When you look at the fatality numbers related to scuba diving accidents, they are very low compared to other sports classified as high risk. However, there is a single piece of equipment that all scuba divers rely on to keep them safe and alive underwater. The Scuba tank or air cylinder is one of the most critical pieces of gear used on every dive. In addition, it is the piece of dive gear that is most often rented even by experienced divers because they are challenging to transport and require a significant amount of care and inspections to remain safe.
A scuba tank must be hydrostatically tested every three to five years to verify its integrity. However, annual visual inspections are also necessary to check for wear and tear to the surface and interior of the tank. With proper care, an aluminum tank can last up to 20 years and near the 10,000 mark for pressure tests, while a steel cylinder can provide about twice the life expectancy. However, the critical factor is proper care and service for the tank and the yoke or DIN valve on the top of the tank. If you have suffered an injury due to a scuba tank failure accident in California, the accident lawyers at DTLA Law Group are here to help protect your rights and secure the settlement you deserve for your injuries as losses.
Please get in touch with our office today to request a free consultation with an expert scuba tank failure accident lawyer to discuss your case and how our expertise can help secure the settlement you deserve. We never charge upfront fees, and our policy ensures that we never get paid until we successfully complete your lawsuit and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Causes Scuba Tank Failures?
Many non-divers have a common fear of dive tanks, thinking they will explode under the added atmospheric pressure deep underwater. However, that is highly unlikely. Rarely does a dive cylinder explode underwater or onshore when it is being filled or transported to a dive boat. These tanks are incredibly durable and designed to be in and out of salt and fresh water countless times. However, some issues can arise when scuba tanks are not properly maintained or filled. Some of the most common problems include:
- Leaking cylinders are the most common issue divers face. While the leak might be small, it can cause an emergency accent if it quickly loses air. Divers know how long a typical tank of air will last, and they plan dives accordingly. When a sudden drop is detected on the pressure indicator, it is time safely surface before there is a severe issue and possibly life-threatening emergency.
- Valve issues can also be a problem. A stiff valve can fail to open fully and restrict the flow of air to the diver. Typically this is discovered before entering the water, but it can create a problem if not tested and found before a dive.
- Internal tank corrosion is a severe problem that can lead to a scuba tank failure accident. The microscopic particles can clog the valve and divers regulator and block airflow. In addition, breathing the corrosion particles into your lungs is harmful. Divers should always take a few breaths from the regulator to ensure no foul taste to the air as a precaution to a tank contaminated by corrosion.
- The air pumped into the scuba tank can also be contaminated or improperly mixed in the case of some gas mixtures. If the compressor used to fill the tank pulls in fumes from chemicals such as paint or even exhaust fumes, it can lead to toxic air in the dive tank and a severe or fatal dive accident. Even dirty air filters on the compressor can create a safety hazard for the diver.
While these issues are rare, it explains why divers are typically very cautious about where they rent tanks and who has filled and serviced the cylinders they use. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a scuba tank failure accident in California, the personal injury lawyers at DTLA Law Group are here to help you understand your rights under the law. And offer guidance on how to seek any compensation that is owed to you due to someone else’s negligence.
Who Could Be Responsible For Your Scuba Tank Failure Accident?
If you are confused about who could be to blame for your scuba tank failure accident, it is very understandable. A shocking number of people or entities could have been responsible for the failure and your unfortunate scuba cylinder accident. Some of the most easily recognized include:
- The dive shop that rented you the scuba tank
- The dive boat operation you chartered the trip with who provided your dive tank
- The company that refilled the tanks
- The tank manufacturer
- The manufacturer of the air compressor used to fill the tanks if it was defective
- The company that serviced the air compressor used to fill the tanks if the maintenance was not completed or was done incorrectly
- The certified inspection and testing facility that passed a defective or damaged tank on the last inspection
With all of these parties potentially involved in caring for a scuba tank, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the thought of a lawsuit against one or several of these entities. However, you never need to worry about facing any legal challenges alone. The expert scuba tank failure accident lawyers at DTLA Law Group are here to help you navigate this complex process. Our team will evaluate your injuries and situation to help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit and who could be responsible for your losses.
But I Signed A Waiver To Get The Tanks
When you sign a waiver to scuba dive and use rental scuba tanks, you state that you have the training and certifications to use the tanks properly. And you are acknowledging that you will use them and assume any normal risk associated with diving. However, this waiver does not absolve the dive shop or others who have helped prep the tanks for use if doing their job correctly. They must always provide safe, adequately serviced, and filled tanks to scuba divers. So you may still be able to file a claim for gross negligence causing your injuries.
How Much Is A Scuba Tank Failure Accident Worth?
The value of any personal injury lawsuit compensation is unique and based on your specific injuries, losses, and the nature of the case. In a scuba tank failure accident, some of the financial expenses you might claim include:
- Medical treatment expenses, including being airlifted from the dive site if necessary for emergency medical care
- Lost wages if you were unable to work during your recovery
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Legal costs
Your DTLA Law Group personal injury lawyer will guide you in gathering all the bills and documents needed to determine the amount of your settlement request.
How Long Will The Settlement Take To Complete?
As with determining the value of a settlement, understand that the time needed to complete the lawsuit can vary. Some factors that impact the time frame of the suit include the severity of your injuries, the length of your recovery process, and the defendant’s actions in the case. It is also essential to know that in California, you have only two years to file a claim in a personal injury case. You forfeit your right to take legal action if you miss that window.
No Up Front Legal Fees
When you contact DTLA Law Group for a free consultation, we evaluate the details of your incident and let you know immediately if you have grounds for a lawsuit. In addition, we offer our services as your legal representative in the case. But what we never do is request any fees or payment from you until we successfully complete your lawsuit and get you the compensation you deserve. We know you are facing stress and challenges as a result of your injuries, and we never want to add to your difficulties with legal bills until you have been compensated.
Has Another Firm Turned Down Your Case?
Even if another California law firm refuses to take your case, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free second opinion consultation. We know that our expertise in personal injury cases often allows us to confidently take on issues that other firms are not willing to handle. However, we know that our team of expert scuba tank failure accident injury lawyers will work tirelessly to secure the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Our goal is to ensure that all injury victims have the professional legal services they need to protect their rights and financial future. We submit an invoice only after willing your lawsuit, so you never need to worry about how to pay for the legal counsel you deserve.