Injured While Working Out at the Gym...

by Brian
(Pittsburgh, PA)

I was using a machine at a national chain gym when the equipment failed and I ended up with a bruised chest wall. The manager noted in the incident report that it was not my fault and the equipment was not functioning properly.

It was quite painful, I had to go to a medical clinic for X-rays and they prescribed me Vicodin for pain. I also have now missed 2 days of work as my work is very physically demanding. I do not have health insurance and no paid time off. Should I be compensated in some way by the gym? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured While Working Out at the Gym...":

Brian (Pittsburgh, PA):

Yes, you should be entitled to compensation. The gym's equipment failed and from the facts you present you were not "contributorily negligent".

Collect your medical bills and make copies of them. Also make copies of the receipts for your prescription and any over the counter medications you required.

Next secure a statement from your employer confirming the amount of days you missed as well as the amount of money you lost, all as a result of the injury and your need to take time off to heal. If you paid for parking at the medical clinic or pharmacy make a copy of those receipts as well.

If you had to spend any other money you wouldn't have had to spend but for the injury, make copies of those receipts as well. If you lost, or failed to collect receipts for any of the above then make a list and state the amounts.

Take all the copies of receipts, medical bills, and your lost wage statement and present them to the gym's manager. You can ask to be reimbursed for your bills and for the "pain and suffering" you endured. The total amount you request should be about 3x your medical bills.

The gym's management will probably hesitate to pay any money for your pain and suffering. If they don't agree to pay you the full amount then attempt to compromise. If they won't compromise and you refuse to accept their offer you can always attempt to sue them in small claims court.

If you signed a release of liability when you joined the gym (which you probably did) you will have a much more difficult time getting compensation, but it may be possible.

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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