Can I File A Lawsuit If I Have A Gym-Related Injury?
Across the Washington D.C metropolitan area, many individuals follow a healthy and active lifestyle. For those who go to the gym on a daily basis, a gym-related injury can obviously occur at any time. This can mean any type of physical injury from lifting heavy weights or performing improper workout form or techniques.
But, there are specific cases where a gym or fitness center can be liable for your injuries. It’s a requirement for gyms and fitness centers to keep their members and visitors safe. When they fail to meet these expectations, there could be serious consequences from the damages. So, how exactly do these cases work in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area?
What Are The Most Common Gym-Related Injuries?
When someone visits a fitness center, they are often aware of the risk of using their equipment and services. However, the majority of these injuries that these members experience are not caused by the gym itself and therefore, cannot go forward in taking legal action. For instance, if you pull a muscle at a gym while using equipment, twist your ankle, or break a bone, you will not be eligible for any compensation. This is because members and guests are asked to sign liability waivers, protecting the fitness facilities from most potential claims. While the injuries caused by gym accidents can vary incredibly, there are some injuries that occur more often than others:
- Head injuries – head injuries can range from minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries or TBIs. TBIs can result in severe symptoms that would require medical treatment. In most cases, head injuries require emergency room treatment or hospitalization. In severe cases, the victim may result in death
- Knee injuries – Knee injuries, especially torn ACLs, are one of the most common exercise-related injuries in both younger and older individuals. These injuries need medical attention. In like ACL tears, you may need surgery to improve stability
- Back and spinal injuries – Injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis and other severe neurological and sensory impairments
- Shoulder injuries – Accidents caused by gym equipment or poor supervision can result in shoulder dislocations or more severe forms of shoulder injuries. Moreover, these injuries are often treated with surgery followed by extensive physical therapy.
- Sprains and fractures – Gym accidents can also result in minor to severe bone injuries. In some cases, the impact of the ground could cause minor sprains, in others; it could cause debilitating bone breakage that may result in temporary disability. Some of the common fractures that victims suffer include hip, spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.
Ways To Overcome A Liability Waiver From A Gym-Related Injury
All business and property owners owe a duty to their customers and visitors to keep their premises safe from any harm. Gyms are no exception to this rule. Reasonable measures are required to be taken to ensure the safety of their facility by regularly inspecting it for potential hazards and fixing them as soon as possible. If the gym owner knew about any dangers or should have been aware of it, they may be held liable for anything that resulted in any injuries from those dangers. In Washington, D.C., § 47–2853.195.: Fiduciary duties of a property manager covers all the responsibilities that need to be taken as a property owner or manager.
Many health and fitness club owners try their best to limit their liability for any injuries. To prevent this from happening, they generally require members and visitors of the facility to sign a liability waiver. This document states that the guest or member waives their right to sue the gym for any injuries.
Here are a few ways your attorney may use to fight against the liability waiver you may have signed:
- Vague and obscure language – This typically means the wording of the waiver was unclear and a reasonable person would have a hard time understanding it
- Gross negligence – If the health and fitness club showed any type of careless behavior for the member or guest’s safety, your personal injury lawyer may argue that the waiver of liability should not come to an effect
- Public policy – In favor of the public health and safety, the court may come to a decision to not enforce a waiver of liability
How To Prove Your Gym-Related Injury Case?
All in all, it is very unlikely to file a lawsuit against the gym for any personal accidents. For example, a pulled muscle, or an injury due to improper use of the gym equipment. If your injuries are caused by an accident in occurrence of the negligence of the gym staff or owners, it is possible to pursue a claim. A property owner can be held liable for the damages of an accident caused by their negligence regardless of the liability waiver. With every lawsuit involving premises liability, there must be proof that the following was present in your case:
- There was a dangerous condition or potentially hazardous condition on the facility. This could mean a poorly conditioned workout equipment or a slippery floor, which resulted in an unreasonable risk of harm
- Gym or health and fitness owner was or should have known about the dangerous situation
- The gym owner failed to warn guests of a reasonable condition. They also did not take reasonable precautions to resolve the issue
- The hazardous event that occurred resulted in the injury of the guest, visitor, or client
In addition, it is highly crucial that you gather all the evidence you can to support your claims. This can include photographs, medical records, security cameras, or eyewitness testimonies. Regardless of the evidence you collect, it is extremely important that you report your incident as soon as possible. If you wait too long to report your accident, your claims of liability will most likely be denied.
Contact Our Attorneys Today!
The best way to see if you are able to pursue a claim against a gym is to speak with an experienced attorney. Here at Malloy Law Offices, LLC our consultations are free. Our lawyers have years of experience of handling premises liability cases. Moreover, they will guide you through every step of the way with your gym-related injury case. Call us at (888) 607-8690 to start your case.