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Ironically, while many people join gyms or fitness centers in order to stay healthy, those same places can pose many risks of serious injury to their members. Every year, thousands of people are injured in gyms and fitness centers in slip and fall accidents, or by improperly maintained exercise equipment. Heavy weights, hard floors, slick surfaces like pools or shower floors, and large metal machines all contribute to a dangerous environment.

In most scenarios, if you are injured on the premises of a business you may be eligible to file a Morris County premises liability claim in order to recover compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately recovering compensation for injuries you sustain at a gym can often be much more difficult, for one very important reason.

Gym or Fitness Center Injuries and Liability Waivers Parsippany, NJ

When joining a gym or fitness center, members are almost always required to sign what is known as a "liability waiver". This waiver is usually buried in the stack of papers you are given when applying for a gym membership, but is one of the most critical documents that you will sign.

Liability waivers protect the company from liability in the event that a member is injured, even if the injury involved negligence on behalf of the company, or its employees. In many cases involving injuries sustained at a gym or health center, the liability waiver the injured party signed will allow for the gym's lawyers to request a summary judgement to dismiss your case, basically meaning your claim will be denied before ever really starting.

However, there are two situations in which an injured party may still recover compensation from a gym or fitness center, even if they have signed a liability waiver.

I Have a Signed Liability Waiver, Can I Still Recover Compensation for my Injuries in Morris County?

There are two scenarios in which a party injured at a gym or fitness center may still be able to recover compensation despite having signed a liability waiver.

The first case is if and when the liability waiver was written in such a confusing or ambiguous way that even if someone had read it carefully, they still would not be able to reasonably understand its terms. However, as more and more liability waiver case law develops, companies are becoming smarter when it comes to creating liability waivers which avoid this legal loophole. Most businesses will borrow legal language from other liability waivers which have stood up to court scrutiny in this area in the past, so most modern liability waivers will be considered reasonable and understandable to the parties signing them.

The other scenario in which an injured party may be able to recover compensation despite having signed a liability waiver is when their injuries were the result of "gross negligence", rather than "ordinary negligence". Ordinary negligence, generally, is the failure to behave in a reasonably careful way in terms of the duties that the business has towards ensuring the safety of others. This generally includes things like "forgetting", "overlooking", or "failing to notice" situations or issues which have the potential to cause injury.

Conversely, gross negligence refers to a conscious choice to ignore this same duty of care that the company owes to visitors or members of its premises, even if they know almost certainly that an issue will cause injury. In the case of a gym, for example, if the gym or one of its employees has repeatedly been notified about a safety hazard such as a broken weight machine, but have made no effort to repair the machine or restrict access to it, this can be a case of gross negligence.

Liability waivers legally cannot protect companies from acts of gross negligence, so if you believe your gym or health center injuries are the result of gross negligence, you should speak with your Morris County premises liability attorney about the possibility of recovering compensation for your injuries despite having signed a liability waiver.

Contact a Morristown Premises Liability Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Smith & Doran, we have extensive experience helping clients across Parsippany, Randolph, Roxbury, Mt. Olive, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to recover compensation in personal injury cases of all kinds, including slip and fall cases, premises liability cases, and injuries which occurred at a gym or fitness center due to gross negligence.

Founding partner Robert A. Smith personally handles all personal injury cases. Robert Smith is a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney, an elite distinction held by only 2% of the active lawyers in the state. This certification is a testament to Mr. Smith's trial skills, legal knowledge, and ability to communicate with clients when it comes to civil injury law, and he is ready to put these skills to work for you today and help you recover the compensation you need and deserve for accident and injury cases of any kind.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm and Robert Smith today regarding your options for recovering compensation in a personal injury or workers' compensation claim, please contact us online, or through our Morristown office at 973-532-2661.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
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