We are occasionally contacted by individuals who have been injured at a fitness facility or when training under the supervision of a fitness professional wanting to know if they have a case. While there is an inherent risk for injury when we exercise, fitness injuries that occur because a fitness facility owner, operator, or staff member was negligent may entitle you to a claim for compensation.
Because injuries are always a risk when you use a fitness facility or engage in physical activity, gym owners, operators, and personal trainers typically will ask you to sign a waiver releasing them from liability in the event that you are injured. Sometimes these waivers may prohibit you from suing even when your injury was caused by the negligence of the owner, operator, or personal trainer. However, not all waivers will prevent you from initiating a claim.
Some examples of potential fitness liability claims due to negligence are injuries resulting from the following:
- Faulty or poorly maintained equipment. This may include frayed cables or cords, broken treadmill parts, or any other hazardous equipment that has not been replaced immediately
- Incorrect setup of equipment. Weights or barbells that are not put together correctly and poor placement of equipment such as staging equipment too close together making safe movement impossible could qualify as negligence.
- No AED (automatic external defibrillator) equipment on site. Not having an AED on site when someone suffers a heart attack could be grounds for a lawsuit.
- Unsafe premises. Poorly maintained flooring that results in a slip and fall situation, shoddy electrical work, poorly placed furniture or supplies, and other examples of hazardous conditions could justify a personal injury claim.
- Personal trainer negligence. While there is no licensing agency for personal trainers to date, all certified and non-certified trainers are held to a reasonable standard of care. If you are injured as a direct result of your trainer’s instruction, you may have a claim.
Immediate Steps to Take If You Feel Your Gym Injury Was Due to Negligence
If you are injured at the gym, you should seek medical attention immediately for your own health and well-being. This will also ensure you have proper documentation necessary for your health insurance claim and for proceeding with a potential legal claim.
Next, make sure your injury is reported to the gym’s management and ask for a copy of the incident report if one is created. Make sure you take photographs or videos of your injury and the surrounding environment. If there are any witnesses, try to get their contact information. Having as much information available as possible will be critical to laying the foundation for your claim.
If you feel your gym or fitness-related injuries were a direct result of negligence on the part of the facility or actions of a fitness professional, contact us today for a free consultation. We may be able to help you proceed with a course of action to seek financial reimbursement for your injuries and pain and suffering.