If I’m Injured at the Gym, Can I Sue?

gym personal injuryWhen we hit the gym, we expect to leave feeling somewhat sore. After all, no pain no gain, right? Minor injuries are an assumed risk of working out. We might stretch our hamstring a little too far and expect to feel it the next day. But what we don’t expect, however, is having a free weight fall off of a gym rack because it wasn’t secured, causing a serious head and neck injury.

When you push and injure yourself when working out, you may have only yourself to blame. But when a fitness center injury occurs because the owner, operator, or staff is negligent in some way, you may have a claim for compensation.

In a closed environment packed with exercise equipment, towels, sweat, and fitness enthusiasts, it’s no wonder accidents happen at the gym. But if you’re injured in a fall while exercising, could the gym be legally responsible for your injuries? They could be!

Most gyms try to avoid responsibility for member injuries through liability waivers. These waivers often spell out that you can’t sue the gym if you get hurt while working out. And while some of these agreements have been enforced by the courts, many have not.

Let’s get to the specifics. Here are the three most common waivers of liabilities for fitness centers:

1. Waiver of Total Liability

Intended for gyms to be free of all liability for any injury that occurs on the premises, these expansive types of agreements can be held as overly broad and thus unenforceable by courts.

2. Waiver for Intentional Acts

Despite courts ruling that attempts to avoid legal claims for reckless conduct cuasing injury are unconscionable, many fitness centers will use these waivers.

3. Waiver for Negligence

Courts will generally enforce waivers for injuries caused by the gym or its employees’ own negligence. This extends to premise liability, a concept we’ve explored before. As any business, gyms must take reasonable steps to assure the safety of their premises, including regular inspections of the facilities for defects and potential dangers. This means keeping equipment in good working order, securing objects such as free weights, cleaning up spills of water around locker rooms, and making sure there’s adequate security so that members don’t become those of violent crimes.

If you’ve been injured in a gym and the staff should’ve been aware of a potential injury risk and failed to take action, you may have a valid premises liability claim — even if you’ve signed a waiver. In New Mexico, contact the Atkinson Law Firm in Albuquerque for your free consultation!

Scott Atkinson (264 Posts)

Scott concentrates on serious personal injury cases. He believes that a catastrophic injury does not just affect the victim; it also dramatically impacts the victim’s family. Scott is in Albuquerque to fight for you to recover your New Mexico accident losses!