It’s not all that difficult to sustain an injury while exercising. Whether you’re running on the treadmill, bench pressing half your body
weight, or trying out one of the many machines placed throughout the space to provide you with the ultimate workout, you can easily injury yourself, even if you know what you’re doing and you display extreme care and caution. There could be any number of causes for injury, from over-exertion to a failure to warm up to a lack of knowledge concerning how to operate machinery. But when injuries are sustained as a result of faulty gym equipment, you need to consider the legal ramifications, both for yourself and others.
Personal injury law is a field that thrives on turning mountains into molehills, and if you have any conscience, you probably want to avoid these apparent shysters that hawk their services on tacky television ads. But there’s a reason they remain in business; it’s because they have the experience to deal with accidents and injuries like those that could be sustained in a gym setting – and they have a track record of winning. Often, they also state that they get no money if they don’t win your case (meaning they work pro bono). This indicates that if you don’t have a pretty good case, they won’t take it (or try to fake it). So in reality, they could be some of the most honest lawyers out there.
In any case, before you take it to that level you need to take a close look at how your injury occurred in order to determine if it qualifies for a lawsuit. Chances are good that you may be to blame for the injury, especially if you were using equipment that you’re unfamiliar with. But if you have been trained to use a specific piece of equipment and you realized too late that it was broken (but not marked as such), then you almost certainly have a case that could be pursued.
However, you may want to first approach the gym. Although it is their responsibility to keep their equipment functional (or mark it as broken), there may be extenuating circumstances. Perhaps they didn’t know the equipment was faulty, or they marked it but someone removed the signage. In any case, they may be willing to cover your medical costs outright (they do, after all, carry insurance for just that reason) or even offer you other incentives on top in order to avoid going to attorneys. You should definitely consider this option since it is more expedient and less costly than suing (remember, your attorney will take 30% of any settlement, plus expenses).
Being injured is never fun and you want to make sure that the ones at fault are held responsible. But before you take the leap toward hiring an attorney, consider what you stand to gain. You could end up with nothing (except an injury). On the other hand, a gym that refuses to pay for their own negligence should be pursued to the full extent of the law, both for your own benefit and the protection of others down the line.