More and more people are hitting the gym to get fit and healthy, but that often means more injuries. A lack of experience, poor training methods, and over-training in general are often to blame. While you’re never guaranteed a victory in court, you may be able to sue the gym and collect damages if the accident isn’t your fault. Here’s what to do if you’re injured while working out:
Take Pictures of Everything
Taking pictures isn’t exactly the first thing you’ll be thinking of if you get hurt at the gym, but it’s one of the most important things you can do. This is why it’s an excellent idea to keep your smartphone handy – even while you’re working out. Before you leave the gym to go and see a doctor, snap pictures of the accident scene.
Was there water on the floor? Was the machine broken or poorly maintained? Did you receive incorrect information from a gym instructor? You need proof to file a lawsuit and getting it right away will ensure that you have it before the gym erases all of the evidence (companies like to do that sometimes). Gym owners are trying to protect their business and keep from being sued. Unfortunately, sometimes, that means taking the low road.
Go and See a Doctor Immediately
Don’t wait. Go to a doctor immediately. Tell your doctor what happened. They can then verify whether the injuries you’ve sustained are the result of working out. This, combined with the pictures you’ve taken, will be a great help in court.
To strengthen your case, make sure you get a note from your doctor that outlines the injuries you received and if possible, have the doctor corroborate your pictures with documentation verifying that your injuries were caused by the gym in some way.
Get the Name of Any Personal Trainers You Were Working With
If you were working with a personal trainer, write down his or her name. This will be important when you go to court. Any faulty information you received (i.e. misleading, incorrect, or sloppy instructions given to you about how to use machinery or perform an exercise), may be valuable when you want to claim. While many gyms have waivers concerning personal trainers, you might still have a case if there is evidence of negligence.
Contact a No Win, No Fee Lawyer
No win, no fee lawyers are probably the best option you have when making a case like this. You may be awarded significant damages if the gym is found to be at fault. Here’s how a no win, no fee lawyer works: you sit down to speak with the lawyer. You’re not charged any money for the consultation or services the lawyer performs. The lawyer will decided whether to represent you in court. If you win, the injury lawyer takes a percentage of the compensation.
This type of arrangement ensures that you get the best legal advice possible, since the lawyer is motivated to win the case for you. If he can’t win the case, or if he doesn’t think you have a strong case, he usually won’t take you on as a client. This could be valuable information too, since it saves you a retainer fee and a lot of time suing a company where you have no hope of winning. However, the only way to know if you have a strong case is by picking up the phone and contacting an expert.
Callum Anderson is in his final year of a law degree. He enjoys sharing his research on various legal blogs.