Heat stroke the result of a prolonged exposure to heat which causes the body’s temperature to elevate to 104 degrees or higher. Most commonly, St Petersburg nursing home heatstroke injuries is caused by warm weather or heavy exertion due to physical activity, in some cases, both may be contributing factors. Because of the high humidity and temperatures regularly over 90 degrees, residents of St. Petersburg are at an especially high risk of heat strokes. Therefore, it can be critical to speak with a skilled assisted living neglect attorney on behalf of your loved one.
Who is Most Vulnerable to Overheating?
For St. Petersburg residents over the age of 65, the risk of heat stroke is even higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of all heat-related deaths in the United States were among individuals over the age of 65.
Because nursing homes are often responsible for caring for these vulnerable members of our population, the law holds them responsible for any St Petersburg nursing home heatstroke injuries. A St. Petersburg nursing home heatstroke injury lawyer can help victims understand their options.
Damage from Heat Stroke
Heat stroke, the most serious type of heat-related illness, has the potential to cause serious, permanent damage to elderly St. Petersburg residents. According to the Mayo Clinic, heat stroke can cause a person’s brain or other organs to swell. In some cases, this damage may be permanent.
In the most severe cases, a person may die from heat stroke. Because the damage can be so severe, nursing homes in St. Petersburg have a legal duty to protect their residents from heat stroke and other forms of heat exhaustion.
Is Providing Air Conditioning Part of a Nursing Home’s Duty?
In a part of the state where temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees, this means nursing homes must provide air conditioning to all their residents, which may also include a backup source of power for the air conditioning unit.
Nursing homes may also be negligent in the care of their elderly residents if they left a resident outside for a prolonged period, did not provide sufficient hydration to the resident, or did not consider an elderly resident’s uniquely high susceptibility to a heat stroke.
Potential Recoverable Damages in St. Petersburg
The most common avenue for recouping the damages caused by heat stroke is through a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home. A negligence lawsuit requires the injured resident to prove that the nursing home was responsible for their care and that their failure to take care of their resident caused heat stroke.
In a lawsuit due to St Petersburg nursing home heatstroke injuries, the elderly resident may be able recover any reasonable and necessary medical expenses such as hospital bills, compensation for pain and suffering, the cost of any household services required to bring the individual back to their previous condition, loss of enjoyment of life, and damages related to any permanent disfigurement or physical impairment.
In addition, the jury may also award the victim of heat stroke punitive damages in cases where the nursing home’s behavior is especially reckless or intentional.
Talking to a St Petersburg Nursing Home Heat Stroke Injuries Attorney
In most cases, an elderly resident with heat stroke injury caused by a nursing home will only have two years from the date of the injury to file a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home. Because the time is so short, you should contact an attorney to learn more about any available legal options for St Petersburg nursing home heatstroke injuries.
An experienced lawyer can help you evaluate the validity of your claim and determine your options. If you decide to move forward with your claim, they can guide you and advocate for you throughout the legal process.