Electrical shock injuries can drastically and very negatively change your life. Electrical injuries can permanently damage your skin, hearing, vision, nervous system, and internal organs. In fact, contact with an electrical current can cause permanent paralysis and sometimes sudden death.
If you survive a serious electrical injury, you may suffer some of the effects for the rest of your life. If you’re injured by electricity and someone else was at fault, you can seek compensation for your medical bills with a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim.
How do electric shock injuries happen? How can they be avoided? And where can you turn for legal help if you suffer an electric shock injury because another person was negligent? If you’ll keep reading, a Bronx personal injury attorney will provide those answers and more about electrical injuries and your rights.
WHERE ARE ELECTRICAL INJURIES LIKELY TO HAPPEN?
Construction workers are particularly at risk for electrical injuries caused by safety violations and negligence at construction sites. You can also suffer electrical injuries at home or work through contact with electrical appliances and outlets.
Even contact with low-voltage currents can lead to burn injuries and to muscle or nerve damage. Specifically, the most frequent causes of electrical injuries “around the house” include:
- exposed or frayed electrical wires
- electrical outlets set in unsafe locations
- defectively manufactured electrical appliances
- faulty wiring in pools and hot tubs
In and around New York City, if you are injured by electricity because another person was negligent – or if you’re not sure whether negligence was involved – discuss your case and your legal rights immediately with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney.
HOW DO ELECTRICAL INJURIES HAPPEN AT CONSTRUCTION SITES?
Electrocution can happen at construction sites when a construction worker has direct or indirect contact with live wiring or with equipment that includes light fixtures, control panels, junction boxes, transformers, and circuit breakers.
Construction workers also suffer electrical injuries from contact with power lines and from defective power tools and frayed extension cords. Standing in water or allowing extension cords or lights to have contact with water can cause construction site electrocutions.
HOW WILL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER HELP YOU?
If you are injured at work, an injury attorney can help you file a worker’s compensation claim. Workers’ compensation covers the medical expenses and partially replaces the lost wages of most workers in New York who are injured on the job.
If you are injured away from the workplace by electricity, and if another party was negligent, you can pursue a personal injury claim, and a personal injury lawyer will advocate aggressively on your behalf for the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
Injury victims who prevail with a personal injury claim are compensated for their medical expenses – including projected future medical costs – as well as their lost wages and lost earning capacity, their personal pain and suffering, and all of their related losses and damages.
If the negligence that injured you was egregious or intentional, you might also be awarded punitive damages. In personal injury cases, punitive damages are additional compensation that is intended as punishment for a defendant’s egregious or intentional behavior.
WHAT ARE THE SEVERAL KINDS OF ELECTRICAL INJURIES?
Obviously, death by electrocution is the worst kind of electrical injury, and if you lose a loved one this way, you should speak promptly to a personal injury attorney about bringing a wrongful death claim against the negligent party – and acquiring compensation for your family.
But apart from electrocution, OSHA has identified three types of electrical injuries that can be catastrophic:
- Burn injuries: An electrical current actually burns tissue as it moves through the body. Permanent disfigurement is one possible consequence.
- Shock injuries: As little as fifty volts can trigger muscle spasms, halt breathing, and stop a heartbeat. Higher voltages mean an even higher risk of serious injury.
- Injuries suffered from falls caused by shock: Electrical shock can cause an immediate loss of muscle control that may cause a victim to fall from a roof, ladder, or scaffold.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SEVERE ELECTRICAL INJURIES?
Someone who suffers electrical shock or electrical burns might not ever fully and completely heal. Hearing or vision loss, brain or nerve damage, and cardiovascular problems triggered by an electrical injury are likely to be permanent.
An electrical injury’s severity is determined by the voltage, the amount of time that a victim is exposed to the current, and a victim’s medical condition when the accident occurs.
CAN YOU REDUCE THE CHANCES OF AN ELECTRICAL INJURY?
Every year, scores of Americans die from electrical injuries and electricity-related accidents. Any form of energy, when not properly controlled or harnessed, can seriously endanger whoever is using it. Here are some basic suggestions for reducing the chances of electrical injuries:
- Don’t touch anything electrical if your hands are wet or if you’re standing in water.
- Never use frayed cords.
- Don’t plug in anything that has a prong missing.
- Keep unused outlets covered and metal objects away from outlets.
- Never overload outlets.
- Never run cords under rugs or carpets.
- Never climb a utility pole or come into contact with a downed power line.
WHAT IF YOUR ELECTRICAL INJURY HAPPENS AT YOUR PLACE OF WORK?
Every New York employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you sustain an electrical injury at work, let an experienced personal injury lawyer help you with your claim for workers’ comp benefits. If your claim is denied, your attorney can appeal that denial.
If you’re injured by electricity away from the workplace – or if someone other than your employer is responsible for a work-related electrical injury – you may qualify to file a personal injury claim.
HOW CAN YOU SUCCEED WITH A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
To prevail with a personal injury claim in the state of New York, the “plaintiff” (meaning the injury victim) must demonstrate that the negligent party – called the “defendant”:
- had the duty to act in a responsible, safe manner
- failed to act in a responsible, safe manner and instead was negligent
- directly caused the plaintiff’s injury as a result of that negligence
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
The statute of limitations in New York gives the injured victims of negligence three years from the date of the injury to take legal action, but if you’ve been injured by electricity, do not wait – even three weeks – to speak with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney.
New York’s personal injury lawyers provide injury victims with a free first legal consultation with no obligation. You can learn where you stand legally and discuss the pros and cons of taking legal action.
If you and your attorney move forward with a personal injury claim, no attorney’s fee needs to be paid until your attorney acquires an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf.
Electrical injuries are serious injuries. If you need to be compensated for an electrical injury caused by negligence, exercise your rights and speak immediately to a good New York personal injury lawyer. That’s your right, and it’s the right thing to do.