The elderly is one of the most vulnerable groups in our population, especially when it comes to heat stroke injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 65 have a higher risk of heat stroke because their bodies do not adjust to temperature changes as quickly and they may be taking medication or a medical condition that further interferes with their bodies natural cooling mechanisms.
Charged with taking care of their residents, nursing homes and their staff know this information and are therefore responsible when their careless or reckless behavior causes one of their elderly residents to have a heat stroke. A Clearwater injury lawyer can help determine whether the heat stroke injuries in a Clearwater nursing home may be actionable under the law.
What is Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke occurs when a person’s body temperature reaches a temperature of 104 degrees or higher. Injuries from heat stroke can range from mild and temporary to more serious. Some of the more serious resulting injuries including organ damage because of internal swelling or even death.
Heat stroke is most commonly caused by warm weather. Since the weather in Clearwater routinely exceeds 90 degrees, nursing homes are responsible for providing air conditioning to keep their residents cool.
When the nursing homes fail to provide air conditioning, or if they leave their residents exposed to the heat outside for a lengthy period, the nursing home may be responsible for any injuries or damages caused to their residents.
Florida Laws Regarding Heat Stroke
Most commonly, a nursing home resident’s lawsuit for damages and injuries related to heat stroke will come in the form of a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home.
An injured nursing home resident will have two years from the date of the heat stroke to file a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home, according to Section 95.11 of the Florida Code. There are exceptions, however, when the nursing home resident did not know about the injuries or the heat stroke or could not have not known about them until a later date.
The injured nursing home resident may be able to recover damages relating to any medical expenses, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress. In some cases, punitive damages may also be appropriate.
Punitive damages may be awarded in Clearwater nursing home abuse cases when the nursing home either intentionally caused the heat stroke or the heat stroke was the result of gross negligence.
Gross negligence is a legal term that encompasses negligence that encompasses behavior that shows a blatant disregard for the grave injuries that could be caused by their behavior.
Speak with a Clearwater Nursing Home Heat Stroke Injuries Attorney
To learn more about whether the injuries and damages caused by your Clearwater nursing home heat stroke are actionable under Florida law, contact a Clearwater nursing home heat stroke injuries lawyer specializing.
A lawyer with experience in this claims involving nursing home heatstroke injuries in Clearwater will be up-to-date on the law related to heat stroke injuries and may be able to answer any of your questions. Call today for a free consultation.