How to Diagnose and Prevent These Most Common Heat Related Illnesses at the Workplace

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

Heat-related conditions can occur throughout the year, but the hot summer days definitely increase the risk of contracting them. If the conditions aren’t diagnosed and treated immediately, heat conditions can lead to a lot of complications. Employees who work during the peak sun hours and are usually encumbered by heavy equipment and warm protective gear are definitely most at risk.

In most cases, you can seek worker’s compensation benefits for heat-related conditions contracted at work. Just make sure you report your condition to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the weaker your chances are of winning a case against the insurance company. Read more about it at this link: http://www.workerscompensationlawyer-philadelphia.com/youre-injured-work/

The Risks

Workers who are subject to heavy physical labor and those who work outside, like construction workers, are most prone to suffer a heat-related condition. The risk is even greater for workers whose job involves high temperatures like firefighters, factory workers, miners and others. Age also has a lot to do with contracting and dealing with a heat-related illness, as the condition can prove fatal to those over 65. The same goes for workers suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure or obesity.

Heat-Related Conditions

Heat can cause a number of different conditions ranging from mild to serious and even fatal. If you suspect you or your coworker suffered a heat-related condition or notice any of the common symptoms, you should visit the doctor immediately. Listed below are some of the most common heat-related conditions:

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the least dangerous of all the heat-related conditions, but dangerous nonetheless. The main symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, fever, nausea, extreme thirst and dizziness. All of these symptoms can hinder your ability to work and might cause you to get seriously injured, like for example by falling off a scaffold due to dizziness.

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is another condition that often comes in the form of dizziness and fainting. It often occurs due to dehydration. If you feel dizzy after working under the sun for too long, make sure to retreat to a shady area, drink plenty of fluids and rest until the symptoms disappear. To eliminate the possibility of other conditions, make sure to visit the doctor even if you cannot feel the symptoms anymore.

Heat Cramps

This condition manifests in the form of muscle aches. It occurs due to the loss of salt and fluids after experiencing increased sweating. If you experience any muscle cramps after working for too long in the heat, make sure to drink plenty of fluids with a high electrolyte count, like sports drinks.

Heat Stroke

The most dangerous, and sadly the most common condition on this list, a heat stroke is dangerous as it can often lead to a fatal outcome. You can recognize a heat stroke by extremely high body temperatures and lack of sweating. Patients also often complain about being confused, experiencing chills and loss of consciousness sometimes followed by seizures.

How to Prevent These Conditions

The best way to prevent heat-related conditions is to raise awareness about them among your colleagues and employers. You should have at least one person at your workplace in charge of monitoring the employees for the symptoms of heat-related diseases. Ideally, work hours should change according to the temperature and other weather conditions, but since that can’t always be implemented the company should at least monitor the area for humidity, sun exposure and temperature. Finally, workers should stay hydrated as dehydration is the leading cause of most of these conditions.

July 25, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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JC & A Solicitors Limited v Andeen Iqbal & others [2017] EWCA Civ 355

A firm of solicitors appealed against a decision concerning the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents as it stood before 2013. The solicitors had acted for claimants in 3 claims in which a CNF had been submitted. The defendant in each case had admitted liability and paid Stage 1 costs but the claimants had taken no further steps to pursue their claims.

The defendants had sought to recover the £400 + VAT of fixed costs. At first instance, the District Judge found that the Protocol allowed for a right of recovery in such circumstances. On appeal, the claimant solicitors argued that there was no express repayment provision and it was not possible to imply one.

HELD:

There was no express provision for repayment within the Protocol. As to whether one could be implied, it was noted that the claimant was entitled to stage 1 costs under paragraph 5.9 where the claimant reasonably believed that the claim was valued at between £1,000 and £10,000 but it subsequently became apparent that the value was less than £1,000. It did not make sense that this was contingent upon the claimant attending court to prove that belief. This paragraph was intended simply to make clear that the right to stage 1 costs was not lost simply because a claim was worth less than £1,000.

CPR r45.40 implicitly treated stage 1 costs as costs which the claimant was entitled to outright. It simply required them to be taken into account so as to avoid double recovery. It did not treat such costs as a mere interim payment of costs.

The separate, and different, provisions relating to children’s claims – whereby the receipt of costs was deferred – did not have any impact upon an adult claimant’s entitlement to costs.

The Protocol was intended to be a detailed code and the Court should be slow to imply terms into it. It was clear from the Protocol that it intended to ensure that the claimant’s solicitors should receive payment for their work along the way. Cases might be concluded after stage 1 for a variety of reasons; it would be contrary to the intention of the Protocol to incentivise such cases coming to Court when they otherwise would not.

July 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases

How Personal Injury Claim works?

Personal Injury Claims and Cases

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

A personal injury claim occurs when a person is harmed either by the carelessness or negligence of an individual or company. Personal injuries result from car accidents, falls in homes or businesses. Personal injury claims fall into one of these categories: automobile accidents, slip and falls, dog bites and assault and battery to name the most common. If you get into a car accident and the person that caused the accident was at fault and because of this resulted in medical injuries to you this would be a personal injury.

A homeowner or business is responsible for keeping the premises free of danger and hazards to another person’s health. Depending on the incident and location will determine if a personal injury claim can be filed. If a person is attacked or bitten by another person’s dog and injuries were sustained you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained. Assault and battery can be confusing because this not only can fall under a criminal lawsuit but the provisions can be tricky when determining that facts in these cases.

Like with any case finding the right attorney is imperative. Don’t stop after calling just one call several. In most cases the attorney or their representative will take your information and your account of what occurred and make a decision on whether they feel that it is a case that they can win. If they feel that it is something that they do not feel that they could represent you they will usually refer you to another attorney.

Before calling an attorney always seek medical attention for your injuries. Often times if you are injured at a house, store or other area you will be instructed to contact emergency services to triage you and determine if you need to go to the hospital or if you can seek medical treatment on an outpatient basis. All injuries are different and depending on the severity of the injuries will determine what type of care is needed as well as what kind of case you will have in the future. Always document or take photos of the scene of where the accident took place if you are able to, if not see if someone else can or try to write down everything leading up to the injury. This will help you with your case. In order to be successful in a personal injury case you have to prove carelessness or negligence on the other party which resulted in your injury.

Not all cases will result in a personal injury claim. They are assessed on a case by case basis. If you are in an automobile accident and the other person was found at fault by the police your injuries will fall under the personal injury protection or PIP that is provided with car insurance. Making sure that you get a police report to properly indicate what happened as well as who was at fault is important. This gives all witnesses, details and will be helpful to a personal injury attorney. Some people who have a personal injury will require extensive medical care and others will not need as much. Depending on the severity of your injury as well as the medically necessary follow up treatment will help your attorney when deciding how to proceed with your claim. In addition, some people will not be able to return to work due to their injury or the cost of the medical care can be substantial which is all relevant in a personal injury case.

June 26, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust & others [2017] EWCA Civ 336

The Appellant’s claim against the Respondent NHS trusts had been struck out on the basis that there was no reasonably arguable duty of care owed to her. She appealed against this decision.

Her father had been detained by the Respondents under the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Respondents suspected he might have Huntington’s disease. His doctors decided not to override his confidentiality rights, and his wishes, to inform his children. The doctors had again considered whether to inform her at a later date when she informed her father that she was pregnant. After giving birth, she was accidentally informed of his condition and genetic testing determined that she also suffered from the disease.

HELD:

It was arguably fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty in such circumstances. While there was a difficulty with conflicting duties (to the patient and the patient’s child), the clinical guidance recognised that this difficulty already arose. It was arguable that the imposition of a legal duty would ensure that the balancing exercise between these competing interests was properly performed.

It was not clear that a legal duty to override confidentiality would cause confidentiality to be overridden more often than was the case under the existing professional duty to disclose.

The ‘floodgates’ argument could arguably be nullified by constraining the duty to the field of genetics. In this field, doctors obtained definite, reliable and critical medical information about third parties. This information might, in fact, mean that the third party themselves should be a patient.

Extending a doctor’s duty of care was consonant with the common law’s incremental development and need not be a matter left for Parliament.

June 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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EUI Ltd v Sultan (2017), QBD (O’Farrell J) 12th April 2017

The respondent had made a personal injury claim arising out of an alleged road traffic accident. The applicant was the insurer of the driver who was said to be at fault. Its position was that the accident did not occur as alleged, or at all, and that the respondent’s claim was fraudulent. It had obtained an engineer’s report which concluded that the damage to the two vehicles was not consistent with the respondent’s account.

The trial Judge had found that the claim was fraudulent. Committal proceedings were issued and the respondent admitted his contempt.

HELD:

The expert evidence suggested the accident had been deliberately staged and the respondent must have known that the witness statements were untrue. There was evidence of planning and collusion: the respondent had presented false medical and financial evidence in support of his claim.

In mitigation, it was noted that the respondent was a father of two, had admitted his contempt, had no previous convictions, had good character references, had not acted alone and was a carer for his two elderly parents. However, notwithstanding the fact that he had been assisted by others, he was the major participant in the fraud.

The starting point was 18 months’ imprisonment, reduced to 12 months on account of the admission of his contempt. The was then reduced again to 9 months on account of the respondent’s personal mitigation.

May 28, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Baker v KTM Sportmotorcycle UK Limited & another (2017) CA (Civ Div) (Lloyd Jones LJ, Hamblen LJ), 3rd May 2017

The respondent had purchased one of the appellant’s motorbikes second hand from a dealer. The bike was two years old, fully serviced and with low mileage. The front brake seized in use and the respondent was thrown from the bike leading to injury. His claim against the appellant alleged that his injuries had been caused by a defect in the bike which was contrary to the Consumer Protection Act 1987. At first instance, the Judge upheld the respondent’s claim, finding that galvanic corrosion was the probable cause of the seizure due to a defect in the braking system.

HELD:

There was no need to plead a specific defect, only for the Judge to find that a defect existed: Ide v ATB Sales Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 424.

There must have been a defect in the design or manufacturing process for galvanic corrosion to have occurred. The bike had been cleaned and serviced appropriately, had low mileage and was less than 2 years old.

The Judge had found that the bike was in excellent condition at the time it was purchased second hand. As such, the appellant’s contention that the respondent had failed to call evidence from the previous owner as to his cleaning regime was irrelevant.

May 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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McGeer v Macintosh [2017] EWCA Civ 79

The Court of Appeal (Treacy, Christopher Clarke, Richards LLJ) determined an appeal brought by an HGV driver in which the respondent cyclist had sustained very severe injuries. The HGV driver had been intending to turn left at a junction and as he had done so, the respondent came from behind the appellant’s vehicle and collided with it. At first instance the judge found that the appellant was negligent, in that the respondent would have been visible in the appellant’s nearside rear-view mirrors for roughly 3 seconds before he had moved off and had he made a reasonably careful check, he would have seen her. Further, the appellant accepted that the road configuration gave the impression to someone coming from behind that he would be moving to his right, and he had failed to exercise reasonable care in carrying out further checks before starting to turn left. However, the respondent had to bear some responsibility for making unreasonable assumptions about where the HGV was intending to proceed and she had failed to heed the advice in the Highway Code requiring cyclists to pay particular attention when long vehicles made left turns at junctions. The judge apportioned fault to the respondent of 30%.

Held: the judge had considered the relevant evidence and drawn conclusions from the situation as he found it to be which justified a finding of negligence. Further, the judge’s conclusions on contributory negligence could not be impugned. While he found that both parties were at fault in the respects identified, it was appropriate for him to take into account the causative potency of the HGV, given the likelihood of very serious injury to a cyclist in the event of a collision. The size and bulk of the HGV were such that in the event of collision it constituted a very serious danger to a person in the respondent’s position.

April 28, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Webster (a child by his litigation friend, Heather Butler) v Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 62

The Court of Appeal (Jackson, Simon, Flaux LLJ) determined an appeal brought by a child (W) who suffered from cerebral palsy caused by a prenatal injury to his brain. It was not disputed that if W had been delivered 3 days earlier, he would have avoided the injury. An ultrasound scan carried out 2 months before delivery revealed anomalies with the foetus, but a consultant obstretrician (H) had admittedly acted negligently in failing to arrange further scans. A month later, and a day before the scheduled due date, the mother was admitted to hospital feeling unwell. It was W’s case that H should have offered the possibility of induction of labour which, if accepted, would have avoided the injury. The judge at first instance found that H was not justified in categorising the scan as normal. However, adopting the Bolam test, he concluded that a body of consultant obstretricians would not have been deflected from their usual conservative course and could not be said to have acted irrationally or illogically. Further discussion with the mother would not have changed the outcome.

Held:

(1) Following the decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11, the Bolum approach was no longer correct. The doctor’s obligation, other than in cases where it would damage the claimant’s welfare, was to present the material risks and uncertainties of different treatments, and to allow patients to make decisions that would affect their health and well-being on proper information;

(2) The question was whether the instant court could assess the conclusion the judge would, or should, have reached on the issue of liability if he had adopted that approach. That involved identifying what information H should have presented to the mother on 27 December, and what her response would have been. H should have told the mother that there was “an emerging but recent and incomplete material showing increased risks of delaying labour in cases with [that] combination of features”. If the mother had been given that information, she would have wanted to be delivered on 27 December, even if the information had been couched in terms of contrary arguments in favour of non-intervention. In those circumstances, the hospital’s submission that, rather than agreeing to induce his patient, H would have sought a second opinion, was rejected. The judge’s decision on liability was reversed.

April 15, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Secretary of State for Work & Pensions v FG (on behalf of John (a minor) [2017] EWCA Civ 61

The Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (SSWP) appealed against a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) that the respondent was entitled to compensation under the vaccine damages payments scheme. It was accepted that the respondent had been left with severe narcolepsy and cataplexy as a result of receiving a pandemic influenza vaccine at the age of 7. However, his mother’s initial claim under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 was refused on the basis that SSWP denied that he was ‘severely disabled’ to the extent of 60% (as required under the Act). The First Tier Tribunal (FTT) agreed that at the time of his assessment by a specialist in paediatric neurodisability and sleep medicine, the respondent was not 60% severely disabled, but it determined that significant future improvement in his condition was unlikely and found that it could take account of future problems that were reasonably foreseeable at the date of the assessment. The UT upheld that decision.

The Court of Appeal (Sir Terence Etherton MR, Davis LJ, Underhill LJ) held:

(1) If an individual was assessed as having a lifelong condition, it was hard to see why that should not be taken into account in assessing the extent of the disablement. Courts were used to assessing loss on a balance of probabilities on present evidence with no particular difficulty beyond a difficult evaluation as to whether the 60% threshold was reached. Several reasons suggests it could not have been Parliament’s intention to impose a requirement to determine the extent of disablement at the time of the assessment: (i) such an approach had the potential to turn the scheme into a litigation game; (ii) it would involve an element of arbitrariness, with much depending on when the applicant first happened to apply; (iii) the fact the scheme provided for a fixed sum of compensation, without possibility of argument over quantum, was consistent with a process designed to look to past and future on a holistic basis. The words of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (particularly Sch. 6, para 6(1)) were readily compatible with including a future period. The UT had been justified in looking to the respondent’s prognosis;

(2) Although the injuries described in Sch 2 of the 1982 Regulations did not fit at all well with the respondent’s injuries and loss of faculties, that did not mean that Sch 2 was entirely to be ignored. Having regard to Sch 2 would not be a wholly empty exercise in relation to a non-physical injury. Read as a whole, the UT’s decision did not fall into the error of regarding Sch 2 as some kind of strait-jacket, as opposed to guidance.

March 28, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
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Caren Sharp v Leeds City Council [2017] EWCA Civ 33

The appellant had suffered injury when she fell on paving which was maintained by the respondent. She initially began her claim under the EL/PL Protocol. It later ceased to continue under that Protocol, although the precise reasons for this were disputed.

The case thereafter proceeded under the PI Protocol. The respondent failed to give pre-action disclosure pursuant to that Protocol and the appellant had made an application for the same. Disclosure had been given by the time that the application was heard but the appellant received her costs of the application in the sum of £1,250. On appeal the costs had been reduced to £300 on the basis that her application was caught by the EL/PL fixed costs regime. The appellant appealed the reduction.

The Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether the fixed costs regime applied to applications for pre-action disclosure in cases which were started, but no longer continued, under the EL/PL Protocol.

HELD:

The Court of Appeal held that fixed costs do apply to such applications. From the moment of entering the Portal, the intention was that fixed costs would apply to a claim at all subsequent stages. Part 45 clearly provided that fixed costs were “the only costs allowed”, subject to a very small category of clearly stated exceptions.

While an application for pre-action disclosure was self-contained and distinct from the main action, there was a close connection between the two. It was apposite for such an application to be classed as an “interim application” for the purposes of r45.29H.

There was real force in the appellant’s submission that limiting claimants to fixed costs would deprive pre-action disclosure application of their value as a “spur to compliance”. However, the answer was not to exclude such applications from the fixed costs regime. Applying assessed costs to such application could give rise to unwelcome satellite litigation. The answer lay in the availability (in exceptional circumstances) of an application under 45.29J for costs exceeding fixed recoverable costs. The Court of Appeal acknowledged that the Rules Committee may need to keep the issue under review as it may be that claimants in such cases struggle to demonstrate “exceptional circumstances”.

February 28, 2017 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases