Knee Injured by Careless Employee...

by Paul

Last week, I was working out at my gym on a machine. As I was resting between sets, an employee walked by and accidentally hit my knee with a kettle bell. He apologized ("Hey sorry, man") as he continued on his way.

My knee was sore and swollen (and I should mention that in the last year and a half has had 2 surgeries on it). I was told there was no ice for my knee, no way to gain access to first aid because the office was locked and no manager was on duty.

I went in to fill out an incident report and was told by the manager that there is no use wasting time because they weren't going to cover any medical for me anyway since they have a waiver covering everything. So I quit the gym and left in frustration.

Do I have any recourse? I was just looking for them to cover a doctor visit and an x-ray. This just seems so wrong that their employee can injure me and I have zero rights. What can be done? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Knee Injured by Careless Employee...":

Paul (Calif):

At this point in your claim you do not have a legal right to force the gym to create an incident report, or offer to pay for your medical evaluation. To have an effective claim against the gym will require several actions...

First, you must seek medical care immediately. For every day you wait, the gym can contend you injured your knee somewhere else, or at a minimum, exacerbated it subsequent to leaving the gym. Moreover, there is nothing more important than your health. If you truly believe you are injured, there is no reason for you not to seek immediate medical care, regardless of who pays for it.

Second, even if the gym decided to send your claim to their insurance company, you will be up against another serious problem. You have had two (2) previous surgeries on the same knee. Delineating a current injury from your past injury will have to be medically documented by a physician.

Moreover, you will have to prove your current injury isn’t just an exacerbation of your prior injury. If so, even if the insurance company decided to pay something, they will offer very little, if any compensation.

Third, if after seeking medical care you learn your current injury is serious, and not just transient swelling or discomfort, then you would be well-advised to seek legal representation.

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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