From yoga to Pilates, CrossFit to good old-fashioned weightlifting, gyms and exercise facilities are a common sight across the country. With so many people testing their physical limits in an effort to get fit and healthy, injuries are inevitable, and they can be caused by everything from inadequate stretching before a workout to improper use of equipment. The more complex and sophisticated the workout regime, the more important it becomes that participants receive adequate instruction and proper supervision.
But no matter how careless the instructor or the facility may have been in connection with an injury, the membership documents you signed are going to play a big role in determining whether you have any legal recourse. In other words, as inevitable as injuries may be in the gym/exercise setting, that doesn’t mean they are all “actionable” from a personal injury law standpoint. Most aren’t, in fact. Signed waivers and the legal doctrine of “assumption of the risk” will preclude the filing of many apersonal injury claim, but in some situations a fitness facility may still be on the legal hook for an accident or injury that occurs during a workout, so it would be best to consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer first. Read on to learn more.
Can You Sue? Waivers and Disclaimers
This is the most important question when it comes to the potential liability of gyms and other facility. No matter how badly you were injured, you might not be able to hold the facility (or any of its employees) responsible.
That’s because when you sign up to become a member of a gym or fitness facility — or even when you just use the facility as a visitor or on a trial basis to see if you want to sign up — chances are you will be asked to sign a document that includes a “waiver of liability” provision. Sign here, initial there, and next thing you know (or don’t know), you’ve agreed not to hold the facility legally responsible for any injury you suffer while exercising by making you a liable accident witnesses. In other words, you’ve essentially given up your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility, except in rare instances.