Weight Training Accident Claim: Dumbbell Snaps Causing Foot Injury
Solicitor explains how to claim for a weight training accident due dumbbell bar breaking and a collar failing causing a weight plate to fall and injury foot.
Weigh Training Accident Question
Using squat machine in which a free weight dumbbell is put on a rack and then is picked off the rack to squat with. As I was squatting a bar loaded with 80 kg – the bar broke and the securing collar failed causing a 10 kg metal plate to fall onto my right foot.
There were several other gym members present who came to my assistance – removing the remaining weights from my shoulders.
I was in agony – my foot swelled and some gym staff were informed who called an ambulance. Whilst we were waiting an accident book entry was made. The gym staff were surprised that the bar could break and the collar fail – but one of the staff realised that the bar was a body pump bar that had been left on the squat machine by gym staff when doing a class in the gym area. This bar was not designed to take such heavy weights and the collars were very basic plastic collars.
I was taken to hospital and x-rays were taken revealing that I had a fracture of the metatarsal as well as a fractured big toe. A pin had to be inserted into my foot as the toe fracture was a nasty one.
I am now unable to work and as I am a self-employed scaffolder by trade this is causing me significant loss of income.
Can I claim compensation for my weight training accident and if so will this include lost income?
Gym Accident Solicitor Response
Establishing a weight training accident claim
The weight training accident seems to have been caused not by a faulty bar, but by use of an incorrect bar. Most weight training bars have a maximum weight capacity and body pump bars are typically not made of solid metal and have a lower maximum weight capacity than the typical squat bars.
It seems that gym staff had left the bar on the rack after a class and it would be reasonable for you to presume that bars on the squat rack could be used.
It is also foreseeable that failure of a dumbbell could lead to weights plate falling and causing injury of the exact nature you have experienced.
The failure of the securing collar may also have been due to the fact that this was a body pump collar and also not able to cope with the violent force of the weights acting when the bar broke.
The gym will have public liability insurance and they would be pursued as being liable for the negligence of their staff (vicariously liable for the torts of their servants) and would also owe a duty as occupiers.
What can you claim?
In a weight training accident of this kind you can claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for the physical injuries (here a broken metatarsal and fractured big toe) and financial loss and expenses (including lost income past and future, medical expenses, etc.).
An independent medical expert – here most likely an orthopaedic surgeon will set out in a medical report the extent of your injuries with an estimate as to how long it will take you to fully recover and whether there will be any ongoing disabilities. The expert will also comment on your ability to work as a scaffolder. If there are any psychological injuries – this expert will recommend a psychological expert to assess those injuries.
This report will be used by your solicitor to establish compensation amounts for pain and suffering.
Tip: You should keep a daily diary of your symptoms and ensure any new or ongoing symptoms are reported to your treating doctors, so that your medical records will fully illustrate the extent of your problems. The independent medical expert will have access to your medical notes, so this could prove influential.
Calculation of financial loss and expense will be based on the details you supply.
Remember: keep a record of your losses with supporting receipts. Lost income for the self-employed is slightly more complex than for the employed, so keep all information you can to support this (your solicitor will also need access to your annual accounts to show this loss).
Help deciding whether to make a claim for compensation
If you would like to discuss making a weight training accident claim we offer a number of free services including – speaking direct to a specialist solicitor / having your claim assessed online.