Hurt By A Machine While Working Out...

by Julien
(Westland, MI)

I started off my workout routine at my local gym as usual today around 6:00 pm. Around 6:30 I was working out on a machine I have used at another local gym. I am not new to this piece of equipment. It is the pull-down machine where you can do tricep extensions and similar exercises.

I was using the machine correctly and maintaining proper form and the machine cooperated as I stood facing the machine. However, to work out the rear triceps you must reverse your position so you are facing away from the machine and slightly bent over, with one foot in front of the other while maintaining balance with your back foot.

I went to pull down on the machine to do the exercise that this machine is MADE for, and as I pulled on the bar to extend my arm the bar suddenly felt very light. As soon as I questioned in my head what was going on, the machine had tipped over and crashed on top of me!

It slammed me into the ground knee first while the machine crushed my back, shoulder, and hit the top of my head very hard. A fellow exerciser rapidly picked the downed machine off of me and asked if I was okay. Soon after, one of the employees stopped and repeated him asking how I felt.

I was shaken up and embarrassed, I'm 19 years old and leaving for basic training in less than two months. My ego got to me and I forgot to file an incident report because my nerves and adrenaline were fighting the pain I would soon be feeling. By the time I had realized I'd been injured the gym had closed.

If I go first thing in the morning will the claim hold up in court (if I do happen to need a surgery or anything of that nature)? Does the gym and/or machine manufacturer have any liability for my injuries after I see a doctor? I appreciate any responses, thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hurt By A Machine While Working Out...":

Julien (Westland, MI):

Don't be concerned about not being sure an incident report was completed the day of your injury. You aren't the only person who has been injured and didn't feel the pain until the adrenaline receded and some time has elapsed.

Go back to the gym at your earliest convenience and speak with the manager. By now the employee who came to your assistance reported the broken machinery to the manager. Hopefully the machine has either been taken out of commission or has been repaired.

Tell the manager you are hurt and will be going to your doctor for tests. Make sure you get the manager's name and telephone number. Then go to your doctor, local clinic or emergency room. Depending upon the pain and discomfort you are suffering the doctor may order an MRI or a CAT Scan.

Hopefully your injuries aren't serious. The MRI and CAT Scan will be able to discern whether any bones are broken, if your back is herniated, or tendons or ligaments are torn.

Once you know the extent of your injuries you should relay that information to the gym's manager. Tell her you would like to have someone from corporate or their insurance company contact you to make arrangements to compensate you for your injuries. Hopefully they will do as you ask. If they don't cooperate you can consider legal action.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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