When the power goes out, few people have an appreciation for the risks that are taken by those tasked with repairing the infrastructure responsible for powering our homes and technology. There are times when faulty power infrastructure can cause harm to those who rely on it as well— injuring customers and damaging property. When this is the case, it is reasonable to expect the responsible utilities to provide due compensation to anyone who has been harmed or suffered loss due to an incident. The Chicago electrical worker accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are committed to ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of compensation available whether you have been injured in an electrical accident or lost property.
Injuries to Electrical Workers
Electrical line installers and repairmen go to work every day with the knowledge of the hazards they are exposed to. They are required to undergo adequate safety training and use personal protection equipment to reduce their exposure to live electric currents and other hazards on the job. Even the most vigilant worker can be injured, however, when working with a conduit or wire that has electricity flowing through it. The injuries that workers can suffer when unknowingly working with live electrical devices include the following.
- Electrical burns— these burns occur at the point where an electrical current enters or leaves the body and can be extremely painful while causing severe tissue damage. The burns are commonly classified as second or third degree and may require extensive medical treatment.
- Internal injuries— it is possible for an electric current to damage internal organs in the same manner it burns external tissue. It may also disrupt key nervous functions, which rely on electrochemical pulses such as the relay of information from the brain to the body via the spinal cord or the electrical pulse responsible for making the heartbeat. It may also cause an irregular heartbeat, kidney damage or impaired vision.
- Broken bones— electrical line installers and repairmen often work from an elevated position and it is possible for the accident to throw them to the ground where they can suffer fractures upon impact.
- Brain damage— the brain controls many of the electrical and chemical functions within our bodies and a strong electric shock can cause serious neurological harm. Victims may not notice the symptoms of this damage immediately, but the signs can reveal themselves over the weeks, months and even years to follow. Seizures, memory loss, chronic pain, mood changes, numbness and paralysis can all be linked to an electrical injury that has harmed the brain.
- Death— a strong electrical current is capable of stopping the heart or rendering the victim brain dead. This is the most unfortunate possible result of contact with a live electrical current.
Injuries to the Public Caused From Downed Power Lines & Electrical Equipment
While electrical workers are aware of the dangers that they face every day, the public is often caught completely off guard when powerlines, panel boxes and transformers malfunction or fail. A fallen powerline can expose anyone in the area to live electrical currents and blown transformers or circuit breakers can result in devastating electrical fires that destroy victims’ homes and businesses. Whenever an electrical accident results in personal injury or property damage, it is important to determine whether the power company followed the law when installing its equipment.
In order to prevent these types of incidents from occurring, laws exist which regulate the distance major powerlines and transformers can be from buildings and how this equipment must be maintained. It is unfortunate that utilities may cut corners and fail to abide by these laws— only to be penalized for their failure to do so after someone has been hurt or lost his or her home or business.
Signs that the power company may be responsible for an incident include the following.
- The accident could not be attributed to inclement weather, such as ice, snow or strong winds.
- It is discovered that the electrical equipment responsible for the accident was not installed or maintained in accordance with state and local laws.
- It is found that the utility did not respond properly to reports of downed powerlines or blown transformers and the failure to act resulted in personal injury or loss of property.
Whether you are an electrical worker who has been injured on the job or a bystander who has been injured or lost property in an electrical accident, our Chicago electrical accident lawyers can help you secure the compensation you need to recover all that you’ve lost.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is an award winning personal injury law firm that has helped thousands of clients find the justice that they are entitled to and we have the experience and record of success you need to be sure your case has the best chance of success. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation so that we can gather the information we need to evaluate your case, review your legal options with you and let you know how best to proceed. If we are unable to recover compensation on your behalf for any reason at all, you are assured that our services will be free of charge.