Usually, we look forward to summer time. However, for employees who have to work primarily outdoors, summer time’s high temperatures can mean increased instances of life-threatening conditions, such as dehydration and heat stroke. While some employees may accept this as a normal part of working outside, these conditions can be serious, and those who are afflicted are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can present in a variety of ways. The early symptoms of heat stroke may present as a light but persistent headache. In addition, or in the alternative, you may experience nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, confusion, excessive perspiration, or pale clammy skin. Other signs to look for are a fast pulse, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, excessive thirst, and a high body temperature. As soon as you start noticing these symptoms, it’s important to take action to protect yourself. Remaining in the heat after you have started experiencing these symptoms can result in the worsening of the condition and in a very dangerous situation. Untreated heat stroke can result in cardiac episodes, including heart attack. It’s important to understand that heat stroke is not actually caused by the sun, but by heat, so simply moving to a shaded area is unlikely to alleviate symptoms. Instead, it’s necessary to move to a cooler area and reduce your body temperature as soon as possible.

Workers Compensation for Heat Stroke

Workers’ compensation insurance is intended to provide medical care and paid time off for injuries and illnesses sustained as a result of your employment. If you were required to be outside or in hot conditions for your job, and, as a result, you developed heat stroke, you qualify for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation insurance for heat stroke would cover medical care and treatment for the heat stroke (for example, if you have to go to the hospital) as well as paid time off if you missed work due to heat stroke or require time off to recover. It’s important to know that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even if you have a pre-existing condition. Certain conditions, such as heart problems and obesity can increase the risk of suffering heat stroke, so workers’ compensation companies may initially attempt to deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition. However, you are still entitled to coverage because the heat stroke would not have occurred if not for your job duties. The pre-existing condition did not prevent you from performing your job duties before, and it would not have resulted in injury if not for the work you were providing for your employer. If your initial claim has been denied on this basis, you can appeal the decision. Hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the process can also help ensure that your claim is not unfairly denied and that you receive the benefits that you are legally entitled to.

Talk to a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you have suffered a workplace illness or injury in Pennsylvania and are struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you are legally entitled to, you are not alone. Schedule a free initial consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.


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