Your Gym Liability Waiver Made Easy

Simplify waivers for your gym, fitness center, or classes
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Taking Your Gym Liability Waiver to the Next Level

Access to quality equipment is half the reason why people go to the gym. But for an industry that’s accustomed to investing in specialized, high-performance equipment, most gyms, fitness centers, and fitness classes are still using paper waivers instead of upgrading to a digital waiver solution. A manual signing process severely limits the capabilities and convenience of your liability waiver and release form. There’s a lot to consider here so let’s jump into it.

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Common questions regarding gym liability waivers

Max Goodman

By Max Goodman

Max Goodman is a Partner at the law firm, SmithAmundsen, LLC headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. He is the Chair of SmithAmundsen’s Fitness & Wellness Services Group and a member of SmithAmundsen’s Commercial Litigation and Hospitality Practice Groups. For the Fitness & Wellness Services Group, Max represents businesses in the health, wellness, and fitness industries where he partners with business owners to deliver informed advice and counsel concerning business and legal needs. Contact Max at SmithAmundsen.
The information provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and the author and WaiverSign make no representation that the contents will effectively protect any legal rights or satisfy your legal obligations, including but not limited to personal or corporate liabilities. In order to protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney. The resources herein, including all verbal and written content, are not provided as legal advice to you, and should not be relied on as such.

Is a gym liability waiver effective in protecting my business from lawsuits?

A liability waiver can be very effective to dissuade people from suing your gym. If an injured person files a lawsuit against you, a proper liability waiver can result in the case being swiftly dismissed. Liability waivers protect against the most common lawsuits against gyms: negligence. The allegation might be negligent hiring, negligent instruction or training, or other allegations of negligence but a properly worded liability waiver will, in most cases protect against those claims. In this way, waivers can operate as a “get out of this lawsuit free” card. Together with proper liability insurance and maintaining quality equipment, having a well-crafted liability waiver specific to your gym location and fitness services can be a critical step in protecting your business.

If a gym member who had signed our waiver is injured and they sue, how does the waiver actually work?

Your attorney will evaluate how the injured member claims they were injured; for example, the person may allege they received negligent instruction from your employee and this caused them injury. Your attorney will look at the member’s signed waiver to see if it specifically covers injuries stemming from alleged “negligent training or instruction.” If the waiver contains that language, the attorney will file a quick motion with the court attaching that waiver and ask the judge to dismiss the case. This is how waivers operate to have potentially costly lawsuits dismissed at their onset.

What if I don’t have a waiver or my waiver isn’t effective?

No gym should be operating without a waiver. If you don’t have a waiver, you should speak with an attorney with experience representing gyms, health clubs, and/or boutique fitness studios to prepare one for you. If you are using a waiver that was not prepared by your attorney or if you otherwise think your waiver might not be effective, have an experienced attorney review it. A proper waiver should be tailored to your business and it should specifically list the main ways in which a person could be injured while working out in your space.

Is it okay to copy a gym waiver template from another source?

In short, it is a bad idea. A waiver only works if it expressly warns of the exact cause of injury. Your waiver should be tailored to your gym’s offerings – not the gym down the block. Does your gym specialize in weight lifting, pilates, or do you use a specific machine or equipment on which someone could be injured? If so, your waiver should mention the risks specific to that equipment or modality. General waivers for “any and all” injuries that occur at your gym will not work.An attorney can also advise you concerning waiver storage, production to the member, and to make sure that you are having absolutely everyone working out in your space (including drop-ins) sign a waiver before working out.

Do I need a different waiver depending on the location of my gym or fitness center?

Your waiver should be drafted so you are covered if that gym member works out at any location operated by your gym. The same waiver can be used in different states but you should speak with an attorney regarding how your specific state treats waivers. Most states honor waivers if they are properly worded, signed by the member, and if they apply to the particular incident/injury prompting the lawsuit however, a very small number of states do not allow liability waivers. Some language in your waiver may need to be different depending on the laws of your state and should specify your desired jurisdiction.

Should my gym waiver differ based on the services I offer?

Your liability waiver should absolutely be specific to your gym’s offerings and worded in a way so that it applies whether you are training your members in your gym, outside somewhere, if they are training alone on your premises, or if you expand to virtual fitness.

Should I combine my membership agreement together with my waiver or should they be separate agreements?

A gym membership agreement and liability waiver must be presented as separate agreements. Courts need to see that your members considered the member contract and then separately, reviewed the waiver. The waiver should be clearly labeled LIABILITY WAIVER and no fine print.

WaiverSign note: WaiverSign can facilitate multiple agreements with a single signing link. You can build out separate documents for your gym membership agreement, your waiver, and any other agreements you need to have signed. Each agreement is presented and signed individually, with individually signed copies of each sent to the gym member and stored for easy access in WaiverSign.

Can I talk to an attorney about my questions without spending a lot of money?

Yes. Any attorney should want to speak with you and should not charge for getting to know you, your business, and giving basic legal advice. You can speak with other gym owners in your area or in your network for a referral to an attorney who can be a great partner for you. Most attorneys charge by the hour so it is important to reach an understanding with your attorney concerning a budget for a particular project (i.e. how long the project will take will determine its cost). Attorneys should provide an approximate budget for you for each project so there are no surprises.

How much does it cost to have an attorney help me write a custom waiver for my business?

A waiver for your business should take an experienced attorney about 1-2 hours (probably closer to one hour). Attorneys charge by the hour and hourly rates can be hundreds of dollars per hour so make sure that you are hiring an attorney with a reasonable hourly rate. When you hire an attorney, have them give you an estimate of how long a project will take them so you can make sure you are ok with the cost before proceeding.

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Why Make Your Gym Waiver & Release Form Digital?

No one wants to sign hard copies of forms. Paper signing is tedious for the signer and a hassle for you—illegible information, paper waivers that have to be stored, and a painful retrieval process. Going digital removes all of those problems. Your customers have come to expect liability waivers to be online (like the majority of other business interactions). Presenting your gym liability waiver or fitness class release form electronically will dramatically improve your process of collecting signatures and help you provide better service.

  • Simple for you and your clients
  • Contactless and paperless means less hassle for everyone
  • Less expensive than printing and storing hard copies
  • Easy to look up any client or document in seconds
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How to Simplify Signature Collection on Your Fitness Liability Waiver

Rather than taking time as clients check-in to the gym for the first time, send them your waivers to sign in advance. With a simple link, your customers will be able to sign your gym waiver or fitness class waiver, and provide all required information in advance. Or, if necessary, have them sign the waiver upon arrival by scanning a QR code on their own device. Either way, the process is easy for everyone involved.

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Collect the Right Information on Every Gym Waiver

Every gym or fitness class is different in terms of the information they want to collect from their members. With WaiverSign’s standard and custom fields, you can set up your gym waivers to collect any information you need, update it whenever necessary, and ensure readability every time.

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Look More Professional with Custom-Branded Fitness Liability Waivers

Every interaction that people have with your business matters. Emails, phone conversations, website visits, and social media interactions all have an impact on brand reputation. Make your fitness liability waiver and release form stand out from start to finish with custom branding, like logos and background colors.

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Improve and Simplify Your Sign-Up Process

First impressions are critical. Rather than having to trudge through stacks of paperwork when they first sign up, give your clients a quick and easy online waiver form to fill out before they arrive, so they can hit the ground running. You’ll make the sign-up process faster by reducing the paperwork required in person and make it easier to account for all the signed waivers and membership agreements you need to collect.

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Make Signing Fitness Waiver Forms for Minors Easier

WaiverSign has a built-in process for collecting liability waivers for minors. With a simple click, adult participants can sign for themselves and their children all at once. No more duplicate or missing forms to worry about.

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Customize Your Gym & Fitness Waiver

Not only can you customize the language of your gym waiver or fitness center waiver to include appropriate inherent risks and other essential information critical to your business, you can also customize the sections within your document.

  • Include accept or decline sections
  • Require initials for specific sections
  • Present custom fields in your agreement
  • Customize signing and age parameters
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Signed waivers stored in WaiverSign

Secure Your Gym and Fitness Center Waivers in the Cloud

The most problematic parts of the paper waiver process are storage and retrieval. With digital waivers, you can rest easy knowing that client information is secure, all while ditching storage fees and making retrieval as easy as using a search bar.

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Need to Sign More Than Gym Waiver Forms?

WaiverSign can help you gather digital signatures on any type of waiver or release form that you need to have signed repeatedly. Your clients will love how easy it is, and you’ll love getting organized and saving time.

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Who uses WaiverSign?

Whether you provide an experience, manage events, promote healthy lifestyles, or help with personal care, you’ll find WaiverSign’s online waivers and digital release forms will save you time and money. WaiverSign’s online waiver software makes managing waivers simple.

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Millions of Agreements & Release Forms Signed and Stored

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the Westin Annapolis
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