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An electric shock is one of the most common types of injuries in the workplace, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These injuries may be caused by contacting an overhead power line, by operating improperly installed machinery, or by using defective or improperly maintained power tools.
If you have suffered an electrocution while at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You should contact an experienced electric shock injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your potential options and whether you may be entitled to any compensation. Call the workplace liability lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation. If we cannot reach a favorable result for your claim, you will not owe us anything.
ELECTROCUTION INJURY STATISTICS
Electric shock injuries to workers can happen in many different industries. However, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reported that 54% of fatal electrical injuries occurred in the construction industry between 2003 and 2018. The construction industry had the highest rate of fatal electrical injuries in 2018, while the second- highest rate occurred in the utility industry. ESFI also reported an 18% increase in fatal electrical injuries between 2017 and 2018, with 9% of all workplace electrical injuries being fatal in 2018. The top two electrical violations of 2019 were improper lockout/tagout practices and procedures and failure to wear proper personal protective equipment such as eye and face protection. According to OSHA, electrocutions are one of the four leading causes of construction worker deaths. In 2018, 86 construction workers were killed by electrocution.
COMMON CAUSES OF WORKPLACE ELECTRIC SHOCK
Electrocutions are generally caused when a person somehow touches both wires of an electric circuit, the ground and one wire of an energized circuit, a metal part of a piece of equipment or accidentally electrified device, or touches some other type of tool or conductor that is carrying an electrical current.
Contact with Overhead Power Line
According to OSHA, the most common cause of workplace electrocution is when a worker makes contact with an overhead power line, by touching equipment like ladders, tools, or vehicles that have been accidentally energized through contact with an overhead power line.
Machinery and Power Tools
Another common cause of workplace electrocution is the use of defective, old, or otherwise compromised power tools that may have been improperly maintained or inspected and may result in an electric shock when a worker attempts to use it. Improperly installed or maintained machinery may also cause electric shocks, through damaged or exposed wiring or other means.
Other examples of employer negligence that may lead to a danger of electrocution include:
- Failing to provide proper safety equipment and training
- Failing to keep electrical wiring up to code
- Failing to follow proper safety procedures
- Failing to properly mark the location of underground electrical wires
WHAT INJURIES CAN YOU GET FROM AN ELECTRIC SHOCK?
The severity of an electrical injury typically depends on several factors. The higher the voltage the victim is exposed to, the higher the risk of severe injury. The severity of injury may also depend on the length of the victim’s exposure to the electric current as well as the path the electricity took when it entered the victim’s body.
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness or confusion
- Severe muscle contractions and muscle pain
- Fall injuries
- Irregular heart rate
- Headache and body aches
- Temporary hearing or speech impediments
Long-Term Effects of Electric Shock
- Severe electrical burns
- Severe tissue and organ damage
- Cardiac arrest
- Loss of limbs
- Damage to the spinal cord or nervous system
- Possible death by electrocution
Can You Get Brain Damage from Electric Shock?
Depending on the severity of your injuries, electrocution may cause brain damage. This brain damage could range from mild injuries such as a temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, or speech impediments to more severe injuries including issues with motor skills, long-term cognitive deficiencies, coma, or traumatic brain injuries.
WHO MAY BE HELD LIABLE FOR ELECTROCUTION INJURIES?
Like other personal injuries, there are numerous parties that may be potentially liable for electric shock injuries, including:
As with most workplace injuries, employers are generally the most commonly liable party. If the employer failed to properly train workers to use safety equipment, failed to provide proper safety equipment, failed to ensure safety regulations were properly followed, or failed to properly warn employees of electrical hazards, that employer may be held liable for any injuries. However, the employer may also be protected from liability if the employer carries workers’ compensation insurance.
2. Construction Site Owner
Depending on the degree of control the construction site owner has over the construction site, as well as the degree of control over the work being conducted, the site owner may be liable for electric shock injuries suffered at the construction site, such as if the site owner had sole control over the site and failed to properly mark underground electric lines.
3. General or Subcontractors
Both general contractors and subcontractors are required by OSHA regulations to ensure a construction site is reasonably safe for workers. This duty requires warning workers of any hazards at the site such as exposed electrical lines, or that may be inherent in the job itself. General and subcontractors must also take care to ensure that work is being performed according to the appropriate safety regulations. If a contractor or subcontractor failed to perform any of these duties, they may be liable for any injuries resulting from a worker’s electric shock.
4. Prime Contractors
While prime contractors are generally only responsible for work specifically identified in their contract, they may be liable for injuries suffered by workers performing that work.
Manufacturers may be liable for any electrical injuries suffered as a result of a defective product that caused the electric shock.
6. Other Third Parties
Finally, any third party who may have caused your electric shock injury may also be liable for your injuries. If a coworker caused your injuries by failing to follow proper safety regulations or through other negligence, you may be able to pursue a claim against the third-party.
FILING A CLAIM FOR ELECTROCUTION
1. File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
With most workplace injuries, your injury may likely be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. To receive workers’ comp benefits, you will generally need to follow your state’s requirements for filing a claim, including making sure your claim is filed within the appropriate time period after your injury, contains necessary medical documentation of your injuries, and contains an accurate description of how the injury occurred.
2. Gather Documentation
As with filing any claim for compensation, it is crucial to gather as much documentation as you can relating to your injuries. You will need to maintain accurate medical records of any treatment, medical bills, diagnoses, or need for future treatment to support your claim for compensation. Further, you should try to take pictures of the scene of the accident to show the dangerous condition that caused your injury. You should also collect the contact information of any witnesses who may have witnessed your injury or the dangerous condition.
3. Contact an Experienced Electrocution Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered an electric shock injury while at work, you should contact an experienced electric shock injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. An experienced attorney may be able to assist you in filing your workers’ compensation claim, gathering all necessary documentation to support your claim, and potentially filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party.
ELECTRIC SHOCK INJURY COMPENSATION
If you have suffered an electrical injury at the workplace, the compensation you may be entitled to may vary depending on the severity of your injuries, the nature of the accident, whether your employer was negligent in causing the dangerous hazard, and other factors.
You may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional Stress
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
If you have suffered an electric shock injury while working, your accident will generally be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation may pay for your medical bills and part of any lost income due to your accident, regardless of the cause of your injuries. If the accident caused permanent injuries or caused you to be permanently disabled, you may be entitled to additional benefits through workers’ compensation. In many states, workers’ compensation may be the only source of compensation for a workplace electrocution injury. If workers’ compensation applies to your situation, you may be precluded from filing a lawsuit against your employer for additional compensation unless your employer caused your injuries through intentional or egregious conduct.
However, you may still be able to pursue compensation beyond workers’ compensation if your accident was caused by the negligence of a third party, such as a coworker failing to properly mark faulty or exposed electrical wiring, or if the injury was caused by a manufacturing defect in the equipment. An experienced workplace liability attorney may be able to help you explore your options to determine if there are additional claims available to you beyond your claim for workers’ compensation insurance.
Learn More: Accident Compensation
GET HELP FROM AN ELECTROCUTION INJURY LAWYER TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our electric shock injury attorneys may be able to assist you with your workplace electrocution claim. We help our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after suffering an electric shock while at work. Electrical injuries can be devastating or even fatal. The risk of these injuries posed by power tools, heavy equipment, and possible exposure to power lines and other dangerous sources of electricity can make workplaces especially dangerous for employees if proper precautions are not taken. If you have suffered an electrical injury at work, an experienced workplace liability attorney may be able to help you seek compensation.
Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced workplace injury lawyers. As one of our clients, you will not pay anything unless we can win your electric shock injury case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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