Seriously Injured At The Gym: Who Pays?

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When You’re Injured At The Gym

All workout routines; Crossfit, Zumba, and even running on the treadmill can come with some inherent risks. You can pull a muscle, or drop a weight on your toe.
Sometimes, when you’re injured at the gym, it’s easy to “walk it off.” But other times, it’s worse than you expect. The medical bills can rack up fast.
While you sign a contract when you join any gym, many gym-goers don’t know whether or not the gym’s insurance will pay for your medical bills.
While we’d love to be able to tell you a magic number or magic formula, unfortunately, we can’t. There are so many factors that can influence whether you, the gym, or a third party is responsible for medical bills.
Read further to learn about potential influencing factors that can determine whose insurance will likely end up paying.

Medpay Insurance Benefits

Some businesses (and even homes) have what’s called “medpay” insurance benefits. Medpay insurance will provide payment for a portion of medical bills regardless of fault.
If your injuries resulted in relatively small medical bills, you may want to consider calling the gym to find out if they’ve purchased this insurance option. If their promised portion covers your bills, or a percentage that you think is manageable, it could save you a lot of future stress.
*HOWEVER, If your injury was extensive enough that it will likely result in future medical bills, medpay may not be the way to go. Signing on to a limit may end up causing problems if you require unexpected treatment later down the line.
We would recommend finding out if your gym has medpay coverage and what their limit is. It’s never a bad idea to know what your options are.

Liability Waivers

Most gyms have some form of liability waivers. Because of the nature of working out, gym owners understand the risks, and liability waivers will protect them from frivolous lawsuits.
Fitness centers have varying degrees of liability waivers. We’ve listed a few common examples below, but this is by no means a comprehensive list.

  • Total Waiver of Liability. This means that the gym is not liable for any injury that occurs on their property. We’ve written about these types of waivers before when it comes to obstacle 5ks. In some cases, Total Waivers may be found unenforceable in court.
  • Waiver for Negligence. This type of waiver prevents gym members from suing the gym for an injury caused by the gym or its employees’ own negligence.
  • Waiver of Liability for Intentional Acts. This one is obvious; it prevents gym members from suing the gym after an intentional or reckless act ends up hurting someone.

If you haven’t filed the waiver you signed while joining the gym, you may be able to call and request a copy. Read what their waiver covers.
If you’re unsure what it means (and we don’t recommend ever signing anything you don’t understand) a personal injury attorney may be able to look over the contents during a free consultation.

Breach Of Duty Of Care

Once you’ve gathered the information in these avenues, if you still feel that the gym should be held accountable, there’s no reason not to at least talk to an attorney.
Most personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation, and may be able to gauge whether or not you have a case.
Don’t think that your options end when you sign a liability waiver. Gym goers are still within their rights to expect a certain level of care from the gym. There are circumstances, even in total waivers of liability in which the gym may be liable.
It may not even be the gym who is at fault. If you were injured by a faulty piece of workout equipment for example, you may have a case against the manufacturer of the equipment.
Please give us a call at 314-444-4444 if you have any questions, or are interested in a free consultation with us.

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