About 50 million Americans are members of fitness centers. That is, about 1 in 5 people over the age of 14. Working out is a popular route to health, fitness, and weight control. It’s a good thing. Like all good things, however, the rosebush comes with a few thorns. People get hurt in fitness centers. Weight-training alone chalks up about 55,000 injuries each year. About 24,000 treadmill users end up in Emergency Rooms, with an average of three deaths. Machines, medicine balls, slant boards – no gym equipment is risk-free. In fact, it doesn’t take any gear at all to get hurt in a gym. Body weight exercises such as lunges are often the culprit. Fitness center injuries are a growing specialty in personal injury law.
FITNESS CENTER INJURIES
Exercise, by definition, is strenuous. Not surprisingly, exertion increases the risk of injury. When this happens in a gym, it raises the question of liability. Was the injury due to the negligence of the facility? If it was, the injured patron may be able to recover financial damages.
“May” be, because even when such negligence is clear, the facility may be shielded from liability. Gym members often sign liability waivers before they’re allowed to work out. In Florida, a properly written waiver protects a gym from liability due to ordinary negligence. This is their first line of defense. A review of the waiver by Silver & Silver personal injury attorneys sometimes can counter it. These waivers sometimes turn out to be invalid.
Waivers do not shield gyms from liability when gross negligence is shown. Experts can find gross negligence in many areas of gym operations. Floor layout is one. Gyms that try to cram too much equipment into too small a space, for example. Conduct of personnel is another issue. They’re often poorly trained and supervised. Unqualified trainers direct patrons to do things they’re not fit to do. They teach members to exercise incorrectly. And dangerously. The condition of the equipment is also in the spotlight. Broken gear can cause broken bones. Gyms have a duty to keep the gear in top shape.
A lawyer experienced with fitness center injuries is best for pressing claims against a gym. The lawyer may select and retain an expert witness. The large chains have tremendous resources for their defenses. So do insurance companies. People hurt in a fitness center should contact Silver & Silver PA for a free consultation. Right away. Every minute counts.