We often take electricity for granted as a modern-day convenience. Most of us expect to plug in various items and use them without being hurt. Although most electrical items are safe and designed to prevent injury, the storage and transmission of electricity has inherent dangers.
There is an average of 4,400 injuries and 400 deaths each year in the U.S. that are attributed to electrocution. Specifically, electrocution is defined as a serious injury or death that results from an electric shock or electrical current traveling through the body.
How Common Are Electrocution Injuries?
An electrical injury can happen anyplace that electricity is present. These can occur in everyday situations in the home, while at work, or when visiting another property.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that electrocution is the second leading cause of death among construction workers.
- According to U.S. industry experts, more than 30,000 electric shock accidents happen each year in the workplace.
- Hospitals treat approximately seven children each day that were injured from tampering with electrical outlets.
- More than 14% of electrocution injuries result from household current (120/220 volts).
Different Types of Electrical Injuries
Electrocution injuries can lead to severe and life-changing injuries. If the victim doesn’t lose their life, they could face painful and debilitating consequences from one of these events. Some of the common types of electrical injuries include:
- Burns. Burns are the most common result of contact with electricity. This refers to external burns as well as the death to deeper tissues. Flash or flame injuries occur when there is an intense high voltage current or flash of light. Thermal injuries result from contact with hot objects such as steam, boiling water, fire, or electricity. Arc blast injuries occur when someone is close to an electric fault such as deteriorated wiring.
- Musculoskeletal injuries. These are a range of conditions that involve injury to the body’s muscles, tendons, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissue. These injuries occur in about 40% of electrocution cases.
- Internal injuries. An injury victim can also suffer traumatic brain injury, acute renal failure, and other neurological injuries from electrocution.
- Amputations. Roughly 11% of people who have power line electrocution injuries have to undergo multiple amputations.
- Loss of consciousness. About one-third of electrocution injury victims suffer brain injuries that lead to loss of consciousness and the potential for permanent impairment.
- Ventricular fibrillation. Electrocution can lead to the uncoordinated contraction of the heart’s muscles, which could result in cardiac arrest.
- Secondary injuries from falls. When a person or worker comes into contact with electricity while on a ladder or other height, they might fall due to the startle reaction and suffer other serious injuries.
- Death. Death is a common result when there is a severe electrocution injury linked to contact with high-voltage power lines.
Who is to Blame for an Electrocution Injury?
Since most electrocution injuries are preventable, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses. Who is responsible will depend on where and how an injury occurred. For example, if your injury happened on the job, you will need to go through your employer’s worker’s compensation coverage for benefits. If a third party was to blame, it’s possible that you might also have a separate case for damages.
Not all electrocution injuries happen in the workplace. If you were on someone else’s property when your accident occurred, you might have a premises liability claim. Electrocution injuries can also result from unsafe products, which could result in a personal injury case against a designer or manufacturer.
Hire the Experienced Legal Representation You Need
If you or someone you love has been injured in an electrocution accident, you may be facing significant emotional and financial pressure due to medical care requirements and lost time from work. You might be unsure about who is at fault in your accident, and that’s ok.
At Burge & Burge, P.C., our experienced Alabama personal injury attorneys will investigate your case and identify any parties that might be liable for your injuries. We understand the seriousness of electrocution injuries and will work on your behalf to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact our Birmingham office now at 205-251-9000 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.