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How To Claim Compensation For Accidents In The Gym

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 5th December 2023. In this guide, we discuss accidents in the gym and how you could make a personal injury claim for gym accident compensation.

As the popularity of gyms and leisure centres has risen, more people are at risk of accidents resulting in injury. An accident at the gym can be harrowing and incredibly costly. Gym injuries can potentially vary from small afflictions to life-changing health issues. If you have suffered any form of injury, then you might be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim.

Finding the right legal recourse following an injury can be difficult ahead of filing gym injury compensation claims. If you believe that the accident was preventable, was not your fault, or was particularly costly, it can be difficult to know what you should do. This guide will lay out your available options and steer you through the claim process for your gym injury.

If you have any queries while reading our guide to gym injury claims, you can reach our team of advisers by using any of the following contact methods:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Write to us about your personal injury case using our online claim form
  • Or chat with us now using our live chat service

Select a section:

Can I Claim Compensation For An Accident In The Gym?

If you suffered a gym injury, you may be interested to know about what eligibility criteria must be met in order to claim compensation. In this section, we look at what you must be able to prove to make a gym accident claim.

Firstly, you must show that you were owed a duty of care. In a gym, this is set by the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 as the controller of the space must ensure your reasonable safety. We look at examples of how you could suffer an accident in the gym later in this guide.

In addition, a breach in the duty of care, which is known as negligence, must have resulted in your injuries.  Further into this guide, we look at what evidence you could submit to demonstrate negligence caused your injuries.

Time Limits

You must also start your personal injury claim within the limitation period. The Limitation Act 1980 sets this as being typically three years from the date of your accident.

However, if the injured party cannot start their own claim the time limit is suspended. These circumstances include:

  • Children under 18 years old. The time limit is paused until their 18th A litigation friend could be appointed to act on their behalf at any point during the pause.
  • Those who lack the mental capacity to claim also cannot start proceedings. The limitation period is suspended indefinitely in these cases. However, like with children, a litigation friend can start proceedings at any time. Should the injured party regain their capacity, they will have three years from that date to begin a claim.

Call our advisors for free legal advice. They can answer your queries about the claims process, or what evidence could be helpful. The free initial consultation could also check to see if you are still within the time limit to start a gym injury claim.

Who Is Responsible For Customer Safety In A Gym?

Gym accident compensation

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, the occupier of the premises is responsible for maintaining visitors’ care. In this instance, the occupier could be the gym operator (whether leasing or owning the building). They have a duty of care to ensure a reasonably safe environment for invited or permitted visitors. Even within the gym itself, several people might be relevant to the case. These can include (but are not limited to):

  • The occupier – it might be the centre’s management team, responsible for the well-being and security of their visitors. This could be a private business or even the local council.
  • The gym instructors – staff can instruct the gym visitors how certain equipment works and the correct methods for use. It is a position for which they must be qualified and receive the right training. If this is not the case, then they might be considered at fault. However, it is considered the management team’s responsibility to ensure that their instructors are trained properly and qualified for the position. If any of these individuals (either the gym owners, management or instructors) showed negligence and, as a result, you sustained an injury, you may have a legitimate gym accident compensation claim to be made.

If you’d like to know more about gym injury claims, continue reading or get in touch with our team today, who will be happy to help.

Is the Gym Always at Fault in an Accident Claim?

Sustaining an injury while exercising in the gym can be a very complicated issue. Many questions arise as to who is really responsible for your injury. There are certain incidents where the occupier might not be considered to be at fault for your injury. Such situations are usually dependent on whether the occupier has done their utmost to provide a safe environment for patrons. If not, then you may be able to claim gym accident compensation.

To give one example, the accident could be considered the contractor’s fault who originally constructed the gym or is performing maintenance work. Likewise, faulty machinery can sometimes be the responsibility of the manufacturer. In both situations, the occupier must strive to ensure that the environment is as safe as possible, but their responsibility can be contingent on independent parties.

As ever in the legal world, providing a definitive answer is difficult. In many situations, the occupier of the gym will indeed be responsible for your well-being, but this is not always the case.

If you would like to learn more about who might be at fault in gym accidents, speaking to a solicitor can be the best step. This can provide clarity and give you an insight into who is responsible for your injury.

What Should I Do If I Have An Accident At The Gym?

If you’ve been harmed in an accident at a gym due to another party’s negligence, there are several steps you can take if you choose to start a gym injury compensation claim. Your immediate priority after the accident should be to seek whatever medical attention you require to treat your injuries. After you’ve received medical treatment for any gym injuries, then you may want to keep the following tips in mind:

  • It can be important not to admit fault when describing the accident. However, if you think of making a claim, accidentally admitting to having acted negligently can undermine your case.
  • Gather evidence of the immediate surroundings. This can be in the form of photographs of the accident scene, which can be used as evidence when making your case.
  • As well as the accident scene, taking photographs of any faulty equipment can be very useful. The more photographs you have, the better.
  • Gather testimonies from witnesses who saw the accident. Wherever possible, get their contact information before you file any gym injury compensation claim.
  • Get a detailed medical report of the injuries you have sustained. This can include notes from a GP, X-rays, ambulance reports, and so on. Either way, it’s vital to seek medical attention.
  • Make detailed notes about the accident as you remember it. This is best done as soon as possible after the accident occurs when the memory is still fresh in your mind. Remember dates, times, and details. Be as exact as you can.
  • If you believe that you have a legitimate gym injury claim, the best advice is to reach a solicitor. They will be able to apply their legal knowledge and guide you through the gym accident compensation claims process.

Though by no means a definitive guide, the above steps can prove especially useful when you sit down and talk with a legal expert. Having as much information and evidence as possible can ensure that the claim proceeds quickly and efficiently.

To learn more about gym injury claims, please read on.

What About Disclaimers And Waivers?

As an important aside, one of the most frequent questions we encounter when dealing with gym injury claims relates to the potential existence of waivers and disclaimers. Some require gym users to sign a range of paperwork when applying. These waivers, some believe, absolve the gym from responsibility relating to accidents that cause personal injury and protect them from gym injury claims being made.

But these disclaimers and waivers are not always legally binding. For example, under the Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977, gym operators who ask members to sign a waiver or a disclaimer cannot be excluded from cases involving negligence when it applies to a personal injury. If your gym has told you that they employ such a policy, then contacting a legal representative can help ensure that you are not beholden to disclaimers and waivers that are not legally binding and help you claim gym accident compensation.

Examples Of Accidents In The Gym

An accident at the gym can happen in any number of ways. For first time visitors to a gym, the range of equipment on offer can seem daunting. Many of the machines are large, imposing, and seemingly complicated. For beginners, especially, this can be intimidating. However, given the weight, complexity, and myriad other factors relating to the machines and equipment, it should come as no surprise that accidents can occur and can lead to gym accident compensation being pursued.

This is one of the main reasons why gyms might require new members to embark on an orientation tour. And this tour will include an introduction to equipment such as:

  • Treadmills
  • Exercise Bikes
  • Rowing Machines
  • Stair Climbers
  • Weights (Kettlebells, weight plates, bars)
  • Weight Machines (For all parts of the body)
  • Chin-up bars
  • Ropes

Often, the orientation will teach members how to use this equipment. However, one of the main reasons for accidents in the gym relates to misuse, mistakes, and breakages relating to this equipment. As a result, there are a huge number of ways in which you can injure yourself while at the gym due to limited knowledge of the equipment. And any of these scenarios could lead to you claiming gym accident compensation. So, scenarios resulting in gym injury claims can include:

  • Incorrect use of weights.
  • Staff members or instructions being either misunderstood or inaccurate, relating to both the gym equipment and exercises suggested by instructors.
  • Defective gym equipment.
  • Loose gym crash mats or slippery floors.
  • Falling from exercise equipment.
  • Overheating in a sauna.
  • Objects that fall and strike you.

By their very design, many of the objects in the gym are heavy, cumbersome, or to move quickly. Unfortunately, this means that – should an accident happen – they can do serious damage.

If you’ve been harmed in any of the ways described above and want advice on making a gym accident claim, please contact our personal injury advisers today for a free initial consultation. We can offer advice on how to claim compensation under personal injury law and offer guidance on your rights.

Can I Sue A Gym For Faulty Equipment?

The question of responsibility will largely be dependent on the exact circumstances of the accident. For example, if you have injured yourself due to a broken or faulty piece of equipment and now find yourself wondering, “can I sue my gym for the injury?” then you might have a legitimate claim for gym accident compensation.

gym accident claims

Gym accident claims

As is the case with many places open to the public, the occupier must comply with laws and regulations. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (commonly referred to as the HSW Act) requires that occupiers provide safe conditions in public places. This would include a gym. Typically, the HSW Act deals with slips, trips and falls, often relating to the relationship between the employer and the employee. But it is relevant in this case, even when the equipment in question may be at fault.

The occupier of the building will need to have ensured that the equipment and machines available to the public are in full working order and comply with health and safety standards under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. In addition, the manufacturer of the equipment is responsible for ensuring that accidents do not result from errors in the manufacture or poor build quality. In either of these situations, you could have a very viable claim for gym accident compensation. As long as negligence can be proved, a gym injury claim can be pursued.

What Can I Claim For After An Accident In The Gym?

There is a range of damages and expenses which can make up your gym injury claim if you choose to pursue compensation. These include:

  • General damages – this is decided in proportion to the pain and suffering you have had to endure due to the accident. It will likely form a large part of the final total.
  • Special damages, including:
  • Loss of earnings – this will cover the earnings you have failed to make due to your injury, e.g. wages from a job you might not have been able to perform.
  • Travel Expenses – this will cover travel costs you have incurred after the accident, including train fares and taxi fees to and from the hospital or medical appointments.
  • Medical Expenses – this can include:
    • any prescription drugs you may have had to buy.
    • In addition, any visits to the doctor have cost you money.
    • Any medical equipment required, such as crutches, a wheelchair, medical braces, etc.
    • Over-the-counter drugs.
    • Any out-of-pocket expenses towards medical treatment.

This list is by no means exhaustive. However, it does give you an indication of just how much we can do to recover the costs relating to your injury. At an early juncture, we will begin to establish every way in which the injury has damaged you, your livelihood, or your financial security and claim this money back accordingly.

To learn more about what goes into a gym accident claim, please contact us today.

Compensation Payouts In Personal Injury Claims

To help calculate general damages, solicitors use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Last updated in April 2022, the JCG features compensation brackets relating to both physical and psychological injuries. The figures included are influenced by settlements awarded in previous personal injury compensation claims.

Using the JCG, we have taken figures that could relate to a gym injury to create the table below. We’ve also added a figure to the top row to help illustrate how much compensation you could receive for multiple serious injuries and your incurred expenses. However, when using the figures, please only do so as guidance. A solicitor will also assess any potential special damages relating to your leisure centre or gym injury when working out your potential settlement amount.

Injury Severity About the injury Amount
Multiple serious injuries and expenses Very Serious The settlement could include compensation for multiple serious injuries and any related expenses, such as carer costs, lost wages and prescription costs. Up to £250,000+
Back Injury Severe (i) These are the most serious degrees of back injury. They will fall short of paraplegia or tetraplegia. £91,090 to £160,980
Back Injury Moderate (i) This is a wide compensation bracket. Injuries could include crush fractures and compression injuries. £27,760 to £38,780
Neck Injury Severe (i) The most serious degree of neck injury. This could be associated with an incomplete paraplegia or similar form of injury. In the region of
Neck Injury Moderate (i) Neck fractures and dislocations which havbe to be treated straight away. These may require you to undergo a spinal fusion. £24,990 to
Leg Injury Severe (i) The claimant will be left with permanent injuries and permanent effects on someones movement ability. £96,250 to £135,920
Leg Injury Serious (iii) The claimant may have a serious compund or a comminuted bone fracture of the leg. £39,200 to £54,830
Leg Injury Moderate (iv) This may generally involve injuries to one limb such as crush injuries or multiple fractures. £27,760 to £39,200
Hand Injury Less Serious This could include a crush injury which, despite surgery, can not be fully recovered from. £14,450 to £29,000

Special Damages

Special damages are awarded to compensate for any financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of your gym injuries. For example, after a leg press accident, you could experience a loss of earnings if you need time off work to recover.

Other financial harm you might experience includes:

  • Any future loss of income that might be anticipated following your accident
  • Specialist equipment or home adaptations you require to accommodate any injuries
  • If you have paid for medication to alleviate symptoms of any injuries

It’s important to provide evidence of any financial losses, such as:

  • Wage slips
  • Invoices
  • Bank statements
  • Receipts

Get in touch for 24/7 free legal advice. Our advisors can offer more insight into what gym injury compensation you might expect to be awarded when making a successful claim.

Make A No Win No Fee Claim Today

For many injured at the gym, the potential cost of filing a claim can be a huge issue. The threat of legal fees can dissuade people from seeking the gym accident compensation they deserve. This is particularly worrisome in situations where an injury resulting from a gym-related accident has hindered a person’s earning abilities and endangered their financial security. But there is another option.

One of the best aspects of our business is our ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. This ensures that there is no need to worry about the upfront costs of your claim. We do not require payment until after the resolution of the case and, if the case is not successful, we do not require payment at all. This is also a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA. It’s a great way for people to get great legal assistance without worrying about financing issues.

To learn more about making gym injury claims with a personal injury solicitor using a No Win No Fee agreement, call us on the number at the top of this page.

Call For Legal Advice Or To Start a Claim

Suppose you sustain an injury while at the gym; you may have the right to compensation. To reach out for a consultation, you can call 0800 073 8804 and speak with one of our representatives today. If you have a case for potential gym injury compensation, we can help you fight for the settlement you deserve. Discuss your options with our team of experts and discover what makes us the best in the business.

Learn More About Personal Injury Claims Against Gyms

If you’ve been injured at a gym and want to learn as much as possible before taking the next step in claiming gym accident compensation. Below, we have some more guides you may find useful, as well as answers to some common questions.

If you still have any questions about gym accident compensation, you are welcome to contact Legal Expert for help using the contact details within this guide.

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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