What Happens When You Are Injured at the Gym?

Many gyms offer participants the ability to become members. A membership usually includes documentation explaining the rights and use of the facility. Individuals who aren’t members can still sign paperwork or accept certain terms and conditions of the facility.

If equipment isn’t used properly, or members don’t use caution when navigating hazards, it is possible for accidents to occur that could inflict injury on one or more people. Although liability may seem confusing to some, membership documents often explain who is responsible.

Liability in the Gym

The owners and management of any gym or fitness club are responsible for safety. This includes equipment, the outside and inside staircases, the security of dangerous objects, and the prevention of spillages on the floor. The gym could be held responsible for injuries that result from hazards that were not addressed or explained to members. The majority of states have a system that places additional legal obligations on property owners depending on their relationship with the victim. The more intimate the relationship, the greater the importance of the duties. If a state has a system that distinguishes duties of property owners towards trespassers and licensees, it may use this system. Customers are often referred to as invitees, who are owed a greater duty of care. State-specified duties to invitees usually include warning customers of dangers that they are not aware of, checking periodically for unknown dangers and taking prompt corrective action when hazards are discovered.

These facilities should have medical equipment in order to provide immediate treatment for any emergency. Many states require training to help with initial treatment of any medical or accident issues.


Many facilities include waivers as part of their membership documents. These waivers can be for adults or children and include stipulations about when or why the gym cannot be held responsible. This could also mean that manufacturers, partners, affiliates, and other parties cannot be held responsible for any damages caused by issues.

Waivers can be used to allow for trial periods, full membership, or as a guest. The waiver generally operates to explain when the facility can and cannot be sued.

The waiver may contain broad terms that allow for a variety of activities. You may also find that they state that anyone participating in the facility accepts all risks of injury if they don’t use the equipment according to instructions.

A waiver can be used to waive certain rights after documentation has been signed. This can create problems in cases involving liability and injury. The document signed often removes all responsibility from the gym, no matter how severe the injury to the member. These articles are often used due to the frequent injuries that occur in gyms and fitness clubs. If the facility were responsible for any injuries that occurred in the building, revenue would be at risk.

Waiving rights may also apply to injuries caused by a pre-existing condition. Waivers do not cover injuries that could cause death in the gym. Extraordinary circumstances may apply if staff, management, or trainers deliberately or recklessly hurt a member of the gym’s team or participant in a game.

Challenging Waivers

A lawyer may be needed to determine whether a waiver is valid and can be challenged in court. It is important to carefully analyze the terms of the document. A judge will usually decide if the waiver is valid based on the severity or inadequacy of the injury and the waiver clauses. It may not be accepted by the court if the information is too extensive. Additionally, a waiver will not be held up if it violates public policy. The gym or club is responsible to prevent harm upon members, and if they have not done this, they may still be held liable for compensation or damages.

Seek Counsel

An attorney who is familiar with liability in relation to health and fitness centers can provide information about liability, responsibility, and waivers. To determine whether a claim is viable, he or she can evaluate it. To determine if a waiver may affect a person’s rights, or block a claim, he or she can read it. He or she may also evaluate other defenses, including contributory negligence, comparative negligence, and assumption of risk. This will help to determine how they might affect the claim.

Updated 1/07/2022