Going to the gym is something many people do to relieve stress and maintain fitness. Unfortunately, the gym is also a place where serious accidents happen.
If you had a mishap at the gym that occurred because the owner, management, or staff was negligent, you could collect damages to compensate for your losses. Damages could pay your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering.
If you are unsure whether the incident was due to someone’s negligence, a Bridgeport gym accident attorney at Bert McDowell Injury Law can evaluate the situation and explain your legal rights. You only have a brief time to file a claim, so seek help from an experienced injury lawyer as quickly as possible.
Causes of Gym Accidents
Gyms contain equipment that could be dangerous if misused or not maintained properly. Gyms must keep their equipment clean and take whatever other steps are necessary to ensure it will not cause a user harm. They also must keep their premises free of hazards like electric cords in walkways, uneven floors, broken stair rails, and other dangers.
People sometimes overdo it at the gym, and in most cases, the gym owner or operator is not responsible for a patron’s poor judgment. However, the gym could be liable if an injury results from the owner or operator’s failure to provide safe premises or exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to patrons. Examples of situations that might support a claim for personal injury include:
- Burns from a scorching hot shower, spa, or sauna
- Slips on a wet floor
- Falls off a treadmill or elliptical machine that does not slow or stop as expected
- Crushing injuries from poor spotting by a trainer or employee
- Injuries suffered in an exercise class
Sometimes a combination of factors causes a gym accident, and the injured person’s conduct plays a role in their injury. In such cases, Connecticut General Statutes §52-572o allows the injured person to collect partial damages if they were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident that caused their injuries.
Liability Waivers Might Not Prevent a Claim for Damages
Most gyms require their patrons to sign a liability waiver before using the facility or as a condition of membership. These contracts state that the patron understands the risks associated with working out and will not hold the facility liable for injuries they might suffer. It is often worthwhile for a Bridgeport gym injury lawyer to challenge a waiver’s validity.
Courts sometimes decline to uphold these pre-injury waivers as contrary to public policy. Even if a court does not find the release unacceptable on public policy grounds, they will scrutinize it to ensure its meaning was obvious to the signer and not overbroad or misleading.
The law in Connecticut states that even a valid waiver cannot relieve a facility from responsibility for its negligence. If an injured person’s legal representative can prove the facility’s lack of reasonable care, the gym might be liable for the injured person’s damages even if they signed a valid waiver or release of liability.
Take These Steps After an Injury at the Gym
Gym owners and operators usually have business insurance, and their insurance companies will defend any claims against them. The insurers have teams of lawyers and adjusters finding reasons to minimize their liability or avoid paying claims entirely.
People who suffer accidents at the gym could help themselves by taking a few common-sense actions after their injury:
- Anyone who suffers an injury should report it to gym management as soon as possible;
- If the manager offers an ambulance or transportation to a healthcare facility, the injured person should accept, even if it seems unnecessary;
- If the injured person leaves the facility under their own power, they should seek a medical evaluation at the first opportunity. Failing to get medical attention promptly can invite an insurer to question whether the injury is real or if the injured person received their injury at the gym as they claim;
- An injured individual should also record the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the mishap; and
- Take pictures if visual evidence of the accident scene might be helpful. A skilled gym accident attorney in Bridgeport can use this information to prove the injured person’s damages.
A skilled gym accident attorney in Bridgeport can use this information to prove the injured person’s damages.
Work With a Bridgeport Gym Accident Lawyer After an Injury
Gym owners and operators have a responsibility to provide a safe place for their patrons to work out. That includes ensuring the equipment is working properly, staff members have appropriate knowledge and training, patrons get instruction in using the facilities safely, and the premises are clean and free of hazards.
If your gym failed to meet its obligations and you suffered injuries as a result, reach out to a Bridgeport gym accident attorney. With aggressive and capable legal representation, you can receive compensation for your injuries. If you are ready to get started, then Bring on Bert!