Millions of adults use fitness clubs, yoga classes, and private gyms daily in the United States. For many, gyms are a place to relieve stress after a busy day at the office.
However, gyms are also full of heavy and potentially dangerous machinery and equipment. As a result, injuries in gyms are unfortunately common.
This is especially true in cases where gyms are not properly maintained. Negligent property owners may cause patrons and customers to suffer gym injuries.
Most gym membership agreements include clauses meant to protect the owners in case of injuries. But in some cases, gym injuries can serve as grounds for successful personal injury claims.
If you have been hurt in a gym or fitness studio, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you learn how to recover from gym injury damages by pursuing financial compensation.
You should never settle for less than the full value of your gym injury claim. Following a gym injury, make sure to contact the accomplished legal team at the firm of Morgan & Morgan.
Our attorneys know that injury victims face a wide range of personal and financial challenges. Because of this, prospective clients can complete the simple online contact form to arrange a free legal consultation with no obligation to hire our firm.
Common Causes and Kinds of Injuries in Gyms
Every year, thousands of Americans are injured while working out at a gym. Each accident is caused by a distinct set of factors.
Some types of injuries that take place in gyms are more common than others. The most frequently reported causes of gym injuries include:
- Being struck by a weight
- Slipping or tripping on cables or equipment
- Using improper exercise equipment
- Unsanitary conditions
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Lack of property, parking lot, or sidewalk maintenance
Many types of injuries and physical damage can result from these situations. No matter what caused your gym injury, you may be able to recover financial compensation for the resulting costs and losses.
A skilled legal representative will review the facts of your case. They will help you explore how to recover from gym injury accidents financially.
When you have been in an accident involving heavy gym equipment or weights, many types of injuries can result. Some of the most reported injuries in gyms include:
- Strains, sprains, bruising, and other soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries from falling accidents
- Shoulder tears or strains
- Leg and knee damage
- Shin splints
- Wrist dislocation or sprains
- Pulled groin muscles
- Cardiac damage, including heart attacks
- Fractured or broken bones from falling weights
Regardless of the nature of your injury, you have the legal right to pursue financial recovery from the liable parties. If another person’s negligence or carelessness caused you to become hurt at the gym, you should not be responsible for the resulting costs and losses.
How to Recover From Gym Injury Accidents Through a Legal Claim
Most victims of gym injuries are uncertain about how to proceed after their accident. Sustaining a personal injury is a painful and confusing event. This is especially true when your injury was the result of a negligent gym owner’s carelessness.
When you have been hurt in a gym through no fault of your own, make sure to take the following important steps:
Report the Accident
It is critical to report your injury to the staff at the gym. If possible, speak with a manager as soon as the incident has taken place.
If you allow hours or days to pass before reporting the injury, you will be unlikely to recover the money that you need. When informing the gym personnel about the incident, request the contact information of their insurer.
For franchise gyms, ask the managing staff how to contact the corporate office that oversees your location. Failing to promptly report your personal injury will make it impossible to pursue monetary compensation for your losses.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, ask someone to call an ambulance to the scene. In case of any severe injury, you should go to the hospital nearest to the gym where the accident took place.
Even if you are not in an emergency, make sure to get a medical assessment as soon as possible. Inform the doctors and other medical personnel about where and how your injury happened.
Make sure that your physician includes the circumstances of the injury in their notes. When victims do not seek medical care following an injury, insurance providers are less likely to offer them a fair settlement.
The insurance company may argue that your injuries are not serious or did not take place at the gym. This argument can serve as grounds for denying your claim.
Maintain Records and Documentation
When visiting a care provider, ask for copies of your medical records. These important documents provide a neutral third-party account of the nature and extent of your gym injury.
For any out-of-pocket costs, make sure to keep all receipts and invoices. This will help you track the economic losses that resulted from your accident.
If your gym injury causes you to miss work, request a statement of lost wages from your boss or supervisor. You can claim lost income through a successful personal injury claim.
You should maintain personal notes detailing your own experience of the injury. Doing so can offer an account of the type and severity of your pain and suffering.
Additionally, make sure to write down the names and job titles of those gym staff members with whom you spoke. Any communication you have with the gym’s insurance provider is also an occasion to take detailed notes.
As time passes, it can become difficult to remember specific details about the day that you were injured. The more notes you write soon after your accident, the better.
It is helpful to take photographs of any machinery, equipment, or settings that were involved in your accident. You can use your smartphone to capture pictures and videos to document the scene of your accident.
Make sure to take photos of any of the following issues that are relevant:
- Broken or malfunctioning machinery
- Improperly stored equipment
- Obstacles or debris in walkways
- Wet or slick floors
- Inappropriate or inadequate signage
Photographic or video evidence can prove very useful in showing that the gym owner or operator was negligent.
Understanding and Countering Liability Waivers
Oftentimes, gyms will require new members to sign waivers of liability before using the facility. These documents are intended to protect gym owners (and their insurers) from any personal injury claims.
When you contractually waive liability, you agree not to pursue financial compensation for certain types of injuries or accidents. In some cases, these waivers are reasonable.
For instance, suppose that you decide to lift weights and overexert yourself. Lifting weights was your decision and it is reasonable to expect you to understand the potential risks of strenuous physical activity. Because of this, you should not be able to hold the gym accountable.
But when you join a gym, you should not have to use broken or malfunctioning equipment. Unfortunately, some liability waivers are worded to protect the gym owners from all injury liability.
If your gym injury results from an unreasonably unsafe fitness environment, do not give up. Even if you signed a liability waiver, you might be able to successfully pursue the financial compensation you need to move forward.
With the help of a knowledgeable property liability attorney, you can file a claim for financial recovery.
Two common legal arguments to overcome an unreasonable liability waiver are:
Ambiguous and Vague Wording
Your personal injury lawyer may be able to show that the liability waiver contained vague and ambiguous language. Documents with unclear language cannot be reliably understood by a reasonable person.
If the judge or jury agrees that the liability waiver was unreasonably vague, the document may not be valid. In a case like this, the injury victim would be able to pursue compensation for the damage they sustained.
Even if the wording of the liability waiver was clear, gym owners and operators are not permitted to engage in gross negligence. The term “gross negligence” means that the property owner or operator showed extreme carelessness or a reckless disregard for the safety of customers.
Proving gross negligence can be difficult. This is another reason it is so crucial to gather evidence in the immediate aftermath of your accident.
When a gym employee makes a single mistake, it will not qualify as gross negligence. To prove gross negligence, the plaintiff must show that the gym knew its customers faced dangers and did not take appropriate actions.
If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of a gym’s gross negligence, do not wait. Make sure to contact one of the accomplished attorneys at America’s largest personal injury law firm—Morgan & Morgan.