Most people love the summertime – long days, the sun on one’s skin, and the enjoyability of warmth are all reasons to smile. But for some, the heat of summer isn’t enjoyable; it’s fatal. Indeed, during the hottest days of the year, young children, elderly persons, outdoor workers, and more may all be at risk of heat-related injuries. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about common heat-related injuries, symptoms of heat-related injuries, and who may be liable following a heat-related injury or death.\

Heat-related Injuries Should Be Taken Seriously

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat-related deaths are one of “the deadliest weather-related health outcomes in the United States.” In fact, over a 12-year period in the United States, there were over 8,000 heat-related deaths reported – more than 650 deaths per year.

Heat injuries can affect anyone, but the elderly and children under two are most at risk. The same data cited above reveals that over the same 12-year period, the majority of heat-related deaths involved adults aged 65 and older. Children who are left in a hot car during the summertime are also at risk – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that heat stroke is a leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities amongst children.

Outdoor workers are also affected. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that thousands of workers become sick, and many die, every year due to heat-related illness.

Heat Stroke: Know the Signs

Familiarizing yourself with the signs of heat exhaustion (which precedes heat stroke) and heat stroke is important. Things to pay attention to include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit

If any of the above are noticed, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.

Who’s Liable for a Heat-related Injury or Death?

Suffering an injury or losing a loved one to a heat-related injury can be a devastating experience. While sometimes there is really no one to blame, in many cases, the heat-related injury could have been prevented had a party exercised a higher degree of care. For example, employers who fail to give outdoor workers breaks in the shade and opportunities to stay hydrated, babysitters who leave children in vehicles, or sports coaches who push young athletes to exhaustion on the hottest of days are all acting negligently and irresponsibly. If you believe that a heat-related injury or death would not have occurred but for another party’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim.

Call Our Boston Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn More

To learn more about your rights following a heat-related injury or heat-related death of a loved one, please call the skilled Boston personal injury lawyers at Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. for your free consultation. We know how devastating these injury types can be and want to help you recover the compensation award you deserve. Reach us online or by phone at 617-973-9950.