Hundreds of millions of people visit the gym every year, and over 4 million of them end up in the emergency room because of exercise-related injuries. If you've recently been injured at the gym, you may wonder if you can sue for damages, and if so, whether you should sue your gym or your personal trainer. Suing after an injury at the gym can be complicated by a multitude of factors, including the waivers you likely had to sign to enter the gym and the legal doctrine of "assumption of personal risk," which may prevent a personal injury claim. However, in certain situations, your gym or personal trainer can still be at fault for an injury that occurs while you are at the gym.
What Is Covered By Waivers
When you joined your gym, you likely had to sign a waiver saying that you wouldn't hold the facility financially responsible should you be injured while exercising. However, these waivers do not—and cannot—cover every injury. If your injury resulted from intentional or reckless conduct by the facility, an employee, or a fellow customer, the waiver likely doesn't apply. So, if defective equipment or another customer at the gym caused your injury, the waiver you signed won't be enough to keep the gym safe from legal action.
If rather than your gym facility, you believe the injury is the fault of a personal trainer, you can sue for negligence. Check out this article for more information on suing a personal trainer for negligence.
What To Do If You're Injured At The Gym
If you are injured at the gym and plan to pursue legal action, there are several important steps that should be taken. The most important factor in a successful case is evidence, so be sure to collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
Report the Injury
You should immediately report your injury to the gym's staff as soon as possible and get medical attention quickly if needed. Waiting to report the injury may help the case of the gym, which could claim that your injury was not as serious as you claimed because you waited so long to report it.
Find people who may have seen you get hurt or who can verify the issue that caused the injury. Ask all witnesses for their full names and contact information. Witness reports can lend credence to your claim and help clarify what really happened.
Keep detailed records of everything that may apply to your claim. Make note of names and job descriptions of everyone you spoke to at the gym. Make note of every time you speak to gym management or insurance. Take photos of the site of your injury if there's evidence that could help your case. If you get medical care, request copies of your medical records to detail the extent of your injuries. Also, keep copies of medical bills and receipts for other injury-related expenses.
Find Legal Representation
The most important thing you should do if you're planning to sue your gym or personal trainer is to find a lawyer. If you're in the New York area and want to look into seeking damages for an injury, contact Smiley & Smiley LLP Attorneys at Law here.