Sports Injury Caused By Defective Sports Equipment: Who Can Be Held Liable?

By: JML Law | October 26, 2018.
Sports Injury Caused By Defective Sports Equipment: Who Can Be Held Liable?

Participating in sports is great for staying in shape and maintaining good health, but sports-related injuries often eclipse the benefits of participating in sports.

Did you know? An estimated more than 7 million Americans sustain sports-related injuries each year, while children account for over 3.5 million of these injuries.

“Collisions between players and contact sports have the highest injury rates in the United States,” says our Los Angeles sports injury attorney at JML Law. In fact, football, soccer, basketball, and baseball account for about 80 percent of all sports-related emergency room visits.

Most sports, including but not limited to hockey, skiing, cycling, snowboarding, and football, involve the use of protective sports equipment such as helmets, rib protectors, masks, eye shields, mouthguards, gloves, shoulder pads, and other types of protective gear that ensure the player’s safety in sports. Unfortunately, not all sports equipment is equally safe and/or properly manufactured and designed.

The role of defective sports equipment in sports injuries

“Many sports-related injuries occur due to defective sports equipment, which can potentially expose the manufacturer and other parties in the chain of distribution to liability,” says our experienced sports injury attorney in Los Angeles.

Injuries caused by broken, defective, improperly inspected or maintained, or in any other way hazardous sports equipment are usually preventable. Nonetheless, these injuries can be severe or even fatal. Any defect or malfunction in the protective sports gear that causes a sports injury can potentially expose the manufacturer to product liability.

If you or someone you love regularly participate in sports, it is highly advised to keep an eye on sports equipment recalls or reports from people who have found defects in sports gear. If you or your loved one happens to be using a piece of sports equipment that contains a safety defect, it may pose a risk of injury.

The school, organizer of a sports event, coaches, trainers, operators of facilities, and other parties can also be held liable for sports injury caused by defective sports equipment if that party provided you with that piece of equipment and/or had a legal duty to inspect and maintain the equipment in good condition.

Defective home gym equipment: what to do if you get injured

You do not necessarily have to get out of your house to sustain injuries while participating in sports. As an increasing number of people opt for buying home gym equipment and exercising at home as a cheaper and more convenient alternative to purchasing a gym membership, they expose themselves to the risk of injury due to home gym equipment failure.

Had you been injured in a gym by defective gym equipment, you would most likely be able to sue the gym for improperly inspecting and maintaining its gym equipment. However, if you get injured while exercising at home, you are the only one responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the home gym equipment.

That isn’t to say, however, that you are solely responsible for your sports injury at home. After all, the home gym equipment could be defective, improperly manufactured, or otherwise dangerous by its design. However, it is also possible that you may have improperly assembled the home gym equipment or failed to follow its warnings or limitations (for example, proper weight restrictions).

The most common pieces of home gym equipment that cause injury are:

  • Exercise bike (collapse or tip over)
  • Stair climber
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Treadmill
  • Pulley
  • Exercise ball (blow-outs)
  • Seat (collapse)
  • Dumbbells and barbells.

Defects and failures in sports or gym equipment are more common than you think. Equipment manufacturers can be held liable for your injuries and damages because they have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their products. Have you been injured while exercising or participating in sports? Get a free consultation from our Los Angeles sports injury attorney at JML Law. Call 818-610-8800 for a free case evaluation.

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