Are CrossFit Gyms Liable for Injuries?

Like with any other physical activity, injuries can happen at the gym. When CrossFit training members get hurt, both the gyms and the members might wonder who’s liable for those injuries. As an attorney, like a professional athletes attorney from a law firm like the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt, can explain, here’s what you need to know about who’s on the hook for your injuries:

In most cases, you assume the risk.

Generally, the gym isn’t liable when you suffer a personal injury. That’s because it’s reasonable to assume that you might get hurt at the gym. You might sprain your ankle, tear a muscle, or even have a serious injury. When you participate in sports, these are predictable events. Even though both you and the gym have likely taken steps to prevent this from happening, you can’t prevent everything. If you suffer a minor or even serious injury while doing CrossFit, the gym isn’t liable for your injuries. In most cases, you’ll sign a liability waiver before you join the gym. These waivers are generally enforceable if you sustain an injury.

It’s up to you to make sure that you’re ready for the physical activity that you plan to undertake. In most cases, it’s the person who goes to the gym who has the responsibility to make sure that they’re choosing an exercise routine that’s appropriate for them. They should know their fitness level, their past injuries, and their physical limitations.

Premises Liability

There’s one exception for when a gym might be liable for a patron’s injuries. This is called premises liability. All gyms, including CrossFit training facilities, have an obligation to keep their spaces clean and safe for the people who use it. Gym owners have to make sure that there aren’t loose items or debris in the gym that can cause injury. That means cleaning up water bottles, stray pieces of equipment, and even loose cords or wires.

A gym owner’s potential liability usually has nothing to with the activities that happen at the facility. Instead, responsibilities may include clearing sidewalks, making sure that there aren’t tripping hazards anywhere in the gym, and providing reasonable security and training for employees. These are the same premises liability standards that apply to any business.

A business has a reasonable amount of time to notice and fix dangers on their property. If someone sets a piece of equipment on the floor and you trip on it three seconds later, chances are, there’s nothing that the gym could have done to notice the stray piece of equipment and put it away. However, if someone spills water on the floor and it’s still there four hours later, the court might agree that gym employees had plenty of time to notice and clean up the spill. 

Premises Liability and Reasonable Responsibility

People who go to the gym know that injuries can happen. It’s up to them to take that risk when they choose to go to the gym. At the same time, gym owners have a duty to keep their facility safe. While a gym owner might be liable for failing to keep their property clean, they’re generally not liable if you’re injured while working out. 

Premises liability laws can be very complicated when they apply to gyms. Never hesitate to reach out to a personal injury lawyer if you have any questions about this type of liability.