Gym Liability for Personal Injuries and Accidents
Can You Hold the Gym Liable for Your Injuries?
Individuals who experience an injury while at the gym are able to recover monetary damages. West Coast Trial Lawyers has handled several types of premises liability cases. Under California law, an owner or trainer can be held liable for their negligent actions if it contributes to a gym member getting injured. Common gym accidents include:
- Faulty equipment,
- Slip and fall injury,
- Lack of equipment maintenance,
- Hazardous conditions,
- Negligent employees,
- Intentional behavior exhibited by an employee,
- Irresponsible gym members, or
- Altercations between individuals utilizing the facility.
Once the accident occurs, you may not be able to fully comprehend what just happened. There are a variety of factors that may come into play. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the gym if you sustained any injuries, such as the ones listed above. A thorough investigation is needed to ensure that the final decision of the cause is correctly determined. If the incident applies to California law standards, then you will be compensated for the damages you suffered. Damages include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Punitive damages, or
- Property damage.
You must provide proof of negligence in order to recover damages after your injury. Factors for determining negligence include:
- The individual’s negligent behavior resulted in the victim’s injury,
- The individual owed the victim a duty of care, or
- The individual violated the duty of care due to their negligent behavior.
Gym Owner Liability
Under California’s premises liability law, it is required for a gym owner to make sure that their facility is safe and that equipment is in good condition for gym members to utilize. To do so, gym owners must:
- Keep the property in good condition,
- Inspect machines to ensure they are working normally,
- Make any repairs to damaged equipment,
- Have warning signs available on equipment that is damaged and undergoing repairs, or
- Have warning signs for any general dangerous conditions within the gym facility.
Failure to do so will hold the gym owner accountable for any harm that was done because of their lack of care to gym members. This applies to gym facilities that are run by the county or city, as well. If an individual was injured in a property that was owned by the county or city, then they will be liable for damages if:
- They did not properly maintain the property,
- They were aware of the hazardous conditions during the time the accident took place,
- They were given notice about dangerous conditions, but did not act quickly to improve it, or
- A gym member was injured.
Gym Employee Liability
It is possible for a gym employee to be held liable for a gym-related accident. Under California’s Respondeat Superior laws, an employer is responsible for any form of negligent hiring or supervision of their employees. If an employee is not appropriately conducting themselves in the workplace and is committing negligent actions that result in an accident, the employer could be held liable for it. This includes:
- Not carefully supervising the facility,
- Lack of staff available to monitor the facility,
- Hiring reckless staff members, or
- Committing inappropriate actions.
Personal Trainer Liability
Personal trainers may be at-fault for a gym member’s injury. An example could be a personal trainer instructing you to perform a workout routine incorrectly, thus resulting in an injury. That personal trainer will be held liable for any injuries or damages that were caused due to their reckless instructions. The jury will then determine whether that trainer’s guidance would correlate with how another personal trainer would have handled a similar situation.
Gym Member Liability
In some circumstances, a gym member can be held responsible for committing an act that results in the injury of another gym member. Examples could be gym members not:
- Putting yoga balls or weights back in their normal places,
- Cleaning themselves after sweating all over the equipment, or
- Being aware of the individuals around them, thus potentially harming them if they are carrying gym equipment.
For the victim to prove they were harmed by another gym member, they must exhibit that individual’s negligence by showing:
- The gym member owed the victim a duty of care,
- The gym member violated this duty of care due to reckless or negligent behavior, or
- The gym member’s inappropriate actions were the main reason for a victim to suffer an injury.
There are a variety of gym facilities that incorporate waivers into their membership documents. These waivers indicate that any injuries taking place within their facilities will not be blamed on them. The waiver may be used for gym members who have a trial period membership, full-time membership, and a guest membership. Basically, any individual utilizing the facilities should be fully aware of potential risks that may come about if they do not use the equipment as instructed.
Once the document has been signed, several rights may be waived by the waiver. Regardless of how severe the injury was, the gym has no responsibility for it. Additionally, the waiver may also cover any injuries that were caused by pre-existing health conditions.
However, if there is an injury that led to an individual’s death, it is generally not covered in waivers. Also, if a facility member intentionally exhibits careless or reckless behavior, then they may be held liable, depending on the circumstances and the aftermath.
Filing a Lawsuit
You are given a two year time period to file a premises liability injury in California. If you believe that you may have been partially at-fault for your accident, you may still file a claim. Under comparative fault law, you and the gym facility may share the fault proportionally based on the level of negligence contributed by both parties involved.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a gym-related accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers has premises liability attorneys that are readily available to help you get the maximum compensation and justice you deserve. Our attorneys are determined to work tirelessly to ensure you receive a satisfactory end result for your settlement. No fees are paid until we win your case. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.