While gyms can be an excellent resource for individuals who want to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle, these fitness facilities do come with inherent risks of injury. Although injured parties cannot pursue legal action for their careless or overzealous actions while working out at a fitness center, they may be able to hold the gym liable if they were injured due to factors outside of their control from gross negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered a gym injury, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of our determined Prince George’s County Personal Injury Lawyers, who can help you consider your legal options. Please continue reading to learn when a gym may be held accountable for an injury.
Does a liability waiver preclude you from filing a lawsuit?
When you enroll for a gym membership, you must sign a contract stipulating that you may be subject to its terms and that you cannot sue the gym for certain injuries. Essentially, it limits the gym’s liability for injuries. Often, injured parties mistakenly believe that they are barred from filing a claim because they signed a liability waiver. However, signing a liability waiver does not mean you have waived all your rights to sue in the event of an injury. While these waivers can protect a gym from liability for many injuries, it can still be held accountable for gross negligence.
Nevertheless, it’s imperative to note that it can be argued that you assumed the risk of injury while working out at the gym. The “assumption of risk” is a legal doctrine under which an injured party is barred from recovering damages for an injury when they voluntarily expose themselves to a known danger. Essentially, as a gym member, you know that you could potentially get injured while engaging in physical activity, but you choose to participate anyway, knowing the inherent danger. Therefore, since you knowingly took on the risks, you would bear liability for your injuries.
When can a gym be held liable for damages in Maryland?
Fortunately, even if you signed a liability waiver, you still have the right to file a claim if the gym was grossly negligent. The gym is responsible for maintaining a safe environment by repairing unsafe property conditions and providing adequate warnings of potentially dangerous situations. If workout areas, machines, and equipment are not regularly cleaned, inspected, and maintained, there is a liability risk. Property owners are not the only parties that can be held liable for any injury. Equipment manufacturers can also be responsible for injuries if they deliver a faulty machine.
As you can see, a liability waiver may not preclude you from filing a claim against a gym for damages. However, these cases can be challenging to prove. As such, it’s in your best interest to retain the legal services of a seasoned lawyer from the legal team at Timian & Fawcett, LLC, who can help you fight to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve to help get you back on your feet.