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Are gyms liable for injuries?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Many who lead busy lives find solace in gyms. It is the go-to place for building muscles, blowing off steam stress and improving overall health. However, the combination of various equipment, weight and occasional spills from sweat and water can make gyms prone to accidents. With most gyms today requiring a signed waiver, members may wonder who they can hold accountable if they get into an accident.

Who is responsible for gym injuries?

A gym-related injury can disrupt a person’s life in many ways, forcing them to miss work or incur expensive medical bills. Generally, members should be cautious when at any workout facility. Sometimes, a moment of carelessness during a workout can lead to an accident. Members may be unable to hold the gym liable if they injure themselves due to improper form or posture.

However, member carelessness is not the only cause of accidents in fitness centers. They can also stem from a range of issues, such as:

  • Faulty equipment
  • Ceiling leaks resulting in slippery floors
  • Lack of adequate instructions on the use of machines
  • Failing to clear workout apparatus on the floor

These potential hazards could easily catch gymgoers off guard. While exercising personal caution is important, gym owners also have an obligation to maintain a safe environment. That includes providing sufficient warnings where necessary, installing equipment properly, maintaining machines regularly and addressing any safety hazards like spills or broken machines.

If a member reports a safety hazard, but the gym ignores it, they could be accountable for any injuries that arise. In addition, gym owners should address issues they should have been aware of.

Can a waiver stop you from pursuing legal action?

Gyms are known for asking members to sign waivers to limit their liability. These documents often use broad or confusing language stating that members are responsible for any injuries they sustain on the premises. Sometimes, poorly written waivers do not hold up in court. It is best to consult with an attorney regarding a waiver’s effectiveness.

Although a signed waiver protects gyms, it does not absolve them of all responsibilities. Meanwhile, gym-goers also have a personal responsibility to ensure their own safety. If they were acting recklessly, they may bear some of the liability.

Ultimately, gym owners and members alike should act responsibly to prevent accidents. Answering who is legally responsible for a gym injury requires looking at the facts surrounding the incident. If you are hurt while exercising at a gym, consider consulting a lawyer to see if seeking compensation is possible.