About Electrical Injuries and Electrocution
Electrocution is the fifth leading cause of all work-related injury deaths in the United States. Electric shock can cause severe burns, neurological and spinal damage, heart attacks, bruises, broken bones, even wrongful death. An estimated 400+ people are killed each year by workplace electrocution. On job sites defective wiring is the number one cause of electrocution and burns. The highest number of electrocution deaths are to electricians, utility workers (the number one cause of electrocution fatalities are overhead power lines), and people who work in the construction industry. When safety regulations are ignored and OSHA programs not followed, property owners, construction managers, and general contractors may be held legally accountable for their negligence.
In the workplace electrocution or electrical injuries may be caused by a malfunctioning or defective product. In addition to filing a workman’s compensation claim, you have the right to file what is known as a “third party claim” against the manufacturer or product distributor for being injured by using a power tool, appliance or other electrical product if some form of negligence caused the injury.
How does electricity damage the body?
Electricity can do much more than burn the skin, as a number of body systems can be severely damaged.
Central Nervous System: The spinal cord and brain can be damaged from electricity, especially if the current passed through the body. Immediately following the accident, the victim may be unconscious, confused, or experience amnesia about the event. A victim may also suffer such long-term issues as seizures, psychiatric problems, damage to the peripheral nerves, brain damage, and delayed spinal cord problems.
Cardiovascular System: The heart can experience severe trauma from electrocution, such as asystole, which is the absence of a cardiac rhythm, or ventricular fibrillation, which is the useless and chaotic fluttering of the ventricles. These rhythms can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Musculoskeletal System: The muscles can suffer severe damage as the result of prolonged tetany (involuntary contraction), which can cause kidney damage and rhabdomyolysis.
Respiratory System: The lungs are less often damaged by electrical currents, though injury can result if the current passes through the chest or area of the brain that controls breathing, which causes respiratory arrest.
Integumentary System: The soft tissue and skin are typically the most severely damaged by electricity. Burns can be extensive, and are often most serious at the ground points and the point of contact.
Overview of Electrical Accidents in the Home
Though common in the workplace, electrical accidents can also occur in or near the home, such as when the power company neglects the care of low hanging, high voltage power lines near your residence. When a contractor or other construction professional makes repairs in or around your home there may be negligence due to power cords left near water, or not cutting the power when electrical repairs are made. The result can result in electrocution to you or members of your family.
Defective household products such as curling irons, hair dryers and power tools can also cause electrical injuries. Our team at The Medler Law Firm, APC has handled many electrical injuries and electrocution deaths, and you won’t pay anything unless we win your case. An electrocution case requires special expertise, and John Medler, one of our attorneys, worked as a legal counselor for a major utility company for nearly 20 years, and handled numerous electrical injury and electrocution cases, as well as cases involving utility poles, power poles, and high voltage lines. When choosing an attorney for your electrocution case, you can trust in our firm’s vast experience and absolute commitment to excellence.
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