What Happens If a Yoga Student Gets Injured During My Class? (Legal Advice for Teachers)
While it's not always on the top of our minds as yoga teachers, there's always a chance for yoga student injuries to occur.
Chances are, you're a yoga teacher who likes to feel prepared. Even the most responsible yoga teacher, who is always ready with sequencing, playlists, quotes, and inspirational themes, needs to also be prepared when it comes to worst-case scenarios.
A student getting injured in your class? Definitely in the top five worst-case scenarios.
Whether you're still in yoga teacher training or are a long-time teacher, it may feel helpful to have a plan no matter what. Luckily, there are a few simple points to keep in mind if the worst-case scenario becomes reality.
We know that this topic can feel scary or overwhelming, but the best way to avoid this feeling is to be prepared and aware. This article is here to guide you through the legal ins and outs of liability claims and how to best prepare and protect yourself against these.
If You Have a Yoga Student Injury During Your Class, Follow These Steps:
1. Stay Calm
Whether you're the teacher or a fellow student, it is scary to witness a yoga student injury. As the teacher, it is your job to set the tone and not escalate the situation.
2. Pause the Class
Allow your presence to be calm and single-focused on your injured student. If there's another teacher taking your class, you may ask them to take over, or you can end class early if the injury seems serious or if medical attention is necessary.
Stay with your student as you instruct others to help. Tell a specific person to call 911, direct another to the first aid kit, assign someone to water duty. People will want to help their fellow yoga student and it may be helpful to give the other students jobs instead of overwhelming them.
4. Connect With Your Injured Student
Make sure that they feel seen, heard, and cared for. Make it clear to them that their health is what matters. Nobody may be thinking about insurance claims at the moment of the event but attentive care may make a difference or prevent excessive claims down the line.
Prepare for What Comes Next After a Yoga Student Injury
After the other students leave and your injured yoga student is cared for, you may want to prepare for a potential claim. It may be a while before any legal action is taken. With most liability lawsuits, things tend to move slowly rather than quickly. Take advantage of the time you have.
If you have yoga instructor insurance, then you are already in a better place legally and financially. Take some time to review any waivers or documents that your student signed before the accident, check on your insurance, and, if necessary, seek legal advice from an attorney.
3 Types of Legal Liability and Why a Yoga Student May File a Claim
There are several reasons a student may file claims. These are categorized into three primary categories or types of liability. beYogi offers comprehensive coverage for each of these within our yoga teacher insurance plan. Let's explore what each one means and how a student may file a lawsuit based on them.
Another term for general liability is slip and fall liability because these are among the most common claims that are filed. These types of incidents are typically injuries or accidents that occur due to a facility issue or negligence.
For example, if it's raining and your student's shoes are slippery and a yoga student injury occurs. Even if you're diligent in keeping your studio free of hazards, you cannot always predict when or how an incident may occur.
Professional liability is directly linked to your occupation as a yoga instructor. Because yoga works directly with wellness for the body, the potential professional liability claims could be severe injuries or physical harm.
The truth is, even if you are careful, you could make a mistake that leads to a student getting hurt or having their property damaged. Some common examples of professional liability claims could be overexertion, pulling a muscle, stretched tendons, or other such bodily harm.
As a yoga instructor, you likely use equipment and tools in your instruction. If something goes wrong with a piece of equipment or a student has a bad reaction to an agent that you use, it could be considered grounds for a product liability claim.
For example, if you burn incense during a yoga class and one of your students begins to have difficulty breathing, even if your student had no previous knowledge of an allergy before the incident, you may still be held responsible.
Yoga Liability Insurance: Your Best Defense
The best thing you can do to protect yourself when a student gets hurt 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 yoga insurance provides.
beYogi offers coverage for professional, general, and product liability, along with other coverage like rental damage protection and identity theft protection. Not to mention 450+ modalities both online and in-person across the country and other membership benefits like product discounts.
Protect Your Students and Yourself: The Takeaway on Yoga Student Injuries
Be prepared for the worst-case scenario with both education and prevention. Know that even the most experienced and aware teachers have accidents. Have a go-to plan for yourself like the list above.
One of the top mistakes new yoga teachers make is ignoring liability insurance. This is why many yoga studios require that teachers carry their own insurance.
Keep it simple. Make sure you are covered so you can focus on making your classes a safe space for your students and the most inspiring hour of their day.
Get yoga teacher insurance today if you are ready to protect yourself and your finances. Signing up only takes a few minutes, and coverage starts immediately.