When most Californians head to the gym, the last thing they expect to gain is a Long Beach personal injury lawsuit. However, workouts can result in a variety of injuries — from sprains and strains to serious conditions that cause permanent disabilities. Before you accept a free month of gym membership to resolve your claim, it’s important to understand your rights.
Gym Waivers and Disclaimers
Most gym and fitness-related businesses understand the dangers associated with exercise, especially with heavy weights and intense workouts. For this reason, most gyms insist that members sign a “waiver of liability” or “assumption of risk” before entering the facility. Other gyms have clearly posted disclaimers that you are working out at your own risk.
These waivers and disclaimers release the facility and its employees from personal injury lawsuits involving:
- Improper use of gym equipment,
- An employee’s negligent acts, and
- The negligence of other members.
Unfortunately, many of these waivers will be upheld in court. Under most circumstances, courts consider these waivers binding — even if you did not fully read the waiver or release.
Gyms Are Liable for Certain Injuries — Even If You Signed a Waiver
However, gyms cannot fully protect themselves from liability by demanding waivers. In California, you may be able to sue a gym if:
- You were intentionally injured by someone at the gym,
- The gym neglected to repair broken or defective equipment (and allowed you to work out on it), or
- It was grossly negligent.
In other cases, the waiver may be unenforceable if it violates public policy or is overly broad. A lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding your claim and help you determine whether you have a Long Beach personal injury lawsuit.
Product Liability Claims and Exercise Equipment
Even if you signed a valid waiver or release of liability, you may have a product liability case against a manufacturer or retailer who sold defective exercise equipment. A signed gym waiver will not cover a product liability claim against a manufacturer or retailer.
What Should You Do After a Gym Accident?
If you sustained serious injuries at a gym or fitness studio, you should immediately seek medical treatment. You should always give an accurate explanation of your injuries to your doctors and other medical providers. If your doctors have a good understanding of your accident, they can use this information to correctly diagnosis and treat your injuries. And, later on, these medical records can play an important role in assessing and litigating your Long Beach personal injury lawsuit.
You should also document any dangerous conditions that resulted in your injuries. Pictures, witness statements, and other information can help establish gross negligence. Your personal injury lawyer can help you investigate your claim and build evidence against the gym and other responsible parties.
Finally, if your injuries were caused by an intentional act, contact law enforcement. In addition to a personal injury lawsuit, the perpetrator may be subject to criminal prosecution. (Police reports will also help substantiate your claims in a personal injury case.)
Talk to Our Lawyers About Your Long Beach Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you were injured while exercising at a gym or fitness studio, you may have a Long Beach personal injury lawsuit. Do not assume that your gym’s waiver protects them from liability. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Russell & Lazarus can help you evaluate your claim and seek fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.