Gym injuries occur from several different causes. These include poor exercise techniques, overexertion, defective design or manufacture of equipment, dangers on the premises, and negligence of the gym owner or personal trainer.
Weight training, high-intensity interval training, and CrossFit cause high numbers of injuries because of the strain on the joints and muscles. All of the above can cause pain and suffering, and despite signing a liability waiver, injured people still deserve compensation in some cases.
Common Gym-Related Injury Claims
Our overall health and well-being depend on staying fit. But unfortunately, it isn’t always safe to work out in a gym because of negligence or defective exercise equipment.
The three most common gym-related injury claims come from defective or improperly installed equipment, dangerous layouts causing hazardous conditions, and infections caused by unsanitary conditions.
Defective Exercise Equipment
Defectively designed or manufactured gym equipment significantly increase the risk of injury. The same applies if the equipment is not assembled or installed correctly. Gym owners must also ensure adequate instructions and warnings about using the equipment.
Injuries caused by using equipment with the issues stated above can cause injuries that include anything from temporary discomfort, long-term pain, disability, or death. These are some of the most common faulty equipment injuries:
- Sprains and strains of the muscles and tendons
- Knee injuries
- Scrapes, severe abrasions, and cuts
- Injuries to the face or eyes
- Injuries to the head and brain
- Injuries to the neck and spine
Commonly gym equipment defects include:
Treadmills cause many injuries because gyms often fail to properly maintain or install their belts. Often, safety features are missing. The essential safety feature is the auto-stop function in case of a fall during use.
Exercise bikes with missing or broken pedal straps, inadequately attached seats or handlebars, exposed gears or belts are another common cause of gym accidents causing falls, cuts, or catching clothing.
Resistance bands that are poorly manufactured or old can cause severe facial and eye injuries when they snap, break, or slip.
Weight lifting equipment defects cause severe injuries. These include damaged, defective, or worn weight racks, cables, bars, and dumbbells.
Finally, poor design or maintenance on workout machines like the elliptical, pulley systems, or stair climbers can also cause injuries if they break or tip over.
The defects you can file a claim against include:
- Design defects that make the equipment dangerous to use, e.g., unstable equipment, sharp or rough surfaces, etc.
- Manufacturing defects include all errors made by the manufacturers that increase the risk of injury, e.g., exposed wires, missing screws, etc.
- Failure to Warn or marketing defects includes the manufacturer and any other party responsible for providing safe installation and use instructions.
Often manufacturers of gym equipment recall faulty products because of users sustaining severe injuries. These include recalls for strap safety brackets, barbells, resistance bands, step mills, weight-lifting equipment, and elliptical trainers.
Other Dangerous Conditions
Gym layouts, negligent maintenance, and careless gym instructors are also responsible for common injuries from dangerous premises or unhealthy conditions. In addition, gyms are liable to ensure enough space for patrons to move safely in the gym.
Accidents can occur from the overcrowding of equipment, dark areas, electrical chords lying around, equipment left in disrepair, unclear instructions, leaving water spills on floors, and unsanitary conditions in showers, spas, and pool areas. The most common injuries gym-goers suffer may include body and head trauma, broken bones, lacerations, bacterial and fungal infections.
Gym-Related Personal Injury Claims
Even though you sign a liability waiver or release when you join a gym, some circumstances can lead you to file a lawsuit. These include negligence of the fitness center, instructor, and the equipment manufacturer.
Gyms are responsible for ensuring a safe environment by maintaining their equipment and premises. They are also responsible for keeping all areas clean, replacing broken equipment, and providing proper instructions and warnings. Negligence claims can arise if a gym does not have first aid trained staff and AED equipment to assist someone suffering cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Gyms must also have a lifeguard at the pool area and employ only trained and certified gym instructors.
A product liability claim filed against the gym equipment manufacturer is advised if the design or manufacture was faulty, the equipment failed to meet industry standards, or incorrectly labeled.
A wrongful death claim can also be pursued against a gym by the next of kin of someone who dies because of negligence by the gym owners or equipment manufacturer.
The faster you act after an accident at the gym, the quicker you can ensure compensation. The steps you need to take after the incident include informing the manager or trainer immediately after the injury and having an immediate medical examination. In addition, keep a record of anyone who saw what happened, keep all the doctor’s information about the injury and appointment records, and all medical expenses incurred.
Finally, find an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get advice on how to proceed with your injury claim.