Heat related injuries are often said to “sneak up” on people. They can cause people to experience symptoms like light headedness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness, and even death. While many people can recover from a heat related injury with plenty of rest, relaxation, and hydration, it is not impossible for a person to suffer a detrimental side effect of a heat related injury. In California, when a heat related injury is sustained on the job, the employee to suffer the injury may be entitled to worker’s compensation coverage and should seek the advice of a worker’s compensation benefits attorney.
A person who suffers from heat exhaustion or heat stroke is at risk of both short and long term effects. Short term effects are usually those mentioned above, while long term effects may include an increased sensitivity to heat, disorders of the blood, kidney problems, and even brain damage. Some individuals who have suffered from heat stroke in the past report feelings of nausea and vomiting when exposed to heat for an increased period of time.
The best thing that can be done for someone suffering from a heat related injury is to get the person medical assistance right away and, if possible, to move the victim to a shaded area and to attempt to cool the body by any available means, whether it be by fanning the individual, sponging the person with cool water, or pouring cool water over the individual. Even if the person appears to be getting better, medical assistance should still be sought, because consciousness is not always a sign that all is well with a person’s body. After an injury, the heat victim is encouraged to monitor his or her body for any residual effects of the injury, and to seek a follow up appointment with a medical professional to ensure that no long lasting side effects of the heat injury remain. If residual side effects do remain, the victim should speak with a worker’s compensation attorney about recovering the benefits which he or she may be entitled to.
If they want worker’s compensation benefits, employees injured on the job will have to file a claim for benefits from the insurance company which carries the employer’s worker’s compensation policy. Because of the adversarial nature of California’s worker’s compensation system, getting the benefits owed may not be as easy in reality as in theory. Going up against an insurance company for benefits on their own can expose injured employees to the risk of being talked into a lower coverage amount than they actually deserve – statistically, individuals who work with an attorney are much more likely to recover more of the benefits which they are entitled to than those that try to collect benefits alone. This is primarily due to the fact that insurance companies know that average citizens don’t have enough knowledge of the law to fight for the benefits which the law says that victims of workplace injuries are entitled to.