As many individuals turn to convenient appliances, do-it-yourself repairs, and modern-day technology, the risk of electrical shock continues to rise. A study by the Center for Disease Control determined that most electrocutions are caused while using appliances or while handling lighting equipment, power tools, or extension cords.
In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that electrocution is one of the “Fatal Four” leading causes of death among construction workers, contractors, and laborers.
Electrical accidents are extremely dangerous and could lead to severe injuries or death. If you or a loved one is injured in an electrical accident, call the injury experts at Clark Fountain for a free consultation.
Types of Electrical Injury Claims
Electrical injuries can occur when an individual is exposed to a low or high-voltage electrical source. The severity of one’s injuries could vary depending on the type of electrical current, the voltage, the length of exposure, and the health status of the individual at the time of the accident. Here are the most common electrical injuries reported:
- Electrical Flash Injuries: these injuries are often quick but intense shocks that can cause surface burns but rarely involve an electrical current traveling past the skin.
- Electrical Flame Injuries: these injuries occur when one’s clothing is in contact with an electrical source causing it to catch fire.
- True Electrical Injuries: these injuries occur when an individual has become a part of an electrical circuit, resulting in observable entrance and exit sites for the current. These injuries have the potential to cause damage to virtually every organ system.
When Do Electric Shock Injuries Occur
Electrical injuries can occur almost anywhere there is a source of electricity. In most cases, when a consumer uses a defective or recalled product or when a laborer or worker is operating machinery or performing a repair.
According to OSHA, construction trades are at the highest risk of experiencing serious and potentially fatal electrocution injuries. In 2018, occupational exposure to electrical shocks resulted in over 1,500 non-fatal electrical injuries and 160 fatal injuries.
Examples of how workers can suffer electrical injuries on the job include:
- Contact with power lines
- Misuse of equipment, extension cords, and flexible cords
- Digging or mining into energized, underground electric lines
- Exposure to electrical wiring
- Defective equipment
Electrocution Injuries are Common at Home
Another commonplace for electrical injuries is in the home, where children make up almost 20% of total electrical injury victims.
In the United States, household extension cords cause an average of 4,700 residential fires each year. Those who experience electrical shock from an extension cord often sustain minor to severe burns and in some cases death.
In the workplace, individuals may experience electrical injuries through exposed electrical wiring, contact with appliances, or while working on electrical circuits within the home. Electrical injuries may occur by accident or through the use of a defective electrical appliance.
Symptoms of Electrical Shock
While some individuals sustain minor injuries, many may experience serious and often life-threatening injuries. If you experience any of the following symptoms, we encourage you to see a doctor or medical professional immediately.
- Pain at the point of contact
- Uncomfortable tingling sensations
- Numbness and or muscle weakness
- Difficulty moving limbs
- Difficulty breathing
- Confusion or loss of consciousness
With proper treatment, these health consequences may improve over time, depending on the severity of the injury and other factors. Others may experience disability, disfigurement, and other permanent conditions.
Without proper treatment following electrocution, an individual may experience Organ Damage, Cardiac Arrest, or Death
Electrical Injuries: Types of Compensation Available
- Cost of Emergency Medical Care
- Ongoing Medical Expenses
- Prescription Medications
- Lost wages or decrease in earning potential
- Loss of financial support (following victim death)
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life
Elements of Electrical Injury Claims
When an individual has been electrocuted, these elements could come into play –
- Duty of care: proof that the at-fault party legally owed the plaintiff protection from preventable and unreasonable harm
- Breached duty of care: proof that the defendant breached their duty of care, or legal obligation to protect the plaintiff from unreasonable harm
- Cause of injury: proof of a causal link between the breach in the defendant’s duty of care and the event that led to the electrical injury (e.g. workplace accident, defective product)
- Damages: proof that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injury, this can include monetary damages, pain & suffering, lost wages, and others.
Wrongful Death Claims following an Electrocution
When a loved one is fatally injured in an electrocution accident, the sudden loss could leave surviving family members with a significant emotional and financial burden. If your loved one suffered a fatal electrical injury, you may be eligible to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
Injury Lawyers Specializing in Electrocution Cases
Electrical injury claims are difficult to prove without a strong base of support, which may involve collecting medical records, witness testimony, security camera footage, and other relevant materials. At Clark Fountain, our personal injury lawyers specialize in complex accident and injury claims involving electrocution, workplace injuries, and defective consumer products. We have represented thousands of clients and we have obtained significant verdicts and settlements. Call 561-899-2100 for a free consultation.