In the U.S. there are entire careers dedicated to electrical work. While our society couldn’t function as it does without electricity, there are serious injuries that can occur if proper precautions and safety measures aren’t securely put in place when working around electrical equipment. Electrical injuries, and especially electrocution, can be life-threatening or lead to long term health complications.
If you were the victim of an electrical injury at work, and you suspect it was a result of negligence on the part of your employer, you have a right to compensation. If you or your loved one suffered an electrical injury, it’s your right to seek legal help for compensation. The Epstein Law Firm has years of experience in all types of workers’ compensation cases, electrical injuries not least. Give our Chicago firm a call today at 773-522-7000 for a free case evaluation.
Learn more about electrical injuries here:
Causes of Workplace Electrical Injury
While electrical injuries do occur in day-to-day life, more often than not, they’re a result of a workplace accident, or employer negligence. Both the construction and engineering industries deal heavily with power lines and electrical wiring, and when proper precautions aren’t taken, injuries can happen. Most workplace electrical injuries occur because of:
- OSHA safety regulation violations
- Power line accidents
- Defective wiring
- Lack of warning
- Lack of lockout/tagout protection
- Contractor negligence
- Construction accidents
Four Major Types of Electrical Injuries
While there are many different varieties of electrical injuries, the most common of which we’ll list later, most fall into four categories: burns, falls, electrical shock, and electrocution. We’ve explained them below in greater detail, so you can better understand electrical injuries, and take the necessary safety precautions to avoid them.
Burns – One of the more frequent electrical injuries, burns occur when the body directly contacts an electrical source. Electrical burns differ from other burns because even when they look minor on the surface, internal damage can be severe. As an electrical current will run through the body, it’s possible that muscles and internal organs like the heart and brain could be damaged. When experiencing an electrical burn, do not apply anything to the affected area until you receive medical attention.
Falls – Many work-related electrical injuries result in a fall. This is because most employees who experience electrical injuries are working on power lines, or cutting trees near a power line. The electrical injury may cause those employees to fall, or the electrical shock could cause the individual to be thrown from a ladder or elevated position.
Electrical Shock – Electrical shocks occur when a person comes into direct contact with an electrical source, and the electrical energy flows through his or her body. Electrical shock injuries can range from minor to life-threatening, and often lead to burns.
Electrocution – An electrocution injury is classified as an electrical shock powerful enough to stop the heart and cause death. Especially susceptible to electrocution is the brain. This is why electrocution injuries are so dangerous. Electrocution can occur depending on how the electricity travels through the body, as well as the electrical source.
Common Electrical Shock Injuries
While there are many different types of electrical shock injuries, we’ve listed the ones that most commonly occur in the workplace. Medical bills for these types of injuries can add up, and you should not be responsible for such hefty fees, not to mention the pain and suffering in the event that the injury occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you, or a loved one has experienced any of these injuries, it may be time to find a qualified workers’ compensation attorney.
- Cardiac arrest from the effect of electricity on one’s heart.
- Burns, to the skin and tissue under skin.
- Nerves and tissue damaged from electrical currents.
- Spinal cord injuries resulting from the electric current passing through one’s body.
- Fractures or breaks from being thrown or falling off ladders, as a result of electrocution.
- Peripheral nerve damage.
- Breathing problems from electrical current passing through chest or damaging parts of the brain.
- Kidney damage and muscle injuries from the electrical current.
- Ruptured eardrums.
- Cataracts that appear shortly after the incident.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Psychiatric and psychological problems, including depression, anxiety and aggression.
Determining Severity of Electrical Shock Injury
If you choose to pursue legal action following you or your loved one’s electrical injury, it’s important to know that you, your doctor, and your attorney will have to determine the severity of the injury before you can decide what to claim. While any electrical injury can disrupt your life and your ability to work, for legal purposes, an approximation of severity must be determined to ensure you’re claiming a fair amount of compensation. These are the factors that both doctors and attorneys will take into account:
- Type of electrical current.
- Amount of voltage.
- Length of time of exposure.
- Pathway the electrical current takes through the body.
- Type of circuit.
- Victim’s state of health.
- How quickly help arrives.
Electrical injuries are serious, life-threatening, and frightening. They can result in permanent disability, alteration of your mental state, and even death. If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical injury as a result of negligence in the workplace, you deserve compensation. We cannot heal your injury, but we can help you fight for the compensation that will put you back on your feet. For a free initial case evaluation, and for attorneys with experience and expertise, get in touch with the Epstein Law Firm. Call our office at 773-522-7000, or request your free case evaluation online today.
This post is also available in: Spanish