As the prevalence of convenient appliances, do-it-yourself repairs, and modern technology rises, so does the risk of electrical shock incidents. Shockingly, a study by the Center for Disease Control revealed that most electrocutions occur while using appliances or handling lighting equipment, power tools, or extension cords.
Electrical accidents pose severe dangers, leading to debilitating injuries or even death. Among construction workers, contractors, and laborers, electrocution is identified as one of the “Fatal Four” leading causes of death, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
If you or a loved one falls victim to an electrical accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to the injury experts at Clark Fountain. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and provide the legal support you need.
Types of Electrical Injury Claims
Electrical injuries can result from exposure to low or high-voltage electrical sources. The severity of the injuries can vary depending on factors such as the type of electrical current, voltage, length of exposure, and the individual’s health status during the incident. The most common electrical injuries reported include:
- Electrical Flash Injuries: Intense but quick shocks causing surface burns without the electrical current traveling past the skin.
- Electrical Flame Injuries: Injuries occurring when clothing comes into contact with an electrical source, causing it to catch fire.
- True Electrical Injuries: Injuries happening when an individual becomes part of an electrical circuit, leading to observable entrance and exit sites for the current. These injuries can damage virtually every organ system.
When Do Electric Shock Injuries Occur?
Electric shock injuries can occur in various settings, typically when consumers use defective or recalled products, or when laborers and workers operate machinery or conduct repairs. OSHA reports that construction trades face the highest risk of experiencing serious and potentially fatal electrocution injuries. In 2018 alone, there were over 1,500 non-fatal electrical injuries and 160 fatal injuries due to occupational exposure to electrical shocks.
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 into energized underground electric lines, exposure to electrical wiring, and using defective equipment.
Electrocution Injuries are Common at Home
The risk of electrical injuries is not limited to workplaces; homes are also susceptible. Alarmingly, children account for nearly 20% of all electrical injury victims in the United States. Household extension cords alone cause an average of 4,700 residential fires annually, resulting in minor to severe burns, and in some cases, even death.
Symptoms of Electrical Shock
Electrical shock injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention 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
Proper treatment can significantly impact the outcome, but without it, individuals may experience organ damage, cardiac arrest, or even death.
Types of Compensation Available for Electrical Injuries
Electrical injury victims may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:
- Cost of emergency medical care
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages or decrease in earning potential
- Loss of financial support (in the case of a victim’s death)
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life
Elements of Electrical Injury Claims
To pursue a successful electrical injury claim, these key elements must be considered:
- Duty of care: Proving that the at-fault party owed the plaintiff protection from preventable and unreasonable harm.
- Breached duty of care: Establishing that the defendant breached their duty of care to protect the plaintiff from unreasonable harm.
- Cause of injury: Providing evidence of a causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the event leading to the electrical injury, such as a workplace accident or defective product.
- Damages: Demonstrating that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injury, which may include monetary damages, pain & suffering, lost wages, and more.
Wrongful Death Claims following an Electrocution
Losing a loved one to an electrocution accident can leave surviving family members with an immense 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 complex and require strong support, including medical records, witness testimony, security camera footage, and other relevant materials. At Clark Fountain, our personal injury lawyers specialize in handling complex accident and injury claims, particularly those involving electrocution, workplace injuries, and defective consumer products. With a track record of representing thousands of clients and obtaining significant verdicts and settlements, you can trust our expertise. Call 561-899-2100 for a free consultation.