Gym memberships have significantly increased in number over the years. In the United States, there are currently 50 million individuals with gym memberships. With the steady increase in the amounts of people flocking to the gym over the years comes the increased risk of gym related injuries. Sometimes the injury is the fault of the gym owner, manager, or even a personal trainer.
If you or a loved one sustains an injury at the fault of another person, it is imperative to retain an experienced attorney. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to help. Our attorneys represent accident victims and their families throughout Miami Dade, Miami Beach, The Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Broward, and West Palm Beach.
The Inherent Risk of Injury and Related Laws
There is an inherent risk for injury when exercising at a gym or fitness center. If you sustain an injury due to the negligence of the gym owner, staff member, or operator, this may entitle you to compensation. For this reason, gym owners, personal trainers, and operators generally ask you to sign a general waiver and release form that releases them from liability in the event that you sustain an injury in the gym. Despite your signing the waiver, you may not be prevented from pursuing a claim of negligence.
There are countless ways that a gym owner’s, person trainer’s, or operator’s negligence can injure you in the gym. The list includes, but is certainly not limited to, broken parts on equipment causing malfunctions when used, poorly maintained equipment, barbells that are not assembled properly, damaged cords, and the incorrect placement or assembly of equipment. Additionally, you may bring a claim under premises liability when the gym floor is poorly maintained causing a slip and fall, poor electrical work, and poorly located furniture.
Lastly, personal trainers are held to a reasonable standard of care. If you are injured while following the instructions of your personal trainer, you may have the grounds for a negligence claim.
What to Know if You are Injured
First and foremost, you should seek medical attention if you are injured at the gym. This will not only safeguard your wellbeing, it will ensure that you have the proper documentation that is needed for your insurance claim and for filing a legal claim. After seeking medical attention, you should report your injury to the gym’s management. It is important that you obtain a copy of this incident report. Take photos of the injury and the source of the injury, such as faulty equipment. If there were witnesses to your injury, you should gather their contact information.
These cases are normally settled outside of court. Nevertheless, if no settlement is reached, you will want to file your lawsuit with a court with proper jurisdiction. To win your case, you must be able to at least prove negligence. This requires establishing the following elements by the preponderance of the evidence:
- That the person at fault (“Defendant”) owed you (“Plaintiff”) a duty of care;
- That Defendant breached said duty;
- That Defendant’s breach was the actual cause of your injury; (
- That Defendant’s breach was the proximate (foreseeable) cause of your injury; and
- That you were indeed injured or suffered some loss/damages.
Yet, please be advised that you must file your lawsuit no later than four years from the date you were injured, or from the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered your injury. If, however, the city, state or government caused your injury, the limitations period is three years. This is Florida’s statute of limitations and this rule must be strictly adhered to. If you do not file your lawsuit during this window you are most likely barred from a later filing.
If you or a loved one was injured at the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have the resources and skills for your case. We are experienced Miami personal injury attorneys, resourceful advocates, and aggressive litigators for clients seeking to recover damages for the full extent of their losses from negligent individuals, business operators, and corporations. Contact our attorneys for a FREE consultation. Se Habla Espanol.