If you experience an electrocution injury, who can you hold responsible? In this post, we’ll describe common reasons for electrocution injuries and how you can fight back for compensation if someone else caused your injury.
The Risk of Electrocution
It’s easy to take electricity for granted in our plugged-in society. It’s also easy to forget that electricity can cause serious health issues or death if the current does not flow properly.
Every year, about 400 people are killed in the U.S. due to electrocution injuries, and another 4,400 are injured.
Electrocution often occurs on the job, especially in the construction industry. It is second only to falls as the leading cause of death for construction workers. About 140 electrocution deaths occur in the U.S. each year in the construction industry according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and more than 30,000 electrocution injuries occur in the American workplace every year overall.
Fourteen percent of all annual electrocutions are caused by currents in a household setting. Power tools and appliances are the main causes of electrocution. They cause about 60 annual injuries nationwide.
Children are among the most likely victims of home electrocution injuries. About seven children every day receive emergency hospital treatment for electrical injuries.
Common Electrocution Injuries
Because electricity always seeks a path to the ground, a person can become injured when the path of the current flows through the body.
Burns are the most common type of electrocution injury. They can be extremely serious, affecting the deepest layers of the skin, muscles, and even internal organs. If you have an electrical burn, you should seek emergency medical care immediately after your injury.
Other typical electrocution injuries include the following:
- Amputation of limbs
- Balance or coordination problems
- Heart problems
- Loss of concentration or memory
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
If you have experienced any of these symptoms after being electrocuted, it’s important to seek medical treatment even if no visible signs exist. Your medical report can be one of the most powerful pieces of evidence to fight back in a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Causes of Florida Electrocution Injuries
It’s essential to stay away from power sources where electrocutions are more likely to occur. When people are injured, they are most often in situations that could be avoided with better planning or knowledge. Here are common ways that electrocution occurs.
Exposed power lines
Power lines can be exposed if they fall on the ground or if they are accessed underground. You must take extreme care to avoid fallen lines. If you see a fallen power line, make a report right away. Always call the power company before you dig.
No power shutoff
This is a common reason for injury. It is incredibly important to disconnect the main power source or turn off the circuit breaker before working to prevent injury.
Water in contact with electricity
Water conducts electricity, and it can cause electrocution in a pool, tub, amusement park ride, or boat dock. If you think you experienced electrocution because someone else was careless with a water source, you can get help from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Ladder touching power line
Make sure to check and double check the placement of your ladder when using it to work on your roof, gutters, or siding. Electrocutions due to bad ladder placement are all too common.
Though your motor vehicle battery is low voltage, it has a high amperage that can result in burns and other damage if you touch it.
There are many other possible reasons for electrocution injuries that could involve the negligence of another person or entity. If you have injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills.
Getting Help for an Electrocution Injury
If you have been injured by electrocution either at home or on the job, it’s important to consult with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and explain how these types of lawsuits work. You may be able to sue for compensation from an employer, manufacturer, contractor, property owner or electric utility.
Before you even do that, though, your first step should be to record any evidence you can about what happened. If you are physically able to do so, take pictures or video of the scene. Write down what happened. Talk to witnesses – if there are any. Then, as mentioned above, get checked out by a doctor both to receive whatever help you need and to have the extent of our injuries clearly documented.
Doing all of these things will go a long way towards strengthening your case if you decide to go forward with a lawsuit.
About the Author:
A partner at Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.