Exercise is necessary for healthy living, leaving most people to frequent the gym to achieve that. For them to have an enjoyable gym session and obtain effective results, there is a pressing need to prioritize safety. Equipment like treadmills, barbells, ellipticals, stair climbers, exercise bikes, resistance bands, etc., are used during sessions. An act of negligence when it comes to the operation and maintenance of equipment can lead to gym accidents.
According to a news article by KOAA, The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an urgent warning for parents to stop using the Peloton treadmills. This was because there have been 70 injury reports with users of the treadmill, including at least 39 children. One of the cases included a 3-year-old who suffered a significant brain injury and another case where a child died.
Cases such as those will be the order of the day if rapt attention is not paid to the operation, maintenance, and manufacturing of gym equipment. Most machines in the gym are serious injuries waiting to happen. Therefore, when there’s a manufacturing defect or faulty design with equipment, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Gym accident cases can take a positive turn in court once the defect present in the equipment is illustrated and shown to the jury. That is why trial animation is necessary to visually represent the fault that caused the accident and the damage to the victim.
Causes of Gym Accidents
There are three leading causes of gym accidents with equipment.
Firstly, the most obvious ones are injuries from manufacturing defects, like an exercise bike with a damaged pedal strap.
Another cause is a faulty design. This occurs when a piece of equipment is made in a way that is dangerous to people, such as the presence of a sharp surface. This misstep is inevitably a problem in the long run.
Also, poor maintenance of the equipment by gym owners can cause accidents. Poor maintenance can occur in the form of a loose nut on a machine part which can cause it to fall on the user’s leg during use.
We can avoid gym accidents if extra attention is paid to ensure the security of every piece of equipment manufactured and designed. However, that is not always the case.
Common gym equipment defects and their risks
Every machine or equipment in the gym is liable to cause harm if there’s a defect or it has a faulty design. Below are a few common equipment defects and their dangers.
Treadmills are one of the major causes of injuries in a gym like the one discussed above. A common defect is the absence of essential safety features like the auto–stop function. This feature comes in handy when the user falls while using the equipment. It can cause minor injuries like bruising and major injuries like fractured wrists or ankles.
- Weight lifting equipment
These types of equipment only cause major injuries if it has a defect. Due to the heaviness of all weightlifting equipment, they leave severe damage on their victims that might be permanent.
An example of an equipment defect case is one where a person got a series of significant injuries from a barbell accident. At the gym where the plaintiff went to work out, they had a defective bar rest that simply was not secure. Hence, when the plaintiff placed the barbell on it, the 95 barbells rolled off and onto his face.
The plaintiff obtained a concussion and contusion to his face, in addition to a deep laceration from his right eye to the bridge of his nose. Even after treatment at the hospital, he complained of head, neck, and nose pain. He was later diagnosed with cephalgia–cluster headache, and cervical spine sprain.
Other types of equipment that can cause gym accidents
Heavy and tall equipment, like ellipticals, and stair climbers, can also cause injuries if they are not correctly designed, installed, or maintained. They are liable to tip over or break.
A case involving such a heavy machine is the one of Natalie V. Cybex. The plaintiff, a physical therapy assistant, was leaning against a Cybex Leg Extension Machine weighing 600 pounds when it tipped and fell on her. The weight of the big machine crushed her neck, and she got paralyzed from the neck down. This paralysis would not have happened if they had installed the machine properly.
Breaking a resistance band, among many other common equipment defects, can lead to facial or eye injuries. The injuries from gym equipment defects are no joke, and the victims deserve a win in court.
Demonstrating Gym Accidents With Trial Animation
The increasing number of fatal gym accidents is alarming. As more people are interested in fitness, more people are being moved to the emergency room. Hence, when accidents happen, legal animation can illustrate the core causes of the incident and eliminate all hassles.
For such cases, you can provide trial animation showing how to install heavy equipment properly. This animation would help to point out where the gym owner missed while installing the equipment. It will then illuminate that when weight, such as a person’s body, rests against the shaky equipment, it’s bound to topple over.
The animation will help the jury understand the significant damage the machine caused the victim.
Along with all these, you can highlight equipment with faulty designs. Videos can show exercise bikes, for instance, that are produced with exposed gears or belts and how they can easily catch on the user’s clothing. Once this happens, the user can fall and sustain multiple minor or/and significant injuries.
Our team of legal animators at Fox-AE can illustrate all these scenarios and more leading to gym accidents. We work hand-in-hand with expert witnesses and attorneys on each case. This ensures that all the facts of the case and pertinent events leading to the injury are clearly illustrated. Hence, helping the jury to see and make an informed decision in favor of the injured.