Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Is My Employer Liable for Heat Stroke?

Posted Friday, June 25, 2021 by Chris Thayer

High summer temperatures can be as enjoyable as they are deadly. For employees who are required to work outdoors or in hot conditions, summertime can pose genuine health hazards, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. While these conditions may seem like par for the course when working outdoors, they should not be taken lightly. All of these conditions, left untreated, or if severe enough, can result in serious cardiac episodes, including cardiac arrest. In fact, heat stroke is responsible for approximately 1,300 deaths in the United States each year.

*Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Heat Stroke?* Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to ensure medical treatment and partial wage replacement for injuries, illnesses, and conditions suffered as a result of someone’s employment. If you are required to work outdoors or in high temperatures, and develop heat stroke as a result, you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For heat stroke, these benefits would likely include medical treatment (for instance, if you require hospitalization or medical care) and partial wage replacement for any work missed as a result of the heat stroke. It is worth noting that many times workers’ compensation insurance companies may initially deny claims for heat stroke if the employee filing the claim has an underlying condition that contributed to the heat stroke. For instance, certain heart conditions and obesity increase an individual’s risk of developing heat stroke. Insurance adjusters may try to cite these as preexisting conditions that exempt them from providing coverage. However, pre-existing conditions are not a valid basis for denying someone a claim. The condition did not impair their ability to perform their job previously, and would not have, if not for the heat stroke, so they are legally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

*How Can Employers Reduce Heat Stroke Risk?* Employers have a responsibility to keep workers safe. Employers should ensure that plenty of water is available on outdoor work sites and that employees have an opportunity to drink it regularly. Any employees who begin experiencing symptoms of heat stroke should immediately be moved out of hot temperatures. Heat stroke is caused by heat and not sunlight, so it is possible to develop heat stroke in high temperatures even while working in the shade. Any employees working in high temperatures who report feeling nauseous, dizzy, or having a headache, should be removed from the heat immediately and provided with medical attention if required. Ignoring early signs of heat stroke can have deadly consequences. Fostering a work culture that encourages employees to push through such symptoms can have tragic outcomes and have far greater costs than responding responsibly and taking appropriate action.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer * If you have suffered an injury at a workplace in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, and are struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Firm are ready to fight for your rights and ensure that you get the care you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.