Most people join a gym to improve their health, but sometimes the worst happens and you are injured. When you think about it, the gym is a virtual breeding ground for potential injuries, from wet surfaces to complicated machines. If you were just trying to work out but ended up getting injured, read on to learn more about your rights to getting compensated.
Amongst the stack of paperwork that you viewed and signed when you joined the gym, there was very likely a waiver of some sort. In fact, it's difficult to use or participate in most any activity anymore that does not require you sign a paper giving up your right to sue if you are injured using that facility. Since you must sign the waiver as a condition of using the gym, most people sign it. There are two basic types of waivers of liability, and the ability to sue depends on the type of waiver and how your injury occurred.
The Waiver of Negligence
This type of waiver targets the actions and behavior or the gym members themselves, not the gym. Since gyms can be such dangerous places, gym owners use this waiver in an attempt to protect themselves from the actions of careless members. For example, if a gym member runs around the swimming pool and slips and falls, the resulting injury may not be covered under the gym's liability. A reasonable person would not be so careless in areas where conditions are known to be slippery. These waivers are usually enforceable, which means no grounds for a lawsuit exist.
The Total Waiver of Liability
This type of waiver lends broad protection to the gym and is meant to prevent lawsuits for any reason. The enforceability of this type of waiver depends on the cause of the injury. The court will normally overlook any waiver that is too broad and that ignores the responsibility of the gym to create a safe environment for people to work out. To avoid liability, a business must do everything in its power to ensure safety. Below are some common issues that could occur in a gym, making them liable for injuries.
- Improper maintenance on gym equipment
- Inadequate sanitation of hot tubs
- Ice being allowed to accumulate at the front entrance
- No Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on-site
No matter what type of waiver you may have signed, be sure to consult with a personal injury attorney if you get injured while working out.