When you sign up to a gym or a recreational activity (where injuries could occur), you’ll often be presented with a liability waiver that you need to sign. This contract can contain an excluding liability for personal injury clause, which means you agree to exercise/participate at your risk and the gym or recreational facility cannot be held liable for any of your injuries.
But what happens if you’re injured, and you’re not at fault – can you make a personal injury claim? Excluding liability for personal injury in a contract is a complicated matter, so if you find yourself in this situation, we highly recommend you speak to a personal injury lawyer.
What is excluding liability?
If you “exclude liability” in a contract, it means you are not held liable if an accident occurs while a customer is using your service. However, an exclusion clause can not absolve the gym/recreational centre of its duty of care to patrons.
Can you exclude liability for personal injury?
As mentioned, you can exclude liability for personal injuries. But, if the injury occured due to a breach of duty of care or negligence, the gym will be liable for damages. Gyms and recreational activities (that require you to sign waiver), have a duty of care to:
- Provide you with a safe and secure environment
- Ensure any equipment is safe, meets industry standards, warns the users of potential risks of using the equipment and also has instructions.
- Ensure any personal trainers are aware of the gym user’s limitations.
So, can I sue even if I signed a waiver?
Yes, providing you can prove the gym breached their duty of care or were negligent. If a gym user has injured themselves due to overexertion, using the equipment carelessly or unintentionally by dropping weights, the gym won’t be liable.
Find out more: Can You Sue a Gym For Injury?
What am I entitled to in a gym injury claim?
If you have been injured at the gym, you may be entitled to claim for compensation for the following:
- Reimbursement of medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering lump sum payments: How Do You Calculate Compensation Payout Amounts For Pain And Suffering?
- Compensation for past and future economic loss
- Future medical expenses
- Costs of at-home care
- Personal injury claim time limits
- Public liability
- Personal injury lawyer cost
- Compensation payout amount
After signing a waiver, most people will assume they have no rights to make a personal injury claim – however this is not always the case. If you’ve been injured at the gym or while doing a recreational activity, talk to the personal injury lawyers at Owen Hodge. We can answer any questions about excluding liability for personal injury and help guide you through the compensation claim process. Call us on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.
Frequently asked questions
Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), businesses have a responsibility to guarantee that their activities/services will be provided with due care and skill. This means you cannot exclude liability for negligence.
So if a person using your services is injured, or dies, and it was because of your negligence, they may be able to hold you liable for not complying with the ACL’s consumer guarantees.
Excluding liability for personal injury can be complicated to navigate, so make sure you speak to a personal injury lawyer sooner than later.
The terms ‘negligence’ and ‘gross negligence’ appear regularly in discussions of legal matters, however many people do not understand the difference between these two terms. Negligence is the failure to use the level of care and caution that a reasonable person would use in a similar circumstance – oftentimes a careless mistake or inattention that causes an injury.
Gross negligence, on the other hand, is the deliberate and reckless disregard for the safety and reasonable treatment of others. In both cases, the fundamental disregard for responsibility must directly cause harm to another person, another person’s property, or both.
If you have been injured and it was due to a personal trainer’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim for compensation. However, you must ensure that before you start training with a personal trainer, you fully disclose all relevant information about your health; this includes existing injuries and health concerns.