Injured in a Fitness Center? Who is Held Liable?
Going to the gym is something that a large majority of Americans do every single day. Whether before work, during a lunch break, or after you’ve clocked out for the day, it is a common routine for people to hit their local fitness center for an intense workout. In recent years fitness and health have become increasingly important to our population, as there are more and more studies regarding the long-term health risks and hazards linked with lack of exercise. Not only are Americans finding ways to integrate exercise into their daily routines, but they are also changing their eating habits and making smarter choices overall. That being said, we have seen an increase in the number of gym accidents and injuries in recent years. There are numerous reasons for this, from the rise in number of people going to fitness centers to faulty machines and dangerous equipment, or perhaps people are pushing themselves too hard and causing injury.
Regardless of the cause of injury, you may be wondering who is held liable in a gym accident. As you can imagine, there is no straightforward answer, as every incident is different. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you are injured at your local gym. For starters, if you are injured at your gym you should begin by scanning the membership documents you signed when joining your local gym or fitness center. No matter how careless the instructor or facility may have been, the documents you signed at the start of your membership will play a huge role in determining liability and whether you have any legal recourse or not. It is important to note that not all injuries in the gym or fitness center are “actionable” in a legal sense. If your gym required you to sign a waiver and has specific language pertaining to injuries, you may not be able to sue. On the other hand, in some cases a fitness center may still be held liable for an accident or injury that occurs under their roof.
Do I Have the Right to Sue?
The language in the waivers and contract you sign at your fitness center will determine whether or not you have the right to sue in the event of an accident or injury. The language used in these documents is often broad (intentionally) which can make things even more complicated. However, regardless of how broad the language seems, waivers do not cover everything. If you have been injured in the gym as a result of intentional or reckless conduct on the part of the gym, one of their employees, or another gym-goer, they may be held liable. An example of this is if you are assaulted at the gym, or if your injury was due to a particularly reckless act – such as the Pilates instructor knew the equipment you were using was defective.
When Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have sustained an injury while working out at your gym, and you have the evidence to prove the fitness center or one of its employees/instructors was at fault, you should retain the services of a personal injury attorney. Even if the waiver you signed seems pretty concrete and like you have no right to pursue legal action, please contact us right away. Waivers can be contested in court – especially if it is clear the gym or an employee acted negligently. If your injuries are serious, make sure you seek medical attention right away and then contact a personal injury attorney from AMA Law. We will go over your case with you and help you determine how to proceed.