Injured at a Colorado Fitness Center? How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Fitness center injuries can be compensated through a Colorado personal injury lawsuit.

These injuries are typically caused by negligent:

  • gym owners;
  • trainers;
  • other gym members; or
  • third party contractors responsible for inspection and maintenance of equipment.

How to File Your Claim

To file a personal injury claim as the result of a fitness center injury, a person who has been injured should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to file a complaint.

A complaint is:

  • a legal document
  • that sets forth the basic details and allegations
  • of the alleged personal injury case.

The case will then proceed with the defendant's answer, and the attorneys will conduct "discovery" to learn more about the facts of the case.

Below, our Colorado personal injury attorneys address frequently asked questions about fitness center injuries in personal injury lawsuits and the injuries you may have suffered:

Fitness center
To file a personal injury claim as the result of a fitness center injury, a person who has been injured should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to file a complaint.

1. Can I file a lawsuit if I was injured while in a Colorado fitness center?

Injured victims can file a personal injury lawsuit for money damages when they are injured while in a Colorado fitness center. These lawsuits are based in Colorado negligence law.

Negligence occurs in Colorado when a person fails to act in a way that a reasonably careful person would act in the same situation.

To prove negligence occurred, a person who is injured (the plaintiff) must prove:

  • that the person being sued (the defendant) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
  • that the defendant breached the duty of care;
  • that the defendant's breach was the cause of the injury; and
  • that the plaintiff sustained monetary damages from the injuries.1

1.1 What damages can I recover as part of my personal injury lawsuit?

After an accident at a Colorado fitness center, the gym may be responsible for the costs associated with your injuries.

An injured person could recover both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include:

These damages are more easily identifiable through documentary evidence and usually have a defined value.

Non-economic damages are those which are not typical "out-of-pocket" expenses. These losses are more subjective and include:

2. What are common causes of gym injuries?

Gym injuries can result from a variety of reasons. In many cases, determining who is responsible for those injuries can be tricky. However, with an in-depth investigation by an experienced attorney, the injured victim can be compensated.

Common fitness center injuries include:

  • slip and fall injuries;
  • personal trainer negligence;
  • employee negligence or negligent hiring;
  • defective gym equipment (product liability);
  • premises liability lawsuit due to unsafe conditions;
  • failure to maintain gym equipment;
  • negligent or reckless fellow gym members;
  • fights between members; and
  • intentional acts by employees.

3. What are the next steps after a fitness center injury?

The first step after a gym injury is to seek medical attention. Even if you don't know whether you were injured, an evaluation by your doctor will ensure your health. Your well-being is the most important thing.

Fitness center injuries often result in trauma to the:

  • head;
  • neck;
  • spine;
  • back;
  • limbs; or
  • abdomen.

Depending on the nature of the injury, it may seem minor at first, and it is only later you discover a:

  • hernia;
  • bone or skull fracture; or
  • internal damage.

4. Who is responsible after a gym injury in Colorado?

After an injury in a Colorado fitness center, one or many different parties may be responsible for a victim's injuries. Each of these individuals or business entities should be held to account for any damages a person suffered as a result.

4.1 When is the owner liable for my injuries?

Property owners have certain duties of care they owe to all Colorado visitors to gyms.

Colorado premises liability laws set forth certain duties on gym owners depending on the legal status of the victim. Generally, property owners have to exercise reasonable care and:

  • inspect the property;
  • maintain the property;
  • repair potentially dangerous conditions; and
  • give proper warning of any dangerous conditions on the premises.4

When the injury is caused by a dangerous condition in the fitness center, the property owner can be held liable for the damages that result.

4.2 When is my trainer responsible for my injuries?

A personal trainer, or even a gym instructor, can be responsible when he or she was negligent in performing his or her work duties.

If a trainer makes you do something that a reasonable trainer would not, he or she may be negligent. A jury will decide whether what the trainer did was reasonable in the situation.

Example: Larissa signs up for a personal training session with Joe at her gym in Colorado Springs. Joe encourages Larissa to lift far too much weight for what she is prepared to lift, and she strains her neck and back. Larissa can file a lawsuit against Joe because he negligently encouraged her to lift more weight than she could handle.

4.3 Can I sue the employer if an employee causes my accident?

Employers are responsible for their employee's actions under Colorado's respondeat superior laws.

Respondeat superior is a legal term that means a person is responsible for the acts of his or her "agents" or employees. If a certain legal relationship exists between two or more parties:

  • one party (person or entity) may be responsible for the actions or inactions of the other party
  • that led to an injury to another person
  • even when that person or business is not directly responsible.5

4.4 What if another member of my fitness center caused my injuries?

When other gym members are the cause of a person's injuries, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against that person when he or she is negligent.

The victim must prove that the other member's negligence was the cause of his or her injuries to recover.

5. What claim can I file if my spouse was killed in a gym accident?

If your spouse or another close family member was killed in a fitness center accident, you may be able to file a Colorado wrongful death claim.

Colorado's wrongful death laws:

  • let families recover damages
  • after a loved one has died
  • as the result of another person's negligence. 6

This type of case results from an unnecessary death caused by the negligence or other wrongful act of another person.

6. Are there defenses the other side will raise?

A fitness center may attempt to raise certain defenses to defeat a claim for money damages. These defenses may include but are not limited to:

  • assumption of the risk;
  • absence of duty of care;
  • victim's partial responsibility for own injuries;
  • waiver signed by victim.

6.1 Can I recover even when I was partly responsible for the accident?

When an injured person is partially at fault for his or her injuries, Colorado's modified comparative negligence laws apply.

Modified comparative negligence in Colorado is a:

  • system of figuring out
  • each parties' degree of fault
  • and the amount of damages the plaintiff may receive.7

The money damages awarded by the jury will be adjusted based on the plaintiff's degree of fault in causing his or her own injuries.

  • If the plaintiff is 50% or more responsible for his or her own injuries:
    • the plaintiff is not allowed to recover anything in damages.
  • If the plaintiff is 49% or less at fault for his or her injuries, the plaintiff can still recover:
    • but the damage award will be adjusted down by the percentage the jury decides.
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Call us for help...

For questions about fitness center injury lawsuits in Colorado or to confidentially discuss your case with one of our skilled Colorado personal injury attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us. For cases in California or Nevada, please see our related articles on fitness center lawsuits in California and gym injury claims in Nevada.

We represent clients in and around Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, and several nearby cities.

Legal References:

  1. Lopez v. Trujillo, 399 P.3d 750 (Ct. App. Div. 1 2016). (To prove a prima facie negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the defendant owed a legal duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the plaintiff was injured; and (4) the defendant's breach caused that injury. citing Vigil v. Franklin, 103 P.3d 322, 325 (Colo.2004). Of these elements, duty is the threshold element.)
  2. 17 COPRAC 5.13 (Payment of Medical Bills).
  3. 8 COPRAC 38:8 (Pain and Suffering--when compensable).
  4. CRS 13-21-115(1). (Actions against landowners).
  5. 7 COPRAC 14:4 (Employees, servants, and agents--Course and scope of employment).
  6. CRS 13-21-202 (Action notwithstanding death).
  7. CRS 13-21-111 (Negligence cases--comparative negligence as measure of damages).

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