I Was Injured At The Gym. What Can I do?

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 8.6 million sports- and recreation-related injuries reported each year. Many of these injuries happen when a person is at the gym exercising. There are many different types of exercise facilities in and around our area, including gyms, exercise studios, fitness clubs, yoga centers, and more. While these locations can be wonderful ways to stay in shape, many people wonder who is liable if they are injured at the gym.

What kind of injuries occur at the gym?

There are various types of injuries that can happen at a gym. While the exact circumstances of each person’s accident will be unique, there are some common causes of gym or fitness center injuries, including:

  • Overexertion
  • Falling free weights
  • Slip and falls
  • Defective or improperly maintained equipment
  • Poorly maintained buildings, parking lots, or common areas

Some of the most common types of injuries reported in a gym accident case include:

  • Soft tissue injuries (including strains, sprains, and bruising)
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken or crushed bones
  • Groin pulls
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee and leg injuries
  • Wrist sprain or dislocation
  • Cardiac events, such as heart attack

Each of these injuries could result in major medical bills for victims. In some cases, a gym injury victim will not be able to work while they recover, hampering their ability to earn an income.

You probably signed a waiver to attend the gym

When you signed up to join a gym, whether as a regular member or even as a visitor, you likely agreed to sign a document called a “waiver of liability.” Yes, you likely signed plenty of papers and did not even read where they were, meaning you likely agreed not to hold the facility legally liable for any injury you suffered while exercising. In other words, you probably gave up your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility.

However, this does not mean that the gym cannot be held liable for any reason whatsoever. In cases of negligence, the gym may still be held responsible.

If the gym was negligent

Gyms have a duty to regularly inspect and properly maintained their facilities and all equipment. If they fail to do so, they are not upholding their end of the agreement. Faulty equipment can lead to serious patron injuries, and this is not the fault of the person exercising. In instances where poorly maintained facilities or equipment cause an injury, the injury victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the gym to recover compensation for their injuries.

Seek medical care

If you are injured at the gym, report the injury as soon as possible to the gym staff, preferably a manager. Do not leave the gym before reporting your injury, even if you do not think the injury is serious or that they will believe you. If you leave and then later report an injury, it could easily be argued that you were hurt somewhere other than at the gym.

Seek medical care as soon as you know you are injured. Not only does this ensure your well-being, but it also establishes a timeline and a link between your gym visit and the injury. Keep copies of all medical records related to the injury, as well as any medical bills and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. If you are unable to work due to your gym injury, get a statement of lost wages from your employer to use as proof of lost income.