Electric shock is a common risk at construction sites. It is one of the leading causes of death when employees are killed on the job due to electrical fatalities. Often, multiple things happen on a construction site at one time, and there is a high-voltage electrical source on the site when other work occurs.
- How Does an Electrocution Accident Occur on a Job Site?
- Electrocution Cases Involving a Workplace Injury, Car Accident, or Other Incidents
- Statistics About Electrocution Cases
- Medical Treatment of Electrocution in Chicago, IL
- OSHA Regulations Related to Electrical Safety
- How Much Is My Electrocution Injury Case Worth?
- Electrocution Accident FAQs
- Have You or a Loved One Been Electrocuted? Obtain A Free Consultation After Electrocution Accidents Now
Electrical injuries can leave the victim with critical and permanent damages when it is not fatal. Electrocution accidents often occur because the employer has done something wrong or failed to follow a rule.
When that happens, you or your loved one who has been injured might have legal options against the negligent parties in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.
Our personal injury attorneys at the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC law group are experienced advocates. We can help our clients file legal claims to recover workers’ compensation for these electric shock and electrocution injuries.
Contact a Chicago electrocution accident lawyer today to schedule a free initial consultation.
How Does an Electrocution Accident Occur on a Job Site?
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), there are numerous ways that workers can come into contact with electricity on a worksite and suffer a serious accident.
Here are some common electrocution cases:
- An employee is on a scaffold or ladder that touches a power line
- An excavator digs in the ground, unaware there are energized underground electric lines
- A metal piece makes a connection with the energized underground power source
- Electricity may not be turned off on a work site, and a construction worker may touch faulty wiring, thinking it has been deactivated
- Outdated, substandard, or otherwise faulty electrical wiring
- Flammable materials being left exposed to electrical wiring, or other sources of electricity
These are just the most common instances of electrocution accidents on a worksite. Anytime there is live power on a worksite, workers risk electric shock injuries if the proper protective measures are not taken.
Electrocution Cases Involving a Workplace Injury, Car Accident, or Other Incidents
The Dangers of Electrocution Injury
Electrocution and electric shock injury can occur in various situations, such as a workplace incident, a car accident, or another type of electrical accident. These injuries can be life-threatening and have severe, long-lasting effects.
Common Injuries Associated with Electric Shock and Electrocution
- Cardiac arrest: A sudden and dangerous interruption of the heart’s normal function, often caused by electrical shock.
- Tissue injury: Electrical currents damage to muscles, nerves, and other soft tissues.
- CNS injuries: Central nervous system injuries, including brain and spinal cord damage, caused by shock.
- Burns: Severe burns may occur at the entry and exit points of the electrical current, as well as internally.
High-Risk Occupations and Safety Measures
Construction workers are particularly vulnerable to electrical injuries, but anyone can be at risk. OSHA enforces strict electrical safety guidelines to protect workers and prevent accidents.
Seeking Legal Help for Electrocution Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered a shock injury or electrocution injury, don’t hesitate to seek a free consultation with a skilled attorney. They can provide expert legal representation and help you navigate the complex legal process to seek justice and compensation.
Statistics About Electrocution Cases
The number of deaths from electrical injuries has been dropping this century as more measures are taken to protect workers from critical injuries.
The number of deaths dropped to 134 in 2015. In 1998, the number of deaths caused by electrical injuries in the United States exceeded 300. There have been advances in safety in the past two decades.
On the other side, some have argued that the drop in electrocution deaths resulted from the Great Recession and is not a result of anything employers do differently on work sites.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, approximately 54% of electrical fatalities from 2003-2018 were construction-related. The data show that 9% of electrical injuries in 2018 were fatal. OSHA reports that electrocution is the 3rd leading cause of construction worker wrongful death cases.
Following construction, the types of workers that most commonly suffer electrical injuries include those in the manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, health and education, and service industries. Younger workers are more likely to experience electrical injuries.
Additionally, electricians constitute the bulk of those involved in fatal electrical injuries. From 2011 to 2015, 105 electricians were killed in the construction site field.
Medical Treatment of Electrocution in Chicago, IL
Immediate medical attention is essential if one survives an electrical injury since it is a form of trauma to the body and requires specialized expert care.
Some of the primary means of treating electrical injuries include treatment for burns, as that is one of the most immediate concerns in the wake of electrical accidents.
Electrical injury victims will also be in severe pain and have difficulty breathing due to nervous system damage, so pain management is also paramount. In some cases, the electrocution injury is not immediately apparent after the incident. In that case, the patient will need ongoing care to treat electrical injuries as they arise.
In addition, extensive rehabilitation may be necessary if it is possible to repair some of the damage to the nervous system. How many functions a person can regain depends on the care they receive in the immediate aftermath of their electrical injury.
OSHA Regulations Related to Electrical Safety
OSHA has regulations that govern several areas that relate to electricity. Here are some of the areas in which employers must follow OSHA rules:
- Electrical construction site standards
- Training of workers around electricity
- Hazard recognition
When employers violate these rules, workers can file a complaint with OSHA. Violations of OSHA rules can be the basis for a successful personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit when breaking the rule directly causes electrical injury.
How Much Is My Electrocution Injury Case Worth?
While many factors contribute to the value of your electrocution accident lawsuits, such as medical bills, lost wages, medical attention, pain, and disability, the electrocution cases below will hopefully give insight into how these cases are valued by juries, lawyers, and insurance companies.
While these electrocution cases can be instructive, they should not be conclusive in valuing your unique situation. Below are sample jury verdicts and settlements for these significant electrocution accident injury cases.
Electric Shock Plaintiff Verdict for $473,295 in Virginia
The plaintiff was installing equipment on the job site using a stud welder. The welder was connected to a power source but was turned off. The workman needed to move the stud welder a short distance and picked up the welder.
When he did so, he received a strong electrical shock and could not quickly remove his hands from the welder. The plaintiff lost consciousness in the accident and suffered permanent injuries from electrical shock. The personal injury attorney claimed that the defendant breached his duty to properly energize the stud welder.
Electric Injuries Settlement for $6.225 million in California
The plaintiff worked as an electrician at a waste-to-energy facility. He was tasked with removing a 2400-volt contact starter from its cubicle so it could undergo maintenance. There was an arc flash explosion when he tried to move the starter.
The plaintiff suffered electrical injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury. The plaintiff’’s experienced electrocution accident lawyer sued the employer for negligence and the manufacturer of the contact starter for product liability claims. The defendants were held liable for 75% of the electrical injury, and the case was settled during the damages phase of the trial.
Electrical Injuries Plaintiff Verdict for $12.25 million in California
It was a wrongful death lawsuit. The deceased was setting up a table at a swap meet run by the defendant. The tent pole struck a power line above, causing severe electrical injury and death. The decedent’s wife was also present and suffered serious injuries and emotional distress from witnessing her husband’s death.
The attorney filed a wrongful death claim alleging that the power lines above were uninsulated and dangerous and that people on the property should not have been allowed to use the space directly underneath the electricity lines.
Electrician Injuries Settlement for $500,000 in Pennsylvania
The injured party worked as an electrician at an elementary school. He was installing a new light fixture and was working on top of ductwork when he came into contact with a hot wire that was not turned off as it was supposed to be and was electrocuted to death.
The electrocution injury claim asserted by the attorney maintained that the premises was unsafe and that the employer failed to follow OSHA safety regulations. The legal claim also alleged that the area should have been barricaded off but was not.
Plaintiff Verdict for $500,000 in Pennsylvania
The plaintiff was performing masonry work on a home improvement project. He was on the ground next to a ladder when the current from a low-hanging overhead power line ran through the ladder. The current went through his arms and his legs.
He lost part of his feet from an electrocution incident and now walks with a permanent limp. The lawsuit claimed that the utility company allowed the power line to hang too low and failed to properly inspect the power line. The plaintiff was partially liable for his shock injury by improperly lifting the ladder.
Plaintiff Verdict for $3,401,739 in Utah
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a minor child against the power company and others. When he was two years old, he was playing in the backyard. A tree fell onto a voltage line which severed the cord. The line produced heat that was significant to cause multiple electrical burns on the child’s body.
The child suffered severe scarring as well as cognitive loss. The personal injury claim was filed against the tree maintenance company, alleging that the company should have removed the tree since it was contracted by the power company to maintain the trees around the lines. His compensation encompassed the medical treatment he needed, amongst other damages.
Settlement for $6 million in Washington
The plaintiff worked for a subcontractor on a road construction project. He was assigned to help steady the swinging pole. However, the defendants allowed the pole to become electrified during the process.
The plaintiff suffered traumatic brain injuries that resulted in cognitive and memory impairments and could not return to work. He also suffered entrance and exit burns on his hands and feet from the current. The general contractor and the subcontractor were cited for safety violations concerning the incident.
He was awarded workers’ compensation for his lost wages, medical expenses, and non-economic damages.
Plaintiff Verdict for $1.806 million in Louisiana
The plaintiff suffered fatal electrical injuries. The decedent was at a bar. He was invited up to the bar’s roof after closing to get a view of the Mississippi River. The bar operator provided him with alcoholic beverages while he was on the roof.
The decedent came into contact with a power line located near the building. His experienced attorney filed the lawsuit against the bar owner for allowing patrons access to the roof in a dangerous condition and against the electric company for failing to warn customers of the dangerous condition.
Settlement for $3.1 million in Nevada
The plaintiff was a structural mover and was engaged in a job. He was on the roof, attempting to move low-hanging wires. He was walking on the roof carrying a telephone cable when he contacted a high-powered wire. The employer’s insurance company resolved the case to cover all damages, including disability, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Settlement for $1.05 million in Massachusetts
It was a wrongful death case. The decedent was an electrical apprentice who was working on a construction project. He came into contact with a live 277-volt circuit and was electrocuted to death.
Settlement for $1.25 million in Pennsylvania
The wrongful death case involved the decedent working in asbestos removal as part of a property renovation. Before the accident happened, he contacted a high-powered electrical line and was killed.
The lawsuit claimed that the defendants should not have let anyone into the area with an active power line and failed to post diagrams of the power lines for workers to see.
Electrocution Accident FAQs
Our law firm knows families have unanswered questions about seeking compensation after a loved one is injured or killed in an electrocution accident. An electrocution accident lawyer has answered some of those questions below.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 for any additional questions. We are here to help.
Does electric shock kill you instantly?
A jolt of electricity disrupts the body’s nerve communication and can stop the heart muscle or cause fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heartbeat leading to poor blood flow. Depending on the voltage of the shock, the injuries may be superficial or fatal.
If an electrocution accident occurred, you might have difficulty breathing and problems assessing your injuries immediately.
Who can be liable for an electric shock injury?
There are several possibilities of who can be liable for an electric shock accident. Your experienced electrocution accident lawyer will investigate and identify these defendants before filing your workers’ compensation claim. Some may include:
- The power company
- Negligent property owners
- Negligent employers
- Maintenance crew on a job site
Is being electrocuted dangerous?
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), low-level electrical shock can cause painful but innocuous sensations. Mild electrical currents could leave the victim with permanent injury and nerve damage.
Elevated electrical levels with high voltage and amperage could cause the Illinois victim to suffer a heart attack and even death.
Can a small electrical shock hurt you?
A mild shock might leave the victim with a mild burn and no visible injury to their skin.
However, intense direct contact with electrical currents that pass through the body could lead the victim to life-threatening internal organ damage, deadly burns, or cardiac arrest. Under certain conditions, even a small electric shock could be fatal.
What is the difference between being shocked and electrocuted?
Electrical shock is a mild to moderate injury that leaves the victim with a painful sensation or severe burn. Electrocution is deadly when a higher-voltage electrical current passes through the body, causing immediate cardiac arrest, burning of the internal organs, traumatic brain injury, or other life-altering medical problems.
Can being electrocuted affect your brain?
An electrical shock to the body can cause damage to the central nervous system. An electrical jolt might daze the victim, causing respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, seizure, or amnesia. Electrical energy to the brain and nerve system could cause long-term damage that might take several months or years to appear.
What is electrocution?
Electrocution occurs when a person connects with an energized, higher-voltage electrical source. It occurs when the current goes through the human body and causes a violent response. Electricity can devastate and destroy human tissue in the body.
Electrocution injuries happen because the human body conducts electricity simultaneously when there is human contact with the electrical source and another source, such as the ground, simultaneously.
The human body is especially vulnerable to electricity. It does not take much electrical current to cause damage and an electrocution injury. While the skin can sometimes protect the body against electricity, people are vulnerable to serious injury when the current penetrates the skin and enters the body.
Have You or a Loved One Been Electrocuted? Obtain A Free Consultation After Electrocution Accidents Now
Individuals who suffer electrical injuries can file a lawsuit against those responsible. An electrocution injury lawyer or personal injury attorney can help you and your family get the compensation that you deserve for an electrocution injury.
Connect with our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to set up your no-risk free consultation today and learn how we can help you with your electric shock damage, medical bills, and elevated voltage harm.
Our law firm handles construction accidents, workers’ compensation benefits, and medical malpractice cases involving burn injuries, disfigurement, nerve damage, and severe burns. Our practice areas relate to construction workers and other skilled laborers.
Free Case Evaluation
Contact our electrocution lawyers at our law office and talk to our personal injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
We accept all electrocution cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront fees paid until we win your case. All discussions with our electrocution accident lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.