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Is it safer for desert residents to stay inside during high heat?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Personal Injury

As a desert resident, you are no stranger to the sweltering heat that can make life unbearable during the summer months. Prolonged exposure to high heat and direct exposure to the sun can be hazardous, especially for the young, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions. Heatwaves pose serious health risks such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration.

By staying inside, you can significantly reduce your risk of heat-related health issues and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. In these extreme conditions, your home becomes more than just a living space; it is a shelter. But what happens when you or someone you love suddenly suffers heat-related illnesses or injuries because they stayed indoors?

When staying indoors results in heat-related injuries

If a person sustains injuries or becomes ill while staying indoors during high heat, another party may be liable for the damages. However, the victim must demonstrate that the negligence or wrongdoing of that other party caused the injury or sickness. California’s habitability laws require landlords to maintain rental properties in a condition that is safe for humans to live in. Suppose you are renting in California’s desert and the heat inside your home becomes extreme due to a lack of proper ventilation or air conditioning. In that case, your landlord may bear responsibility for any heat-related injuries, but that could depend on local codes and the terms of your lease agreement.

Landlords must provide a habitable living environment, and failure to do so could be tantamount to negligence. If your landlord neglects this duty and you suffer injuries as a direct result, you might have grounds for a premises liability claim. Always document the conditions and any requests for repairs, as this information could be crucial if you pursue legal action.