Injuries are unfortunately not uncommon at gyms. With physical activity, there is always a risk of an injury. This, coupled with the inherent risk of heavy weights, can lead to some gym members wondering if they can sue over an injury sustained at the gym. This is only possible if a staff member, owner or operator was negligent.
The Waiver Form
It is common for gyms to require that their members sign a waiver before joining. You may not have even realized that you signed a waiver, since it is uncommon for gym staff to draw attention to these waiver forms and will likely request that you sign several other documents alongside the gym waiver.
Using The Waiver To Determine Whether The Gym Is Liable
The waiver can provide you with clues regarding whether you are able to sue the gym. Consider the type of injury you sustained and determine whether the gym is shielded from liability for that type of injury under the waiver. If the waiver is considered to be too broad, the judge might not consider it to be valid. However, many waivers will set aside specific responsibilities that the gym is expected to fulfill. If any of these responsibilities are not met, the gym can be held liable for your injury.
Your Gym's Duty-Of-Care
As with all businesses, gyms have a duty-of-care that requires that they provide a safe space. For example, if you are required to climb upstairs to reach the upper and lower levels of the gym, if the stairs become unsafe, it is the responsibility of the gym owners to have the stairs repaired. If there is a reason for the gym owner to have not been aware of this defect, you may still be able to successfully sue. Also, if you are injured by well-maintained equipment, your case is likely to be dismissed. However, if your equipment was damaged, there is a good chance that your waiver might be nullified due to gross negligence.
Contacting The Gym's Insurance Provider
One approach is to get in contact with the gym's insurance company. However, this can be difficult, because gyms are not legally obligated to provide such information. Your best bet is to contact the gym owner, with the help of a personal injury attorney, and hope that he or she will be more willing to handle the matter through his or her insurance than through the court system.
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