With the start of 2024, many people decide to get serious about their goals for the year – and one that always takes a top spot on many people’s new year’s resolution is fitness. January typically sees gym memberships on the rise, and that brings up the question of who is to blame in the event of an injury? The answer can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
A gym owner may be liable if their equipment was not properly maintained or a spill was not cleaned up properly, causing an unsuspecting patron to slip and fall. Defective gym equipment that malfunctions in use could be to blame on the equipment manufacturer. A group fitness instructor or personal trainer that pushes too hard and disregards your limitations or advises you on how to use a piece of equipment incorrectly could be to blame if you suffer an injury.
What Types of Gym Injuries Are Most Common?
Gym injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, but improper form or overexertion are the main culprits of injury.
- Bathroom injuries, like slip and falls or trip and falls are quite common in gyms. A bathroom can easily become dangerous due to slick flooring mixed with ceramic and tile surfaces, the necessity to sit, stand, and step over thresholds, like entering a gym shower. In addition to the more common scratches and bruises, fall victims may experience fractured bones, brain, or spinal cord injuries, or even lose consciousness.
- Lifting too much weight can result in soft tissue injuries such as torn rotator cuffs and torn ACLs, which can cause joint pain or elbow pain for the rest of your life. Moreover, back injuries like pinched nerves, lower back pain, and herniated disks can result from improper lifting technique or excessive weight.
- The overstretching or tearing of your muscles and ligaments can sometimes result in sprains and strains.
- When your bones slip out of their sockets, you may experience dislocations.
- Bench pressing or repetitive lifting weights overhead can lead to shoulder injuries such rotator cuff tears and bursitis.
- Meniscus tears, ACL tears, and patellar tendinitis are among the typical knee problems that can happen in the gym. Running shoes that are too worn out or if you have poor form can lead to knee pain, also known as patellofemoral syndrome, which is a frequent injury that can worsen at the gym.
- Old equipment that breaks while in use or causes weights to fall can lead to catastrophic or even fatal crushing injuries.
- When a trainer pushes you too hard during outdoor activities, you could suffer from heatstroke. Trainers frequently go above and above to push their clients’ performance, even though they should be trained to avoid placing a client’s health at risk.
- Like heatstroke, heart attacks can occur when a trainer is not aware of a client’s physical capabilities or limits. Ignoring this can have fatal consequences.
- Excessive repetitions can have the reverse effect of building muscle. The breakdown of muscle into harmful byproducts is known as rhabdomyolysis, and it is particularly prevalent in high-intensity exercises like CrossFit and ultramarathon training. Your heart and kidneys may sustain irreversible damage if your physical ability is pushed to its maximum limits.
- Falls from uneven and slick flooring is a typical occurrence in gyms. The gym may be held accountable if they were aware of the issue yet did nothing to address it.
- Serious falls and crushing injuries can result from equipment malfunctions. Equipment upkeep is a must for gym owners and operators.
What Happens if I Signed a Waiver at the Gym?
Before a client can use a gym or personal trainer’s services, waivers are nearly always required. The purpose of these releases is for gyms to absolve themselves of liability if they cause an accident. While you most likely signed a waiver of some kind to be able to use the gym where you were injured, do not think that you can no longer hold the facility or the products manufacturer accountable for any injuries you suffered on the premises. Some waivers are better than others, but this is why you need a lawyer to review the release and help you determine what type of case you have. A waiver does not equate to you not being able to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
We Can Help
If you were injured at a gym, let our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton review your gym membership and/or waiver and investigate your injury claim further to establish proper liability. Call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.