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What Should I Do If I Get Injured Because of a Personal Trainer?

Summer is coming, and after a year of staying safe at home, many of us have admittedly gotten a bit out of shape. The covid vaccine rollout in New York is proving to be effective against the spread of the virus, and the number of new cases has been at a steady decrease. Additionally, many gyms and fitness centers in New York are now allowing vaccinated members the option to exercise without a mask. Because of this, many are getting back into their normal pre-pandemic fitness routines.

A lot of people who want to go the extra mile in their fitness game consider hiring a personal trainer. A good trainer can really be a great motivator for some, introducing new and effective exercises and tailoring them to the client’s fitness goals. But like anything else, there isn’t a guarantee that every personal trainer out there is well-trained and particularly safe. Unfortunately, sometimes a neglectful trainer can cause someone to be injured; not only leaving you unable to work out for some time, but also at times unable to work and require you to pay hefty medical bills.

When A Personal Trainer Becomes A Problem

Improperly trained personal trainers can unfortunately cause injuries. You might think that years of training or maybe a degree is required to be a personal trainer. While this might be the case for some, becoming a personal trainer can be as simple as an online course followed by certification. Without a full understanding of fitness form and techniques, injuries can happen easily. As an authority on fitness, the client is going to trust what the trainer tells them to do. This can lead to:

– Improper instructions

– Not properly spotting you during exercises

– Advising you to do exercises beyond your current capabilities, such as lifting too much weight

– Advising improper form, which can lead to strains and falling backward

So let’s say for example, the personal trainer tells you to lift weight near your limit in an improper form, and once you have it over your head you lose balance and fall backward onto other equipment. That could mean hitting your head, landing on a barbell and injuring your back, or other related serious injuries.

Additionally, a lot of people who hire trainers are older, and pushing them to do more than they can handle with poor form can tweak a ligament or cause joint damage. This can lead to being out of work for some time, requiring doctor visits, MRIs, and physical therapy.

Do I have a case for my gym-related injury?

This will depend a bit on the circumstance, but generally, if the injury is serious and is a direct result of the workout your trainer had you doing it’s feasible.

First, neglect needs to be established. If it can be proven that the injury was caused by your personal trainer not paying enough attention, giving bad advice, or having you do exercises that are ill-advised given your specific physical condition, it will go a long way toward building a case.

The other major factor that goes into building a legal case around a gym-related injury is the extent of your injuries. Has the injury prevented you from working and therefore earning a living? Has the injury impacted your quality of life? Was your personal trainer aware of a prior injury you suffered, and then recommended a workout routine that caused that injury to worsen?

Also, some personal trainers are affiliated with the fitness center while others are not. If your gym had you sign a waiver prior to working with a personal trainer, this might make a lawsuit more difficult, but not impossible. Either way, it is still in your best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to examine the circumstances with you and see if you are owed compensation.

If you’ve suffered from any of those types of injuries because of work you did with a personal trainer, it’s worth exploring your options. Generally, the statute of limitations on these types of injuries is 3 years. If you are a family member of someone who has died as a result of gym-related injuries, you typically have 2 years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a lawsuit.

About the Author

Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents, and slip-and-fall injuries.

His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.