Working in the heat seems to be unavoidable during the summer months in Chicago. With temperatures in the upper 80s consistently and humidity levels creeping up, the risk of heatstroke is increasing. If you’re working in construction, production, or any other industry that requires physical labor, your trusted Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers want you to know your rights.
So, does suffering from heatstroke on the job mean you qualify for workers’ compensation? First, let’s take a look at what heatstroke is and how it impacts your body.
What Is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke happens when your body overheats, often because of long exposure to high temperatures. It can happen both indoors and out. Heatstroke is most common during the summer months, but it can happen at any point in the year if your body’s temperature rises over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The condition can lead to feelings of confusion and intense dizziness, and may even cause you to lose consciousness. It requires immediate medical attention and, if left untreated, can be life-threatening.
Heatstroke Can Be a Work-Related Injury
Since individuals who work in physically demanding positions are likely to experience heatstroke when temperatures skyrocket, it should come as no surprise that the condition may qualify for workers’ compensation. As long as the heatstroke is a result of your work and didn’t occur when you were off or pursuing your own interests, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Employer Negligence Isn’t a Requirement
Though heatstroke can be a result of employer negligence, the vast majority of injured workers experience heatstroke as a result of conditions outside of their employers’ control, and many still get hurt when their employer takes every reasonable precaution.
You won’t need to prove negligence to qualify for workers’ compensation. However, if you believe you were injured as a result of your employer’s negligence, file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible.
How to File a Claim
As with any work-related injury, the key to filing a successful workers’ compensation claim lies in acting quickly. Seek medical attention as soon as you can. If the heatstroke is severe, ask a coworker to call an ambulance or drive you to the emergency room.
Document everything you can remember once you receive medical attention and collect witness statements from any coworkers who can explain the conditions you were working in. Tell your employer that you want to file a workers’ compensation claim. They should provide you with the necessary forms and submit them on your behalf.
Once you file the claim, you should receive a decision from the insurance company. If it’s successful and they agree to your claim, you’ll receive a settlement. But if they deny your claim, you’ll want to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Chicago.
What to Do if Your Claim Is Denied
You’re able to fight the insurance company’s denial of your claim, and you should if you experienced heatstroke on the job. The first thing you should do is speak with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. They’ll review your case and help argue with your employer’s insurance company on your behalf.
If your claim was denied, get help now. Contact Anesi Ozmon today to schedule a free consultation.