Can I sue a gym for an injury in California?


If you want to stay active and improve your health, you may decide to join a gym. When you exercise with equipment, you should always use the proper technique and ask for help if you need it from staff or fellow gym-goers. Nevertheless, even when you take the necessary precautions to be safe while working out, accidents and injuries can still happen. If you or a loved one has sustained a gym injury, you may wonder whether you can pursue legal action for your damages. Please continue reading to learn when you can hold a gym liable for an injury and how our skilled Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorneys can help you today. 

Can I take legal action against a gym for an injury sustained while working out?

When you suffer an injury at a gym, the extent to which the gym can be liable for damages depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. In most cases, pursuing legal action can be difficult for the injured party due to the assumption of risk. This legal doctrine limits the gym’s liability for certain injuries because individuals who engage in physical activity at the gym know the inherent risk of injury yet still voluntarily expose themselves to the known danger; they are responsible for their injuries. They knowingly took on the risk of injury.

Although you signed a liability waiver when applying for a gym membership and are subject to its terms, that does not preclude you from pursuing legal action for your damages. When you sign a liability waiver, you waive your right to sue in the event of certain injuries that fall under the foreseeable risks associated with engaging in physical activity, such as muscle strains from lifting too much weight and injuries from misusing equipment. However, when a gym injury arises due to gross negligence, you can file a claim to seek monetary compensation for your injuries.

When can a gym be held responsible for damages in California?

As mentioned above, a gym can be held responsible for an injury under certain circumstances. In California, property owners are legally obligated to maintain a safe environment for their members by remedying unsafe property conditions or providing adequate warnings of potentially dangerous situations to avoid accidents and injuries. This means they must regularly clean workout areas, properly maintain machines, repair or replace broken equipment, and use clear signage to indicate to members what equipment to avoid using while getting repaired. If they fail to address hazardous property conditions, the gym can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a direct result of their negligence. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor or suffer an injury due to a defective piece of equipment, the gym may bear liability.

Nevertheless, it’s imperative to note that despite being able to take legal action for certain injuries that arise from gross negligence, California is a comparative negligence state. This means that you could be assigned a degree of fault for the cause of your injuries. In such cases, being partially at fault for causing your injuries would reduce the amount you can recover for your damages. That said, it’s vital to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can help you investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather evidence to maximize your chances of achieving the maximum compensation.

If you’ve suffered a gym injury due to negligence, contact our dedicated legal team at the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady, who can help you fight for the justice you deserve.