What Gives Liability Waivers Their Strength?

Categories: Personal Injury

With the arrival of summer, there are those who want to get that beach body before hitting the sand of their favorite summer getaway. And so they go to the gym; with all its heavy machinery, one can accomplish more than one would normally be able to without access to a gym and its equipment.

A very good means of working out the upper body happens to be the weight rack. If you start small like the 5-30 rack, putting back or putting down the weights is a simple task. However, once you get into the 100s to the several hundreds range you find that people start dropping their weights just as they finish their set. That’s because those individuals train in their set just before muscle failure so by the time they finish, they don’t have as much strength to gracefully place the weight back or down.

Problem with this is that dropping such a large weight in front of you leaves one incredibly vulnerable to injury. Namely an injury that you can create yourself. For that reason, gyms have liability waivers. These waivers relieve gyms from liability from such self-induced injuries that a person would actually be able to sue a gym for if they didn’t have these waivers. So in personal injury, what is it that gives these waiver power and protection?

Time of release: Most waivers have a list of events whose liability they are excluded from and these events are related to the type of area that the waiver applies to. However, when it comes to unforeseen events that weren’t thought possible like say a slowly eroding weight cracking and falling on a person’s leg. The gym would be liable for that as that event was unforeseen and couldn’t have been anticipated, but it requires further investigation.

Visibility: Releases of liability must be visible to all patrons and must be written in such a manner that the “event of exclusion” can not be interpreted in any other way than what is intended. Otherwise, this leaves the gym vulnerable.

Alignment with public policy: The strength of a waiver is bolstered when the document is aligned with the public laws meant to protect the public. There are many industries and fields that are heavily regulated by the state for the purpose of protecting the public, but when a company within that industry seeks to create a waiver that diminishes those regulations already in place, that waiver has less strength because of it’s attempt to undo a rule that was established to protect the public.

If you have questions about a case, contact a personal injury attorney  like the lawyers at Eric Roy Law Firm for help.