Going to the gym should not pose any specific danger. However, many people end up in hospital with severe injuries after a gym accident. If this happens to you, you should get in touch with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer to understand your legal rights. In many situations, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against the gym owner and other parties.
Here are the most important facts to know about gym accidents and liability.
The Most Common Injuries Caused by Gym Accidents
A gym accident is not something to brush aside as insignificant. Gyms are full of complex and heavy machinery for cardio and weight training. The most common accidents at the gym are caused by:
- Getting hit by unsecured accessories
- Getting crushed under heavy training machinery
- Falling off a treadmill set at a very high speed
- Slipping on wet surfaces.
These accidents can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as:
- Muscle and ligament tears
- Joint sprains
- Bone fractures
- Back and spine injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head and traumatic brain injuries.
Who Is Liable for Gym Accidents?
In general, the owner of the gym is the primary liable party for accidents taking place on their premises. Under the premises liability law, property owners must keep their premises safe for invitees and licensees.
When you join a gym by paying the monthly subscription, you become a guest (invitee is the legal term) at the respective place. Thus, you are owed a duty of care. If the gym owner fails in their duty, you have the right to seek damages by filing a personal injury claim.
In some cases, a third party, such as a trainer supervising your workout may be responsible for your accident. They also have a duty of care to provide training guidance and prevent you from overexertion and doing exercises you are not prepared for.
How to Prove Liability after a Gym Accident
An experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney will need evidence to prove the gym owner’s liability. The premises liability law states that the plaintiff must prove the following:
- That there was a dangerous condition at the property
- That the property owner knew or should have reasonably known of the existence of this dangerous condition
- That the dangerous condition caused your accident
- The accident resulted in injuries and economic damages.
The most common ways of proving liability are:
- Taking photos and videos of the accident scene, focusing on the dangerous conditions that caused it (wet floor, broken machinery, etc.)
- Asking eyewitnesses to give statements describing what they saw
- Talk to other gym members to find out if they experienced difficulties with the specific machinery that injured you.
Once you hire a lawyer, they can look in depth at various other aspects, such as:
- Establishing if the defect was due to design/manufacturing error or poor maintenance
- Find out how often preventive maintenance and repairs are performed on the gym equipment.
Based on these findings, your attorney may instruct you to file claims against other parties, such as the manufacturer or distributor of the defective gym equipment.
What If You Signed a Waiver When You Joined the Gym?
When you join a gym you usually have to sign a membership agreement. This agreement often contains a waiver of any legal rights for accidents occurring at the gym. However, these waivers do not always hold water in court.
Judges find them vague and unlawful because they cannot prevail over state laws related to negligence and liability. However, you will need a skilled lawyer to prove that the gym owner’s conduct was negligent and, thus, they cannot be protected by the waiver.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer!
If you suffered an injury at the gym, do not give up your legal rights just because the owner says that you signed a waiver. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at our law firm is the only person you should believe when they tell you if you have a valid case or you don’t.
We offer each new client a free case review. And if we take your case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. So do not worry about paying advance legal fees and call us today at 267-314-8024!