How many people are injured in UK gyms each year? What is the most common injury for gym-goers to sustain?
The answer is actually staggering, 7 million people use the gym in the UK every year, and 41% sustain injuries. That equates to an enormous 2,870,000 injuries in just 1 year. The most common injury you are likely to sustain in the gym is an ankle injury, with 9.3% of gym-goers reporting this injury.
What happens if you get injured in the gym?
Report your injury. If your injury is small and was the fault of the gym, report it straight away. If you tripped over your own shoe laces, still report the incident.
Let a gym staff member know immediately and ensure an accident report is completed stating exactly what happened, including location, date and time and any witnesses.
You may find the gym has a policy of sending you off to A&E regardless of the injury. Go with the flow; this will all be part of any subsequent claim you may make for injury.
Do gyms in the UK make you sign an accident waiver?
Possibly. Gyms will ask you to sign a contract when you join as a member, and part of the contract will likely be an accident waiver or disclaimer of some kind.
The waiver or disclaimer is their way of wriggling out any potential claim for damages against the gym for the injury you have sustained.
However, UK law is inclusive, and these waivers are often not worth the paper they are written on, so you will need to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in personal claims.
Is a waiver legally binding in the binding UK?
Yes. Waivers are legally binding if applied in the correct way. Waivers are not there to mitigate any potential losses a gym may incur through negligence.
There is a section in-law called the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. Here is what it says verbatim:
The Unfair Contract Terms Act (UCTA) 1977 regulates contracts by limiting the extent to which one party can avoid liability through the use of exclusion clauses such as disclaimers. It applies to exclusion terms in the majority of contracts, including notices that would bring into existence contractual obligations.
In a nutshell, the waiver may be meaningless, and you have the right to sue the gym for damages.
But, don’t think this opens the floodgates for all to claim a muscle strain or muscle cramps because it does not.
Is it normal to hurt for 5 days?
It can depend on your workout. You have to expect some pain from certain workouts, say, heavy squats or heavy bench press. Actually, any exercise that uses heavy weights will cause muscle pain that may last for days.
But, this is not an injury from negligence. It’s an injury from tearing muscle fibres during your workout to gain muscle mass and strength.
How do you know if you have a gym injury?
Pain from an injury takes longer to heal, and it feels different to muscle aches when workout heavy.
Pain from an injury in the gym is more likely to be soft tissue damage, joint pain, sprains and even fractures.
Plans for injury are persistent and can be intense, which is different from pain from a workout.
If your pain is not diminishing over a few days, you likely have an injury that needs further investigation.
What are common weightlifting injuries?
Shoulder, neck, knee and back. Lifting weights can cause injuries, but in a gym, there should be adequate prevention measures, such as someone to spot you when doing bench presses or squats.
If you don’t have the proper techniques, you have the wrong ones. Then weightlifting injuries will occur.
If you sustain these injuries, report them to the gym and make sure they are recorded, then seek medical attention before doing anything else.
Below is a pie chart that shows the type of injury sustained by weightlifters. It’s from the British Medical Journal:
How can you tell the difference between muscle pain and injury?
When you have sharp pain, it’s not normal. It’s normal to have soreness after gym workouts, but when the soreness is together with unexpected sudden jolts of pain, you undoubtedly have an injury.
If this pain does not subside after a few days, see your doctor or if the pain is severe, visit A&E.
How do you tell if an injury is muscular or skeletal?
Muscle pain feels general, and will dispute using a pain killer. Bone injuries are sharp, and the injury feels deeper.
If you feel the pain that is sharper and deeper than normal, you have a skeletal injury, and you need to seek medical advice immediately.
What can you claim when suing the gym for personal injuries?
Compensation claims are not just based on the type of pain you have had to endure, the process can be quite complex and require you to keep detailed information and provide evidence to support your case.
Here is a range of damages and expenses which can make up your gym injury claim if you choose to pursue compensation. These include:
- The first part will be general damages, this takes into account the pain you have endured that likely hood of the injury affecting your future earnings potential
- Your claim may include damages for care in your home and out-of-pocket expenses incurred by your carer
- Loss of earning, if you have had to take time off work and have suffered losses of pay and compensation, then this should be returned to you
- travel expenses to appointments at hospitals and doctors, including specialists, this will cover trains or fuel for your car
- Medical expenses, it is likely that you have incurred medical expenses, and these will be reimbursed
Can I sue my gym for injury?
Yes, providing you have done everything right and followed procedures, you can make a claim regardless of waivers, disclaimers and contracts.
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