Approximately 4 million people are injured annually from sports and gym activities. Despite this, visiting a gym has become essential for most of us, helping us to keep fit and relieve stress. Gyms have many potential areas and equipment where injuries can occur. Despite signing a liability waiver, everyone needs to be aware that these are not always binding, and people can still seek compensation for their injuries.
Common Types of Gym Injuries
One of the most common causes of gym injuries is overexertion. In addition, however, injuries can occur from falling weights, slips and falls, defective equipment, improper equipment maintenance, and improper building maintenance.
The most commonly reported injuries are soft tissue injuries, back and neck injuries, broken bones, limb sprains, and limb dislocations.
Injury Claims and Evidence
Proving your claim when seeking compensation for personal injury at a gym requires solid evidence. You must immediately report the injury to someone in a management position and get the contact details of the gym owner. Also, get contact information for their insurers. Take pictures of the equipment, wet floors, broken pavement, or whatever injury caused. Keep a record of everyone who saw the incident, and get a statement from them. You may need to call witnesses at some point.
You must get medical care for the injury immediately, and if you are badly hurt, call an ambulance. Make a point of telling your medical provider how the injury occurred. If you don’t get immediate medical treatment, the chances are your claim can be denied on the argument that you were injured elsewhere.
Finally, keep detailed notes of the incident and all the medical records, medical bills, and other costs incurred by the injury. Don’t forget to include a history of lost wages if you miss work.
Understanding Assumption of Risk and Liability Waivers
Poorly maintained equipment and negligent management are a result of many gym injuries. As gym members, we think we can rightfully file an insurance case if injured at the gym, but this is not always so.
Insurers Argue Assumption of Risk
Assumption of risk is one of the most common arguments gym insurers use. It means that people understand the risk of getting hurt at a gym but still join. Yes, strenuous physical activity does place our body under strain pulled muscles are common injuries. Still, no one expects to face any risk from other hazards in the gym, like poorly maintained equipment, broken machinery, poor cleanliness resulting in water puddles in changing areas, etc. There are two assumptions of taking a risk: an implied assumption and an express assumption. Expressed assumption are the risks we fully understand and promise not to seek compensation for and is part of the liability waiver. In the case of implied assumption, someone does something that they were told not to, e.g., use equipment with a sign saying it was out of order.
Liability Waivers and Claims
Gym members are asked to sign agreements that always include a liability waiver. This means that members agree to surrender responsibility toward the gym if something happens. Lawyers draw these up to protect gyms, and patrons must read and understand them before signing. Despite the liability waiver being a legal contract that many users believe prevents them from taking action against the gym, the release is not as ironclad as they believe in cases of negligence from the gym’s owner or management.
Gym insurers rely on these waivers to deny claims. However, in cases of injuries at a commercial gym, speaking to a lawyer first is better than approaching the insurer.
Bypassing a Waiver of Liability
Anyone who suffers a severe injury at the gym should gather their evidence and seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer. Lawyers use several legal arguments to bypass liability waivers and negotiate compensation for their clients. These are the vague and ambiguous language used in the liability waiver and proving gross negligence.