if You Get Hurt at the Gym
When you go to the gym, you expect the result to be that you’ll become stronger and more fit. Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen and injuries are what you get instead.
At this point you might ask: Is it possible to hold the gym in any way accountable?
Two Categories of Gym Injuries
In terms of gym injuries, we have to draw a line between the two basic kinds of injuries, and define their characteristics. Not to understand these would be irresponsible and could actually create a lot of unnecessary problems for everyone concerned.
The first category has to do with injuries that appear to have been caused by the gym’s negligence and lack of due care to protect its members. For example, if a barbell develops a sharp, rusty metal edge or point that extends into one of the gym’s walkways, and a passing member gets his or her arm sliced open by it, such an injury would qualify as a instance of managerial negligence.
The second category of injuries occurs in the course of regular exercise. These happen when you try to do too much and strain yourself, or make improper use of an exercise machine.
If you pull a muscle, sprain a joint, or pinch a nerve in the course of such activity, nobody else is really to blame. You’ve either pushed your own body beyond its limit, or the event was some sort of “freak” accident.
It’s vital to try to recognize which type of injury you might have. That will determine the appropriate response and recovery plan.
What to Do if You’re Injured By Negligence
If you believe you’ve been injured as a result of some form of negligence on the part of the gym, you may then consider potential legal remedies.
As HG.org explains, “Safety at the facility is the responsibility of management and owners of the gym or fitness club. This includes the equipment, outside and inside stairs, securing dangerous objects and ensuring there are no spills on the floor. For hazards that are known but not taken care of or explained to the members, the gym may be found negligent.”
Proving negligence in the case of an alleged gym-related injury can be more challenging than in other liability situations. If you slip on a puddle in the supermarket and injure your back, it’s fairly simple to draw a direct connection between the store’s negligence and your broken back.
In a gym situation, the fact that people are customarily running, lifting weights, and generally seeking to push their body to the limit creates more gray area.
The best way to explore your legal options is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she can help you evaluate the situation more clearly and assist you in identifying whether you might have a reasonable claim against the gym.
What to Do if You’re Injured By Exercise
Now let’s discuss what you should do if you’re injured as a result of a more normal exercise routine. In this situation, there’s little sense in trying to pin the blame on the gym.
You’re very likely to end up wasting a lot of money on legal fees to no good purpose. Also, you’re apt to burn some bridges with other individuals and businesses, and come out looking like a jerk who won’t take responsibility for your own actions.
Your first step is to seek appropriate medical attention. If you’ve pulled a muscle or suffered some kind of soft-tissue injury, you’ll want to follow your doctor’s instructions with regard to icing and heating the site to control swelling.
Once you’ve gotten your injury stabilized, you may shift your attention to investigating what happened. Can you figure out why the injury occurred?
Did you push yourself too hard? Did you use improper mechanics? Did you fail to employ any equipment in the manner it was designed to be used?
Some careful reflection and sensible analysis will serve you well. Not only should it help you to understand precisely what went wrong, but it could prevent you from making a similar mistake in the future.
Adding it All Up
Not all gym injuries are alike. If yours seems to have been caused by the gym’s negligence, then you should at least explore some of the possible ways to hold the establishment accountable and obtain compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering.
But if it was more likely a freak injury that was largely due to your own workout decisions, you don’t want to start throwing around inflammatory accusations. Whichever is the case, your goal should be a swift and complete recovery.