When you make your living working on a construction site, you face numerous job-related hazards, like electricity. Electricity is also part of daily life. When we go to work or use a hair dryer at home, we trust that the product we are using works and is safe.
Electrocution is any injury or death caused by exposure to electricity. If you suffered injuries from electric shock due to the negligence of another, you might be entitled to compensation. Speak with an experienced lawyer about your claim today!
Electric Shock Injury Types
A person may experience an electrical injury at home, such as shock from a wall outlet, but it is rarely associated with significant injuries. However, when the voltage a person sustains is high and direct, injuries from electrocution can be life-threatening. Such injuries can cause long-term damage, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation or even death.
While there are many different kinds of electric shock injuries, the four common types of electric shock injuries are:
- Flash injuries,
- Flame injuries,
- Lightning injuries, and
- True electrical injuries.
An arc flash occurs when an electrical current connects with something it was not intended to, causing an electrical discharge or explosion. When an arc flash comes into contact with someone’s skin, it can cause flash injuries. Flash injuries are more superficial than other types of burn injuries and typically involve first- or second-degree burns.
If an arc flash or electrical shock causes a person’s clothing to catch fire, flame injuries can result. Flame injuries can cause more serious burns that may damage deeper layers of skin. Flash and flame burns are the most common types of injury caused by electric shock.
A lightning injury results from an electrical current traveling through a person’s whole body. This may involve a lightning strike or any other type of electrical shock involving short contact with high voltage. Lightning injuries can cause cardiac or respiratory arrest.
The fourth type of injury, a true electrical injury, occurs when the person terrifyingly becomes part of the electrical circuit. The injury generally has an entrance and exit site on the body. A true electrical injury is the most severe and may result in death, cardiac arrhythmia or arrest, respiratory arrest, coma, blunt trauma, or numerous burns. A person might complain of occasional unpleasant sensations without obvious physical damage, while others may present with a large amount of pain and overt tissue damage.
Common Causes of Electric Shock Injuries
Many electric shock and electrocution deaths happen on construction sites. Unfortunately, many workers don’t know about the electrical hazards on their job sites. This can make them more vulnerable to severe electrical injuries. In fact, electrocution is the second leading cause of death for construction workers.
Workplace electrocution often occurs as a result of unsafe working conditions. These may include:
- Old or substandard wiring;
- Electric cords that run under carpeting;
- Flammable materials left in the workplace;
- Exposed electrical wiring in the workplace, especially near water sources;
- Loose connectors; and
- Lack of preventive devices such as three-pronged outlets and polarized plugs.
When it happens outside the workplace, electrocution often involves a defective product. Products can be defective due to manufacturing flaws, design defects, or inadequate warnings. Issues in this area are complex, so it is important to consult with an attorney to investigate your case and prosecute it aggressively.
What Can I Do After an Electric Shock Injury?
You might be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one suffered injuries in an electrocution accident. These cases require careful analysis and expert opinions to build the strongest case.
In Texas, workers injured in electrical shock accidents are prohibited from suing their employer if the employer subscribes to the state workers’ compensation. Instead, injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which include medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. However, if a third party was responsible for your accident, you may be able to file a claim against them. Examples of third parties who could be liable for electrocution accidents include:
- Other contractors working on the same construction site;
- Entities responsible for maintaining and repairing power lines and utility poles;
- A company that manufactured, designed, or sold defective power line components; and
- The designer or manufacturer of faulty utility equipment.
If your employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance and their negligence was at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages, including all lost wages and pain and suffering.
Electric Shock Injury Attorneys
Hartley Law Firm consists of award-winning attorneys who are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The American Institute of Trial Lawyers voted Austin Hartley 2021’s Litigator of the Year. Hartley Law Firm can help you understand the complex nature of lawsuits involving electrocution and your potential recovery. Contact Hartley Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.