When Improving Your Health Turns Tragic
Anyone who has followed “The Biggest Loser” on TV has watched contestants fall off the back of a treadmill, or otherwise need treatment for exercise-related injuries. While a TV weight loss contestant has the luxury of small group training and paramedics on hand (albeit behind the scenes), for most people falling off the back of a treadmill can result in injuries. If you are not careful, you can sustain a major injury at a health club.
You can also run the risk of injuries at other kinds of fitness centers. Last year a woman fell to her death in a rock wall climbing accident in Texas.
Read waivers before you sign
Consumers should read agreements carefully before signing away liability from the gym. In New Jersey the Supreme Court recently sided with a health club in a negligence case, saying that it didn’t matter that the client didn’t read or understand the waiver she had signed. In her case her stationary bicycle malfunctioned during a spinning class, injuring her.
The health club’s responsibility
Despite the fact that most gyms make every client sign a waiver, gyms may contain faulty equipment, such as treadmills. Clubs must maintain equipment, make sure that equipment is properly placed and installed and keep abreast of recalls. Beyond maintenance, clubs must:
- Keep a well-trained staff
- Make sure the staff is paying attention to clients, even while teaching
- Safe premises — clean floors so people don’t slip, especially in studios and showers
- Although it isn’t required in Florida, many clubs have automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
Common sense goes a long way to prevent accidents
If you see a wet floor, ask the facility to clean it before class. Slipping in a kickboxing, yoga, or other workout can mean a sprained ankle or worse. Also if you are in an aerobics class with a lot of complicated moves or jumping and you are afraid of falling, ask the instructor to show ways you can modify the exercises to meet your comfort level.
Whether or not you are new to exercise, you should always stretch before and after to prevent minor strains and to prevent pulled muscles.
For more information on injuries at a gym in Florida
Although most health club memberships have a standard contract, if you were hurt at a fitness center, we discuss whether the parameters of your membership. At Gillette Law, P.A. we fight for compensation for victims of health club accidents.