Summer is in full swing, with heat waves currently sweeping the world. With extreme heat comes increased dangers, adding to the list of potential injuries in the summertime. According to the personal injury lawyers at Craft Law Firm in Texas, some of the most common summer injuries occur from heat and water related incidents. When these incidents should have been prevented by a person or entity but they failed to do so, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. Keep reading to learn more about common summertime injuries, who is liable, and how to prevent them.
Heat stroke typically occurs when the body reaches over 104 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature. Symptoms of heat stroke vary, but can include a headache, rash, disorientation, dizziness, cramps, seizures, and slurred speech. Other heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion, heat rash, and heat cramps, which all occur at lower temperatures.
Heat exhaustion is a less intense form of heat stroke, and usually occurs when exposed to temperatures over 100 degrees. This can also cause confusion and headaches, as well as nausea. If an employee is exposed to extreme temperatures and begins to experience symptoms from the heat, it is their employer’s responsibility to mitigate the situation. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should be removed from the heat as soon as possible and given water. If an employer denies an employee a break from the heat when they are experiencing adverse health effects, they could be held responsible.
Normally water intake is every individual’s responsibility, but not when you’re at work. There are many cases in the summer related to workers not being allowed enough water breaks and subsequently suffering dehydration. There is even a law in California that was created in memory of a young farm worker who died when she was denied a water break during a hot work shift. In addition to the general OSHA law that requires employers to provide a workplace free from harm, the state-specific law sets regulations for working in the heat.
Additionally, due to the increased ability for workers to be outside in the summer, there is often an uptick in construction related injuries. Industries such as roofing and landscaping generally have more work in the summer, and therefore experience more injuries. These include the usual suspects such as falling from heights, injuries from tools, and vehicle accidents.
Many wrongful death lawsuits are filed in the summer due to drowning accidents. Drowning becomes a negligent act when the owner of the pool fails to provide adequate security and safety measures. Whoever is responsible for the pool, whether it be a private residence, public pool, or hotel, must ensure safety for swimmers. This may include measures like signage about pool rules, restricting pool access with gates, providing a lifeguard if required by law, and providing emergency safety equipment.
If the property owner fails to make the pool a safe place and someone drowns – most often a child – they would be considered negligent. In these cases, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the pool owner to hold them responsible for the death.
Naturally boating increases in the summer, since the weather is nice and people want to be on the water. Boating accidents typically occur when people are drinking, speeding, or ignoring the rules. In addition to these risks that are caused by boat operators, other third parties may be responsible for boat accidents. Third party lawsuits may be filed against a boat manufacturer for faulty parts, an employer for a work-related boat incident, or a cruise ship company. No matter who was negligent, injured passengers can file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Another activity that tends to increase in warmer weather is dog walks. Of course dogs are walked year round, but when the weather is nice the frequency and length of canine adventures increases. With more dogs and people outside, more dog bites are bound to happen. Not only that, but extreme heat may potentially increase dogs’ irritability, which could lead to more biting. Whatever the cause is, dog bites do increase in the summer, and owners can be held responsible. If a person is injured by a dog they can sue the owner for negligence. To avoid bites, which often happen to children, make sure that dogs stay leashed and that children are taught how to approach an unfamiliar dog.