Injuries at the gym are common. The causes of these injuries could have a broad spectrum of who is at fault, from straining your back from lifting a weight that was too heavy to faulty equipment that breaks apart when being used correctly. As the causes are so broad and dependent on so many factors, the answer to the question of “when could I sue a gym?” is rarely a clear yes or no.
What Did My Liability Waiver Say?
In deciding whether it is possible to have a claim, it is important to know what type of liability wavier you signed. Courts do not always uphold liability waivers, but nonetheless it is essential for a lawyer to review and understand what was stated on your waiver. The two most common types of waivers are total waivers of liability and waivers of negligence.
A total waiver of liability means a gym is free of liability for any injury that occurred on the premise. These contracts are not always upheld in courts. For one, they are overly-broad. Beyond that, they may be deemed to be unconscionable, meaning incredibly unfair to one party. An instance of this is unequal bargaining power by the gym for the contract. Their lawyers wrote the contract for you to sign, but you did not have one when you signed it.
A waiver of negligence prevents gym members from suing the gym due to negligence on the part of the gym. This includes negligence such as failing to maintain equipment properly or a personal trainer failing to instruct you properly.
Take the case of a spill on the gym floor causing one of its members to slip and get injured. If the gym were informed of it yet failed to clean it up, they could be held liable for negligence. However, this is a grey area that depends on the language used and what led to the injury.
The question of suing a gym for an injury that was it’s fault is dependent on the situation. Whatever the situation, the best way to conclude whether you have a claim is to talk to a lawyer.
Galloway Jefcoat, LPP is a Louisiana personal injury law firm that fights for victims of car crashes, workplace accidents, and other forms of negligence or injury. We are committed to serving you and your family.