Electric shocks can either be severe or minor. In the U.S., up to 1,000 people die annually from electrocution. These injuries are brought about by malfunctions in devices, curious exploration of electricity, or work-related accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered from an electrical injury caused by negligence, you should contact an electrocution attorney.
What are the common causes of electric shock injury?
Electrocutions in the U.S. are mainly caused by construction-related accidents and consumer appliances. A report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly 30,000 people go through non-fatal shock accidents on an annual basis. Work-related injuries cause most electric shock injuries and deaths. Some other causes of electric accidents include:
- Damaged cords
- Faulty appliances
- Deteriorated wiring
- Unsafe tools
- Downed power lines
- Damaged or faulty equipment
- Poor safety training
Some of the injuries one is likely to suffer from electrocution include:
- Chest pain
- Severe burns
- Bone fractures or spinal injuries
- Abdominal pain
- Cardiac arrest or irregular heartbeat
Liability for electrical accidents
After an electrical accident, victims suffer emotionally and financially. Hiring an attorney will help you determine whether you have a strong case or not. Your lawyer will prove the following:
- Duty – Proving that the negligent party had a duty to use reasonable care when handling wiring to prevent the injury from happening.
- Breach – The negligent party never upheld their duty of care. Therefore, they did not act responsibly with wiring, equipment, and warning.
- Causation – The negligent party failed to act accordingly, and therefore caused your injuries.
- Damages – You can get monetary damages for your injuries.
Who is responsible for my injuries?
Based on where the shock happened, you can hold property owners and business owners liable for your injuries. For example, you may suffer electric shock injuries because of the negligence of the landlord who has leased you an apartment. The 3 ways to hold a negligent person accountable are:
- Premises Liability – This applies in cases where the property owner knows or should have known the danger that caused the electric shock injury.
- Negligent Supervision – This is where an employer fails to train their employees about proper electric safety practices.
- Vicarious Liability – This is where an employee acted negligently and is held responsible for their acts or for their failure to act.
What steps to take after an electric shock
If someone, unfortunately, suffered from an electric shock, there are some steps you can take to prevent further injury. You should turn off the main source of the electric current. The next thing you need to do is to call 911. In the meantime, carefully push the victim away from the electric current by using a non-conducting object. Check the victim’s vitals. If their pulse or airways has stopped, perform CPR. However, if they have burns, remove their clothing and then cool the affected area using running water. If the person is in shock, lay them with their head lower than their body and legs. Stay with the victim until help arrives.
How to get legal help
It is important to have legal assistance if you intend to take action against the person who has caused your loved one to be electrocuted. Most people will usually run to a personal injury lawyer without doing any due diligence. You need to determine whether the person you want to hire specializes in electrical injuries and what their experience is with these types of cases.
The next thing you need to do is find a reliable source. You can trust the word of mouth of your friends or relatives. Alternatively, you can log into the internet and search through the profiles of professionals to find the right fit.
Remember not to be motivated by money. In any case, you need to go for an attorney who does not charge you for a consultation or ask for an up-front fee. Only deal with lawyers who act on a contingency basis. This way, you are assured that they will do their level base to ensure you are duly compensated. Make sure you have a good rapport with the lawyer of your choice. This will make it easier when discussing the details of your case.
How a lawyer will help you
First of all, a lawyer will help you or your loved one gather evidence to prove their claims are valid. By visiting the scene of the crime, analyzing the medical reports, and speaking to witnesses, an attorney will be able to build a strong case for you.
If your lawyer has compelling evidence that the negligent party is to blame for your loved one’s injuries, they may try to reach a settlement. Your lawyer will try their best to get the best deal for your case. However, if a settlement is not forthcoming, your lawyer will prepare you for trial.
During the trial, your loved one may be cross-examined. This exercise is often done to discredit the plaintiff. Your lawyer will make sure your loved is properly tutored on how to respond to questions and to keep their cool in the courtroom.
Finally, your lawyer will advise you on whether to take what the defendant offers or to seek an appeal. Generally, you should aim at getting a quote that allows you to both pay your bills and pay for legal fees. The lawyer will demand a certain percentage of your damage award.
What types of damages will you get?
Depending on the extent of the victim’s damages, your loved one is likely to receive any of the following damages:
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages
- Loss of Income
- Temporary Disability
If your loved one has suffered from an electrical injury, you need to act fast if you are to make your claim before the statutory period lapses. You should hire an electrocution lawyer to go through with the correct legal measures and to help you get a reasonable damages award. Use the pointers above to guide you on what to expect and how to go about this personal injury claim.