Yoga student injury? Legal advice for teachers

May 26, 2023 0 Comments

Although we as yoga teachers don’t always think about it, there is always the possibility of injury for yoga students.

Chances are, you’re a yoga teacher who likes to feel prepared. Even the most responsible yoga teacher, always ready to create a sequence, playlists, quotes and inspirational themes, must be prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Was a student injured in your classroom? Definitely in the top five worst scenarios.

Whether you’re still in yoga teacher training or a seasoned teacher, you may find it helpful to have a plan no matter what. Fortunately, there are a few simple things to keep in mind should the worst-case scenario become a reality.

We know this topic can seem scary or overwhelming, but the best way to avoid feeling that way is to be prepared and aware. This article is intended to walk you through the legal ins and outs of liability claims and how best to prepare and protect yourself against them.

If you are injured while practicing yoga, do the following:

1. Keep calm

Whether you are a teacher or a fellow student, witnessing an injury to a yoga student is terrifying. As a teacher, your job is to set the tone and not escalate the situation.

2. Stop the class

Allow your presence to be calm and focused only on the injured student. If you have another teacher in your class, you can ask them to take over or end the class early if the injury seems serious or if medical attention is needed.

3. Delegate

Stay with your student while instructing others to help. Tell a specific person to call 911, direct another to the first aid kit, assign someone to be on water duty. People will want to help their fellow yoga student, and it can be helpful to give other students work to do instead of overwhelming them.

4. Contact your injured student

Make sure they are seen, heard and cared for. Let them understand that their health is the most important thing. No one may think about insurance claims at the time of the event, but careful care can make a difference or prevent excessive claims in the future.

Be prepared for what happens after a yoga student’s injury

After the other students have left and your injured yoga student has been treated, you can prepare for a potential lawsuit. It may take some time before any legal action is taken. In most liability lawsuits, things move slowly rather than quickly. Use your time.

If you have yoga instructor insurance, you are already in a better place legally and financially. Take some time to review any waivers or documents your student signed prior to the accident, check your insurance, and seek legal advice from an attorney if necessary.

3 Types of Legal Liability and Why a Yoga Student Can Sue

A student can file claims for several reasons. They are divided into three main categories or types of responsibility. beYogi offers comprehensive coverage for each of these under our Yoga Teacher Insurance Plan. Let’s explore what each of these means and how a student can file a lawsuit based on them.

General responsibility

Another term for general liability slip and fall liability because these are some of the most common claims made. These types of incidents are usually injuries or accidents that occur due to equipment problems or negligence.

For example, if it’s raining and your student’s shoes are slippery, and the yoga student is injured. Even if you’re diligent about protecting your studio from hazards, you can’t always predict when and how an incident might occur.

Professional responsibility

Professional responsibility is directly related to your profession as a yoga instructor. Because yoga works directly to heal the body, potential professional liability claims can be serious injuries or physical harm.

The truth is that even if you are careful, you can make a mistake that results in injury to a student or their property. Some common examples of professional liability claims include overexertion, muscle strains, tendon strains, or other similar injuries.

Product liability

As a yoga instructor, you most likely use equipment and tools while teaching. If something goes wrong with the equipment or if the student reacts badly to the medium you are using, this may be grounds for a product liability claim.

For example, if you burn incense during a yoga class and one of your students begins to experience difficulty breathing, even if your student was not previously aware of the allergy prior to the incident, you may still be held liable.

Yoga Liability Insurance: Your Best Protection

The best thing you can do to protect yourself when a student is injured is to have a yoga liability insurance policy. Instead of stressing over how you’re going to pay for an accident, you can have the peace of mind that comes with yoga insurance.

beYogi offers professional, general and product liability coverage, as well as other coverage like rent protection and identity theft protection. Not to mention 450+ modalities both online and in person across the country and other membership benefits like discounts on products.

Protect your students and yourself: Conclusion on yoga student injuries

Be prepared for the worst case scenario with both training and prevention. Be aware that even the most experienced and knowledgeable teachers have accidents. Make a plan for yourself as listed above.

One of the biggest mistakes new yoga teachers make is ignoring liability insurance. This is why many yoga studios require teachers to carry their own insurance.

Do not complicate. Make sure you are secured so you can focus on making your classroom a safe place for your students and the most inspiring hour of their day.

Get yoga teacher insurance today if you’re ready to protect yourself and your finances. Signing up takes just a few minutes and coverage starts immediately.

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