Gym Accidents & InjuriesFortunately, gym accidents are relatively rare. However, accidents that do occur are rarely straightforward due to human interaction, so whether you are a gym member considering making a claim or a gym owner choosing whether or not to defend one, it is important for either side to be fully prepared before proceeding.
ComplaintsIf an accident occurs, the injured party should ensure that they follow the complaints procedures of the facility they were using, be it a private or corporate gym, a local authority fitness centre, an educational establishment, or a sports club. Similarly, the gym owner or operator – particularly in cases of small, private gyms – should ensure that they have a complaints procedure and an accident reporting procedure in place to record and deal with such a complaint.
EvidenceIn addition to the above, it is important for both parties to gather as much evidence as soon as possible following an accident. This evidence will be used to support or defend a claim for compensation, or to demonstrate to a court at a later date whether or not there was a lack of duty of care. The sooner this evidence is obtained the more accurate it is likely to be.
In the event of a gym-related accident or injury, evidence can include:
- Photographs:, if possible, of what caused the accident, as well as any injuries sustained.
- A description:, with as much detail as possible, of the circumstances of the accident and what led up to it.
- Witness details: names and addresses of those who witnessed the incident and, if possible, a short description of what they saw.
- If the injury does not require hospital treatment, the injured party should also report the incident to their GP, as a record of the injury will be required if the case goes to court, or if the gym defends it.
ClaimsThere are important choices for a member to make before deciding whether to pursue a claim. Was it an accident on the user’s part, or negligence on the part of the gym owner/operator? A claim for compensation should only be made if there is evidence to show that the user’s injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. In such a case, the evidence needs to show why the gym needs to be considered at least partially to blame for an accident in their facility.
Armed with this information, the injured party can make a decision on whether to approach a personal injury solicitor and make a claim for compensation. Recent reforms to the way that civil cases are funded have had a particular impact on personal injury cases, and this includes gym accidents. Most personal injury cases are handled on a no win, no fee basis, which means that a firm of solicitors will not normally take on a case unless they believe there is a good chance of it succeeding. It should be remembered that personal injury claims are likely to be more time-consuming and expensive if the defendants dispute the claim and the issue of negligence or lack of duty of care.
Gym Accidents: How Can We Help?Gym injury claims are not the most common types dealt with by personal injury solicitors and as such, many of them will not be familiar with fitness equipment or training protocols and methods as other types of accidents. As technical experts in matters relating to gym equipment and training accidents, Howard G Davies & Associates can provide a range of services to enable either party to receive a professional appraisal of the circumstances of the accident in various degrees of detail:
- Fitness and exercise accident reports and reconstructions before proceeding with any claim.
- Desktop technical evaluation of the evidence of either party once a claim has been made.
- Non-legally binding expert evaluationto assist in determining the basis of a settlement
- CPR technical expert reports for consideration by a court.