened, the accident is still under investigation. However, the lake has a strict no-diving policy, and signs are conspicuously posted around the premises discouraging diving in the lake.

Spinal injury victims may be compensated when they are injured as a result of another’s negligence. Such compensation may include recovery for medical expenses, including emergency room treatment and therapy bills. To pursue such compensation, the injured must show his or her medical condition resulted from the injury suffered. Spinal injury victims may also be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, permanent disability, lost earning capacity and future medical expenses.

What this reflects is that lifeguards can be victims as much as anyone if proper care isn’t taken. It also reinforces that owners and operators of beaches and pools have an obligation to ensure that any and all potential risks have been addressed to the fullest extent possible so that everyone stays safe.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “El Dorado community rallies after lake injury,” Richard Chang, Sept. 15, 2012

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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