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Can Fitness Trackers Cause Injuries?

Devices that track personal health and activity statistics have become all the rage. Fitbits, Apple watches, cell phone apps, and other devices all can keep track of an astonishing amount of information about their users. Everything from a person’s heart rate and step counts to sleep patterns and minutes spent exercising. Every fitness tracker device is intended to help users keep tabs on their activity and, in theory, move more. Fitness trackers aren’t without their critics. Several types of potential harm have been pointed out, with varying degrees of substance behind them:
  • Potentially harmful radiation. The science is unsettled on whether cell phones and other similar devices can cause cancer. Some doctors recommend limiting cell phone use in case a connection between the radiation phones produce and certain kinds of brain cancer. Fitness trackers operate at a lower energy level than cell phones, but they can still release a constant stream of low-frequency energy that could theoretically pose a health risk. Only time will tell if such fears are warranted.
  • Over-exercise. Fitness trackers push their users to meet goals based around a general standard that might not be appropriate for every user. People who push themselves to meet the goals set by their trackers may be putting themselves at risk, especially if they have undiagnosed conditions like heart disease that could make exercising dangerous.
  • Anxiety and other mental health. Some people are reporting serious bouts of anxiety and obsessiveness caused by their trackers. Someone who fails to meet the goals set by their tracker might feel stress that affects other parts of their life. People who are prone to problems like eating disorders or depression may develop significant complications as a result of using a fitness tracker.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. A doctor might also help a patient evaluate whether a fitness tracker is the right solution for them. For most people a fitness tracker is probably a good tool, but taking some precautions is probably a good idea. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. If you have been injured we would be happy to provide you with a free attorney consultation about your legal options. Call us at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Options for Employees Injured in Corporate Sports Leagues

Options for Employees Injured in Corporate Sports Leagues

Suffering a serious injury during a company softball game doesn’t just ding your pride. It can also be expensive, because in many situations a company’s workers’ compensation insurance does not cover corporate sporting events.

Sports injuries typically aren’t work-related

A basic requirement for coverage under Nevada’s workers’ compensation law is that an injury must have arisen out of and in the course of the employee’s employment. NRS 616A.020. But the law provides a specific exception for “any injury sustained by an employee while engaging in an athletic or social event sponsored by his or her employer.” NRS 616A.265. By statute, these types of injury do not “arise out of or in the course of employment,” and therefore are not covered by workers’ comp.

There are two exceptions to the general rule. First, if the employee is compensated for participating in the event, the injury will be covered. If the employer allows hourly employees to clock in during games, this exception may apply. The workings of this exception are less clear for salaried employees who do not report their time.

The second exception is for school district employees. A school district employee will be covered by workers’ compensation during any event sponsored by the school district, or by a student group, class, or organization, provided the event is “reasonably related to the employee’s job with the school district.” The employee’s involvement in the event must have been at the request of a supervisor, and the employee’s participation must have been for the safety and well-being of students. NRS 616A.265(3). In a nutshell, this exception ensures that school district employees can assist with student athletic events without bearing personal financial risk for potential injury.

Company sporting events and personal injury lawsuits 

The general rule that corporate sporting events are outside the scope of employment has an important consequence for injured employees. An employee typically can’t sue an employer for a personal injury suffered on the job. But if the injury is not covered by workers’ compensation, because it does not “arise out of or in the course of employment,” the ordinary bar against lawsuits doesn’t apply.

When would an employee want to sue an employer for sports-related injuries? It will depend on the circumstances. Personal injury lawsuits generally require that the defendant have acted negligently. If the employer sponsoring an event does not provide proper safety equipment, it might be committing negligence. The same may be true if the employer doesn’t respond with reasonable care to the injury itself.

A personal injury lawsuit can be a longer and more challenging way to get compensated for an injury, but in some situations it may be the only option. At Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez we have helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover awards for personal injury for over 45 years. If you have been injured during a corporate sporting event and you have questions about your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or request a call through our website.

Understanding Liability for Club Sports Injuries

The risk of injury is an unavoidable part of playing club sports. Tearing a ligament or breaking a bone while playing a game of amateur league basketball can be frustrating, but it can also be expensive for someone who doesn’t have insurance. When a sports injury has long-term consequences, like lost work time or extremely high medical costs, a lawsuit might be justified. In this blog we look at who might bear responsibility for sports-related injuries, and a few of the legal theories that might apply in such a case.

Who bears responsibility for sports injuries?

In the context of club sports there are several potential defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, more than one defendant might be appropriate. Perhaps the first that will come to mind in many situations is the club itself. As the organizer of an event, an amateur sports league owes participants an obligation to make sure the event is reasonably safe. An organization can fail to fulfill this obligation in any number of ways. An amateur soccer club might choose to hold its games on a badly maintained field. A baseball league might fail to provide sufficient batting helmets. Responsible sports clubs carry liability insurance to cover participants’ medical bills. The owner of the facility where sports are played is another potentially liable party. The owner or operator of a facility that is made available to the public has an affirmative duty to ensure that its premises are reasonably safe. For example, the owner of an indoor basketball court is responsible for slippery conditions caused by a leaky roof. If the premises owner provides equipment for use by the sports group, the owner may bear responsibility if the equipment is faulty. Finally, in some situations other participants may be liable. This is most likely to come up where one participant intentionally hurts another one. But it might also arise if a club supervisor has been especially negligent, for example by knowingly allowing a dangerous condition to persist.

Liability waivers and assumption of risk can limit recovery

A well-run sports club will require its participants to sign waivers of liability to forestall lawsuits. In Nevada, a waiver of liability is enforceable in cases of ordinary negligence. This means that the injured plaintiff needs to claim gross negligence to get past the waiver. Gross negligence involves more than just failing to take reasonable care; the defendant must have acted with blithe disregard for the safety of others. It might apply to the example above where the club supervisor knew about a dangerous condition and let the game proceed anyway. In a lawsuit the sports club may also argue that the injured plaintiff assumed the risk of injury by participating in the event. Assumption of risk applies where the plaintiff has voluntarily exposed herself to a risk she knew about at the time. Sierra Pac. Power Co. v. Anderson, 77 Nev. 68, 71 (1961). A basketball player who sees that a court is wet but plays anyway might fall into this category. So might an ice hockey player who gets injured in an on-ice collision with another player.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help

Hopefully someone who is injured in club sports will be covered by insurance, either the club’s or the participant’s personal insurance. But if a lawsuit seems like the only path forward to recover for expensive costs associated with an injury caused by a club’s negligence, an attorney’s help will be needed. Even in cases where the participant signed a liability waiver or assumed some of the risk of participating, a lawsuit can still be a necessary strategy. The attorneys at GGRM have worked with personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. If you have questions about a club sports injury, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We’re reachable at 702-388-4476, or through our website.