Most people join a gym or fitness center with the goal of improving their health. However, strenuous activity at the gym can lead to an injury. While it is usually possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a business if you were hurt on its premises, gyms and fitness centers typically take steps to protect themselves from this kind of legal action. These steps do not necessarily preclude you from suing, but they can make the situation more complicated.
What Does the Liability Waiver Say?
Most gyms and fitness centers require you to sign a waiver prior to using their facilities. The language can vary, but it usually says something to the effect that you assume the risk of using the facility and hold the management blameless.
Because gyms and fitness centers know that there is a possibility for serious injury from the use of their facilities, they often try to make the liability waivers as broad as possible to cover every possible scenario. However, no waiver is broad enough to cover everything. Sometimes, the attempt to make the waiver as all-encompassing as possible may work in your favor, as it may include language that is not legally binding.
Which Parties Can You Hold Responsible?
Sometimes it may be possible to hold third parties responsible for your injury. For example, if other patrons behaved in an irresponsible way and you became injured as a result, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other patrons. If the gym equipment was defective, you may also be able to file a third-party suit against the manufacturer. These options may be available even if the facility itself is protected by a liability waiver.
The fitness facility has a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which you and other patrons work out. If the management fails to keep the facility clean or maintain the equipment so that it is always in good repair, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit. The liability waiver may not protect management in the event of gross negligence, although it does depend somewhat on the wording of the liability waiver.
Though there are often challenges involved in suing a gym or fitness center, if you assume that it is not an option, you may be forfeiting compensation to which you are entitled. An experienced lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, can evaluate any waiver that you signed and explain your legal options to you. Call an attorney’s office to arrange a consultation today.