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Gym injuries are not unusual -- after all, that's where you go to get physically fit and sometimes you overdo it. But when things go awry and you find yourself injured because someone else did something stupid or negligent or irresponsible, they may be liable. Here are five legal tips for gym members.
People get hurt working out, and so it is common practice for a gym to have you sign a waiver when you join, or even when you just take a single class. Still, no business can waive all responsibility for anything that happens and courts have found waivers to be void in some gym injury negligence cases. So do read your waiver carefully, but don't assume that you can't sue if you signed one and were injured at the gym due to someone else's negligence.
Every business owes its patrons a duty of care. In the case of a gym, the management has a duty to keep premises safe and clean and free of spills and obstacles that could endanger you. If your gym is negligent in its efforts to keep the place reasonably safe and you are injured as a result, consult with a lawyer about your options. Under premises liability law, gyms must inspect for defects and can be held responsible for problems that they should have known about even if they were unaware.
CrossFit is but one of many gym crazes that, though effective, is not for everyone. A 2012 study found that the training markedly improves fitness but several test subjects were unable to continue because they were injured. That study has been used in lawsuits by gym users and an owner. If you're feeling less than fit after a CrossFit stint, consider talking to a lawyer, in addition to a physician.
Suing a personal trainer if you are injured as a result of your work with them is an option. You will have to prove all the elements of a negligence case -- duty, breach, causation, and harm. Familiarize yourself with these and you will know the basics of personal injury claims. Your trainer is only responsible for damages if their negligence caused your harm.
If your gyms offers massages and you are injured as a result of a session that doesn't soothe, the principles of personal injury apply. A massage therapist owes you a duty of care -- no question there. So, if you prove that the duty was breached and that massage was the cause of your injury, you will recover damages ... and hopefully in time your physical fitness.
If you've been injured at the gym or elsewhere and you believe it was due to someone's negligence, talk to a lawyer. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your claim.
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