Injuries from malfunctioning fitness equipment may just be a lot more commonplace than you imagine. People work out daily for many years and may not experience a single bruise. However, there are thousands of others who get seriously injured in the process of using gym and fitness equipment.
Over 526,000 people have to go to the emergency room every year as a result of injuries caused by malfunctioning fitness equipment. Of this figure, 43,000 usually require an extended stay because they have been fatally or critically injured.
These injuries are usually caused by any of the following all relating to the equipment of course; manufacturing defects, design flaws, improper use, and faulty installation.
Fitness equipment injuries may occur at your local gym or at home. However, the fact remains that you are within your full right to seek compensation when you are hurt by FDA ultimate exercise equipment.
In such a scenario, you would be seeking compensation from the equipment manufacturer.
Common Fitness Equipment Injuries
Exercise machines cause their own fair share of injuries — or maybe a bit unfair. Whether at home or at the gym, people, irrespective of age, fitness levels, or experience operating these machines are injured on a daily basis. Most of these injuries are pretty minor and not very alarming, mostly caused by overexertion and the likes. However, there are certain cases where these machines cause irreversible damage such as permanent disability. Here are some injuries that may be caused by malfunctioning fitness equipment:
- Knee injuries
- Muscle and tendon sprains and strains
- Face and eye injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Severe abrasions
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
Common Fitness Equipment Failure
While any type of fitness equipment may have a fault or defect of sorts, some others can be frequently associated with injuries, they include:
Treadmills come up a lot in fitness injuries that are pretty serious. There is the possibility of treadmill belts being improperly tightened or misaligned.
Safety features such as an auto-stop function in the event that a user falls may also be missing. In addition, there is the possibility of hanging cables that may pose a danger to kids, especially in the home or gaps in the moving belt.
A number of things can go wrong with the treadmill which is why it is almost always a culprit in these matters.
Resistance bands are commonly used at home and are a common at-home exercise product. Despite their seemingly simple appearance, resistance bands could cause serious injuries if your instance the band snaps, slips or breaks.
Exercise bikes are yet another culprit that is implicated in injuries caused by faulty equipment. They may have improperly attached handlebars or seats, broken or missing pedal straps or exposed belts and gears that catch on clothing and may cause injury.
Unstable Workout Machines
Most of the workout machines used in fitness centers or homes have the same thing in common, they are tall, large, and significantly heavy.
Equipment such as stair climbers, elliptical machines as well as pulley systems have these features in common.
Any of these machines that have a poor design or isn’t firmly installed may fall over and result in serious injuries.
Weight Lifting Equipment
Weight lifting equipment can cause a lot of damage especially since they can have a very direct impact and this may occur very forcefully.
For instance, if the bars or cables or even the weight racks are damaged or weak or defective, it could result in very serious injury. Weights are very dangerous and injuries from this end are pretty severe.
One of the ways to avoid injury would be to thoroughly inspect any machine before getting on it, especially if you have a knowledge of what should be where.
In addition, if you’re getting home fitness equipment, you should go for the best of the best. Equipment is simple as dumbbells could cause you injury which is why one of the first steps to avoiding this would be to go for the best dumbbells suited to home fitness.
Building A Fitness Equipment Malfunction Case
It has been established that you can seek compensation if you have been injured by faulty fitness equipment. This is typically done by filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective equipment.
In the event that you got injured while using the equipment in a fitness center or a private gym, you could also file a claim against the fitness center for their failure to supply safe equipment.
If you purchased the equipment at a retail store for home use, you can also file a claim against the retail store for selling you the defective equipment.
In a product liability case such as this, you would have to show without a measure of doubt that you would have still been in perfect health if not for the defect in the equipment.
Product liability claims usually revolve around one or more or of these product defect types:
- Design defects: this is when the equipment’s design had mistakes or flaws that were even a part of the machine since it was manufactured. It could also be as a result of modifications in design. For instance, heavy fitness machines with a high center of gravity that may allow tip over easily.
- Manufacturing Defects: These defects do not bear any relation to the product’s design. Manufacturing defects refer to mistakes such as exposed wires or missing bolts when the equipment was being made or assembled.
- Marketing defects (“Failure to Warn”): this occurs when the manufacturer failed to supply sufficient information to the user in order to install the equipment right or use it the proper way. For instance, neglecting to include information that a machine would not accommodate people beyond particular body weight.
Therefore, your lawsuit may name the manufacturer, fitness center owner, retail store owner, or a combination of any of these parties.
However, there are certain terms commonly used by lawyers and insurance companies that you have to be very familiar with in order to file your claim or lawsuit right:
- Duty of Care: this refers to the legal obligation that a manufacturer has to prevent harm from coming to potential users of the fitness equipment.
- Negligence: this occurs when the manufacturer sells fitness equipment that has design or manufacturing defects or slacks in his responsibility to educate potential users on exactly how to assemble and make use of the equipment safely.
- Damages: this refers to the personal and financial losses experienced by the injured party. This would typically include out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills such as medicines, ambulance bills, or motion enablers like crutches and wheelchairs. In addition, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering, are all a part of damages.
- Liability: this basically implies that the manufacturer of the fitness equipment would carry on any responsibility for damages that result in injuries during the process of using the defective equipment.
The Bottom Line
Product liability lawsuits may be required to be a lot more airtight than some other suits. To win your lawsuit, you must be able to prove without a measure of doubt that:
- The manufacturer, retailer, or gym owner breached their legal duty of care to ensure you weren’t harmed.
- As a direct and proximate result of that breach, you were injured.
- Your injuries resulted in measurable damages.
Once these are proven, then you are well on your way to getting a significant settlement for your injury with the help of competent professionals.