We work out at the gym to stay in shape and become more fit. Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet have many well-documented health benefits. But while working out, you can sustain a serious injury at a gym requiring medical treatment and physical therapy. The risk of injury is higher if the gym isn’t well maintained.
Is the gym liable for your injury? In some instances, the gym and their insurance provider are financially liable for your medical costs. It all depends on the specific facts of the accident that caused your injury.
Injuries in gyms, in fact, are not uncommon. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 62,700 injuries treated in emergency rooms related to exercise equipment in 2014. More than 24,000 of those injuries involved treadmills.
Can I Still Seek Compensation for a Gym Injury if I Signed a Liability Release?
Gyms typically require members to sign a release or waiver of liability as part of the membership contract. There are different types of waivers, and it’s important to have a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer review the specific language contained in your contract after an accident.
Gyms try to protect themselves from injury lawsuits by obtaining waivers, but a waiver may be written so overly broad as to be unenforceable. In other words, even if you signed a waiver, you may still be able to file a claim and seek compensation for an injury, depending on the specific language.
What Obligations Do Gyms Have to Prevent Injuries on Premises?
Gyms, like other retail businesses in Florida, have a legal duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition. Gym owners have a responsibility to inspect the premises on a regular basis for broken equipment and other accident risks and to warn of any known or forseeable hazards. For example:
- Did a gym provide instruction in the safe use of its equipment? Are there signs posted explaining the proper use of equipment?
- Was a piece of broken gym equipment left unrepaired for an extended period, creating an injury risk? Was there a sign warning that the equipment was broken? If the equipment was regularly serviced, does the gym have the maintenance records.
- Was a piece of exercise equipment that was the subject of a manufacturer’s recall still in use when a serious injury occurred?
- Were free weights stacked or stored in such a way as to make them more likely to topple over and cause injury?
- Was spilled water left on a floor in a dressing room floor or high traffic area creating a slip and fall hazard?
These are the types of questions that we examine in determining whether a person who has been injured has a valid premises liability claim.
Gyms also have a duty to protect gym members and other users from negligent injuries from others and foreseeable risks. As a recent Miami Herald article discussed, some users of Crossfit gyms are known for tossing barbells at the end of certain workout routines. What if you are injured by someone throwing weights at a gym? Should the gym have foreseen that tossing weights creates a risk of injury to other gym goers?
The gym should have general liability insurance coverage to provide compensation for injuries sustained at the business.
North Tampa Premises Liability Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured at the gym in North Tampa, Lutz or anywhere in Hillsborough or Hernando counties, you should have a knowledgeable North Tampa premises liability lawyer review the specific factors of your accident and explain your legal options. There is no charge for the initial consultation.